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Posterior Thigh Foam Rolling Increases Knee Extension Fatigue and Passive Shoulder Range-of-Motion

Monteiro, Estêvão R.1,2; Costa, Pablo B.3; Corrêa Neto, Victor Gonçalves2,4; Hoogenboom, Barbara J.5; Steele, James6,7; Silva Novaes, Jefferson da2,8

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 987–994
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003077
Original Research

Monteiro, ER, Costa, PB, Corrêa Neto, VG, Hoogenboom, BJ, Steele, J, and da Silva Novaes, J. Posterior thigh foam rolling increases knee extension fatigue and passive shoulder range-of-motion. J Strength Cond Res 33(4): 987–994, 2019—The purpose of this study was to analyze the acute effects of different foam rolling (FR) volumes on knee extensors fatigue and shoulder passive range-of-motion (PROM). Twelve recreationally active women were recruited for participation in 2 experiments separated by 3 weeks, and the same subjects performed all procedures in each experiment. In experiment 1, subjects performed 3 sets of knee extensions using a predetermined 10 repetition maximum load to momentary concentric failure: control condition (CG) with passive rest and 2 FR conditions for the hamstrings using 2 volumes (60 and 120 seconds; FR60 and FR120, respectively). Experiment 2 consisted of 2 shoulder flexion and extension baseline PROM tests. Following baseline measures, subjects performed a single 60-second bout of FR on the hamstrings. Outcome PROM measures were measured through manual goniometry immediately (post-0), 10 minutes (post-10), 20 minutes (post-20), 30 minutes (post-30), 24 hours (post-24), and 48 hours (post-48) after the intervention to assess the effects on PROM over an extended period. Fatigue index indicated significantly greater fatigue resistance for CG when compared with FR60 (p = 0.035; [INCREMENT]% = 6.49) and FR120 (p = 0.002; [INCREMENT]% = 9.27), and there were no significant differences between FR60 and FR120 (p = 0.513; [INCREMENT]% = 2.78). Shoulder flexion PROM increased in post-0 as compared to baseline 1 (p = 0.002; d = 1.58), baseline 2 (p < 0.001; d = 1.92), and baseline higher measurement (p < 0.001; d = 1.59) and remained increased for post-10 as compared to baseline 2 (p = 0.017; d = 1.55). Shoulder extension PROM increased in post-0 as compared to baseline 1 (p < 0.001; d = 2.61), baseline 2 (p < 0.001; d = 2.83), and baseline higher measurement (p < 0.001; d = 2.59) and remained increased for post-10 as compared to baseline 1 (p < 0.001; d = 1.93), baseline 2 (p < 0.001; d = 2.16), and baseline higher measurement (p < 0.001; d = 1.91) and post-20 as compared to baseline 1 (p = 0.008; d = 1.58), baseline 2 (p = 0.001; d = 1.85), and baseline higher measurement (p = 0.011; d = 1.55). Foam rolling volumes equal to or greater than 60 seconds are detrimental to the ability to continually produce force in the lower extremity and should not be applied to the hamstrings muscle group between sets of knee extensions. PROM results indicate that FR applied to the hamstrings demonstrates an increase in both shoulder flexion and extension PROM. This work may have important clinical (rehabilitation) implications, as it demonstrates global effects of FR on functional outcomes.

1Department of Physical Therapy, Augusto Motta University (UNISUAM), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;

2Department of Gymnastics, School of Physical Education and Sports, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;

3Department of Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology Laboratory, California State University, Fullerton, California;

4Department of Physical Education, Gama e Souza College, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;

5Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan;

6School of Sport, Health, and Social Science, Solent University, Southampton, United Kingdom; and

7Research Institute, UKactive, London, United Kingdom; and

8College of Physical Education and Sports, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Address correspondence to Pablo B. Costa,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.