Effects of 5-Week Foam Rolling Intervention on Range of Motion and Muscle Stiffness

J Strength Cond Res. 2022 Jul 1;36(7):1890-1895. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003757. Epub 2020 Oct 9.


Kiyono, R, Onuma, R, Yasaka, K, Sato, S, Yahata, K, and Nakamura, M. Effects of 5-week foam rolling intervention on range of motion and muscle stiffness. J Strength Cond Res 36(7): 1890-1895, 2022-In clinical and sports settings, foam rolling (FR) intervention is widely used to increase the range of motion (ROM). However, the chronic effects of FR on ROM and muscle stiffness are unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 5-week FR intervention on dorsiflexion ROM (DFROM) and shear elastic modulus of the medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscle. Accordingly, 30 healthy young adults were enrolled and randomly assigned to either the FR or control group with the former receiving 90 seconds of FR thrice per week over 5 weeks. Thereafter, DFROM, passive torque at DFROM, and shear elastic modulus of the MG during passive ankle dorsiflexion were assessed using a dynamometer and ultrasonography before and after 5 weeks. Our results showed that the FR group exhibited a significant increase in DFROM (Δ = 11.7%, p < 0.05, effect size = 0.39), but no changes in passive torque at DFROM, and shear elastic modulus at 0° and 10° dorsiflexion. Moreover, significant correlations were observed between change in DFROM and change in passive torque at DFROM in the FR group (rs = 0.607, p = 0.016). These results suggested that FR was an effective method to increase DFROM given its ability to change passive torque at DFROM (stretch tolerance) without altering muscle stiffness.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Elastic Modulus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises*
  • Muscle, Skeletal* / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscle, Skeletal* / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Torque
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult