Acute Effects of Deep Tissue Foam Rolling and Dynamic Stretching on Muscular Strength, Power, and Flexibility in Division I Linemen

J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Apr;31(4):888-892. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001051.


Behara, B and Jacobson, BH. Acute effects of deep tissue foam rolling and dynamic stretching on muscular strength, power, and flexibility in Division I linemen. J Strength Cond Res 31(4): 888-892, 2017-A recent strategy to increase sports performance is a self-massage technique called myofascial release using foam rollers. Myofascial restrictions are believed to be brought on by injuries, muscle imbalances, overrecruitment, and/or inflammation, all of which can decrease sports performance. The purpose of this study was to compare the acute effects of a single-bout of lower extremity self-myofascial release using a custom deep tissue roller (DTR) and a dynamic stretch protocol. Subjects consisted of NCAA Division 1 offensive linemen (n = 14) at a Midwestern university. All players were briefed on the objectives of the study and subsequently signed an approved IRB consent document. A randomized crossover design was used to assess each dependent variable (vertical jump [VJ] power and velocity, knee isometric torque, and hip range of motion was assessed before and after: [a] no treatment, [b] deep tissue foam rolling, and [c] dynamic stretching). Results of repeated-measures analysis of variance yielded no pretest to posttest significant differences (p > 0.05) among the groups for VJ peak power (p = 0.45), VJ average power (p = 0.16), VJ peak velocity (p = 0.25), VJ average velocity (p = 0.23), peak knee extension torque (p = 0.63), average knee extension torque (p = 0.11), peak knee flexion torque (p = 0.63), or average knee flexion torque (p = 0.22). However, hip flexibility was statistically significant when tested after both dynamic stretching and foam rolling (p = 0.0001). Although no changes in strength or power was evident, increased flexibility after DTR may be used interchangeably with traditional stretching exercises.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance / physiology
  • Football / physiology*
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Lower Extremity / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises / methods*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Therapy, Soft Tissue / methods*
  • Torque
  • Young Adult