Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2021) 20, 535 - 545   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2021.535

Review article
The Accumulated Effects of Foam Rolling Combined with Stretching on Range of Motion and Physical Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Andreas Konrad1, , Masatoshi Nakamura2, Daniel Bernsteiner1, Markus Tilp1
Author Information
1 Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport and Health, Graz University, Austria
2 Institute for Human Movement and Medical Sciences, Niigata University of Health and Welfare, Niigata, Japan

Andreas Konrad
‚úČ BSc MSc Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport and Health, University of Graz, Mozartgasse 14, A-8010 Graz, Austria
Email: andreas.konrad@uni-graz.at
Publish Date
Received: 18-06-2021
Accepted: 21-06-2021
Published (online): 01-07-2021
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ABSTRACT

Although it is well known that both stretching and foam rolling can acutely increase the range of motion (ROM) and affect performance, the effects of a combined treatment (foam rolling and stretching) are not yet clear. Hence, the purpose of this meta-analysis was to compare the combined effect to that of stretching or foam rolling alone on both ROM and performance. We assessed the effect of a combined treatment on ROM and compared it to the effect of stretching, foam rolling, and a control condition by applying a random-effect meta-analysis. We also applied the same model to compare the effect of the combined treatment on performance. Moreover, by applying a mixed-effect model, we performed subgroup analyses with the stretching technique, type of foam rolling, tested muscles, type of task, and the order of the combined treatment. We found a significant overall effect on ROM change when comparing the combined treatment with the control condition (effect size (ES) = -0.332); however, no significant effect was found when comparing it to stretching (ES = 0.032) or foam rolling alone (ES = -0.225). The meta-analysis revealed no significant overall effect on performance when the combined treatment was compared to stretching alone (ES = -0.029). However, the subgroup analysis for performance revealed a superior effect for the combined treatment compared to stretching alone, but only if foam rolling was followed by stretching (ES = -0.17), and not vice versa. Athletes do not have to combine stretching with foam rolling since no additional effect was observed. However, to increase performance, the combination of foam rolling followed by stretching can lead to greater improvements.

Key words: Roller massage, stretching, myofascial release, strength, jump, power


           Key Points
  • This is the first meta-analysis to have compared the combined effects of foam rolling and stretching with the effects of stretching or foam rolling alone.
  • The meta-analysis revealed a significant overall effect on ROM of the combined treatment when compared to no intervention.
  • The results showed no favorable effect on ROM or performance when compared to the effect of stretching or foam rolling alone.
  • The subgroup analysis revealed that, if the goal is to increase performance, the combination of foam rolling followed by stretching (but not vice versa) should be favored compared to stretching alone.
 
 
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