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 (2023) 22, 180 - 188   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2023.180

Research article
Are Acute Effects of Foam-Rolling Attributed to Dynamic Warm Up Effects? A Comparative Study
Konstantin Warneke1,2, José Carlos Aragão-Santos2,3, Shahab Alizadeh2,4, Mahdi Bahrami2, Saman Hadjizadeh Anvar2, Andreas Konrad5, David G. Behm2, 
Author Information
1 Institute for Exercise, Sport and Health, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
2 School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
3 Health Sciences Graduate Program, Federal University of Sergipe, São Cristóvão, Brazil
4 Department for Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Canada
5 Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport and Health, University of Graz, Graz, Austria

David G. Behm
✉ School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Email: dbehm@mun.ca
Publish Date
Received: 02-02-2023
Accepted: 09-03-2023
Published (online): 01-06-2023
 
 
ABSTRACT

Over the last decade, acute increases in range of motion (ROM) in response to foam rolling (FR) have been frequently reported. Compared to stretching, FR-induced ROM increases were not typically accompanied by a performance (e.g., force, power, endurance) deficit. Consequently, the inclusion of FR in warm-up routines was frequently recommended, especially since literature pointed out non-local ROM increases after FR. However, to attribute ROM increases to FR it must be ensured that such adaptations do not occur as a result of simple warm-up effects, as significant increases in ROM can also be assumed as a result of active warm-up routines. To answer this research question, 20 participants were recruited using a cross-over design. They performed 4x45 seconds hamstrings rolling under two conditions; FR, and sham rolling (SR) using a roller board to imitate the foam rolling movement without the pressure of the foam rolling. They were also tested in a control condition. Effects on ROM were tested under passive, active dynamic as well as ballistic conditions. Moreover, to examine non-local effects the knee to wall test (KtW) was used. Results showed that both interventions provided significant, moderate to large magnitude increases in passive hamstrings ROM and KtW respectively, compared to the control condition (p = 0.007-0.041, d = 0.62-0.77 and p = 0.002-0.006, d = 0.79-0.88, respectively). However, the ROM increases were not significantly different between the FR and the SR condition (p = 0.801, d = 0.156 and p = 0.933, d = 0.09, respectively). No significant changes could be obtained under the active dynamic (p = 0.65) while there was a significant decrease in the ballistic testing condition with a time effect (p < 0.001). Thus, it can be assumed that potential acute increases in ROM cannot be exclusively attributed to FR. It is therefore speculated that warm up effects could be responsible independent of FR or imitating the rolling movement, which indicates there is no additive effect of FR or SR to the dynamic or ballistic range of motion.

Key words: Range of motion, flexibility, passive, warm-up, hamstrings


           Key Points
  • This study demonstrated a significant increase in passive hip flexion range of motion and ankle dorsiflexion range of motion in response to 4x45 seconds of foam rolling, but also for sham rolling
  • There were no significant increases in active dynamic as well as ballistic hip flexion range of motion in response to the intervention
  • There was no significant difference in responses between the foam rolling and sham rolling interventions, therefore, it is concluded that acute range of motion increases cannot be exclusively attributed to the foam rolling intervention.
 
 
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