The effects of foam roll on perceptual and performance recovery during a futsal tournament

Physiol Behav. 2020 Sep 1:223:112981. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.112981. Epub 2020 Jun 11.


The present study investigated the efficacy of recovery by foam rolling (FR) on performance, psychological, and physiological parameters of futsal players in a simulated futsal tournament. In this randomized controlled trial design, four youth teams from Iran's national premier league participated in a simulated futsal tournament (five days, three matches). Sixteen youth futsal players from two teams (age: 19.1 ± 1.3 years old) were randomly distributed into two groups: (i) passive recovery (PR); and (ii) FR recovery. The FR recovery protocol consisted of five repetitions of 40 s separated by 20 s of rest on calf, quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus muscles 5 min after each match. The other group rested passively during the same period. The Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 2, repeated sprint ability, vertical jump, and PRO agility tests were assessed pre- and post-tournament. Also, Hooper index (HI) and blood lactate concentrations were measured throughout matchdays. Data were analyzed by a repeated measure ANOVA and ANCOVA. Substantial improvements in HI on the second (ES:0.6) and third (ES:0.4) matchdays and faster lactate removal on the third (ES:0.3) matchday were observed in the FR group when compared to the PR group (p<0.05). Although FR recovery was slightly beneficial when compared to PR attenuated decrements in aerobic (-1.6%vs-9.7%) and anaerobic performance (-4.5%vs-1.3%), vertical jump (-1.6%vs-3.0%), and change of direction (-2.1%vs-4.3%), these effects were not statistically significant (p>0.05). The finding showed using FR during compact competitions expedites physical performance recovery, increases blood lactate clearance and leads to regenerate psychological characteristics. Therefore, along with other desirable recovery strategies, the use of FR could be recommended in short-term compacted futsal tournaments.

Keywords: Football; Neuromuscular; Performance; Readiness; Well-being.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance*
  • Humans
  • Rest
  • Young Adult