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Higher Quadriceps Roller Massage Forces Do Not Amplify Range-of-Motion Increases nor Impair Strength and Jump Performance

Grabow, Lena1; Young, James D.2; Alcock, Lynsey R.2; Quigley, Patrick J.2; Byrne, Jeannette M.2; Granacher, Urs1; Škarabot, Jakob3; Behm, David G.2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 11 - p 3059–3069
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001906
Original Research

Grabow, L, Young, JD, Alcock, LR, Quigley, PJ, Byrne, JM, Granacher, U, Škarabot, J, and Behm, DG. Higher quadriceps roller massage forces do not amplify range-of-motion increases nor impair strength and jump performance. J Strength Cond Res 32(11): 3059–3069, 2018—Roller massage (RM) has been reported to increase range of motion (ROM) without subsequent performance decrements. However, the effects of different rolling forces have not been examined. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of sham (RMsham), moderate (RMmod), and high (RMhigh) RM forces, calculated relative to the individuals' pain perception, on ROM, strength, and jump parameters. Sixteen healthy individuals (27 ± 4 years) participated in this study. The intervention involved three 60-second quadriceps RM bouts with RMlow (3.9/10 ± 0.64 rating of perceived pain [RPP]), RMmod (6.2/10 ± 0.64 RPP), and RMhigh (8.2/10 ± 0.44 RPP) pain conditions, respectively. A within-subject design was used to assess dependent variables (active and passive knee flexion ROM, single-leg drop jump [DJ] height, DJ contact time, DJ performance index, maximum voluntary isometric contraction [MVIC] force, and force produced in the first 200 milliseconds [F200] of the knee extensors and flexors). A 2-way repeated measures analysis of variance showed a main effect of testing time in active (p < 0.001, d = 2.54) and passive (p < 0.001, d = 3.22) ROM. Independent of the RM forces, active and passive ROM increased by 7.0% (p = 0.03, d = 2.25) and 15.4% (p < 0.001, d = 3.73) from premeasure to postmeasure, respectively. Drop jump and MVIC parameters were unaffected from pretest to posttest (p > 0.05, d = 0.33–0.84). Roller massage can be efficiently used to increase ROM without substantial pain and without subsequent performance impairments.

1Division of Training and Movement Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany;

2School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada; and

3Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Dr. David G. Behm,

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.