Effects of Self-Myofascial Release on Shoulder Function and Perception in Adolescent Tennis Players

J Sport Rehabil. 2018 Nov 1;27(6):530-535. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2016-0240. Epub 2018 Sep 30.


Context: Tennis induces a decreased internal rotation range of motion at the dominant glenohumeral joint. The effects of self-myofascial release have not yet been investigated to restore glenohumeral range of motion.

Objective: This study aimed at investigating the effects of self-myofascial release on shoulder function and perception in adolescent tennis players.

Design: Test-retest design.

Setting: Tennis training sport facilities.

Participants: Eleven male players participated in this study (age: 15 [3] y; height: 173.1 [11.1] cm; mass: 56.0 [15.1] kg; International Tennis Number: 3).

Intervention: During 5 weeks, the players performed their regular tennis training. During 5 additional weeks, self-myofascial release of the infraspinatus and pectoralis muscles was implemented 3 times per week after the warm-up of the regular training session.

Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was glenohumeral internal rotation range of motion. The secondary outcomes were perceived shoulder instability and tennis serve accuracy and velocity.

Results: Adding self-myofascial release allowed an increase of 11° (2°) of internal rotation range of motion at the dominant glenohumeral joint (P < .001) and a decreased perception of shoulder instability (P = .03), while maintaining tennis serve velocity and accuracy.

Conclusions: Implementing self-myofascial release on infraspinatus and pectoralis muscles 3 times per week during 5 weeks improved dominant glenohumeral internal rotation range of motion in tennis players. It can be used as a strategy to preserve the mobility of this joint.

Keywords: infraspinatus muscle; overhead sport; range of motion; tennis ball; tennis serve.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / rehabilitation
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Orthopedic*
  • Massage*
  • Range of Motion, Articular*
  • Rotation
  • Rotator Cuff
  • Self Care
  • Shoulder Joint / physiology*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology
  • Tennis