The Acute Effects of Self-Myofascial Release on Fatigue-Related Impairments of Muscular Performance
Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of self-myofascial release (MFR) via foam rolling immediately following strenuous activity on acute fatiguerelated impairments of muscular performance.
Methods: Healthy male (n=16) and female (n=9) subjects volunteered for this crossover design study. Subjects visited the laboratory three separate times. During visit 1, subjects were familiarized with performance testing procedures and the self-MFR foam rolling and fatigue protocols. For visits 2 and 3, subjects were first (T1) assessed for vertical jump height, velocity and power as well as dynamic reaction time (DRT). Subjects then performed the exercise fatigue protocol followed by either a self-MFR foam rolling treatment (MFR) or seated rest (CON). Immediately after, subjects repeated the performance tests (T2).
Results: CON resulted in a significantly greater percent decline from T1-T2 for average power (p=0.03), average velocity (p=0.02) and peak power (p=0.03) than the MFR treatment. No between-treatment differences were detected for %Δ vertical jump height (p=0.14) or DRT (p=0.20). According to magnitude-based inference analysis, MFR is likely beneficial in attenuating fatigue-induced kinematic decrements (i.e. power and velocity). MFR is possibly beneficial with respect to mitigating acute fatigue-related impairment of jump height and dynamic reaction time.
Conclusion: Results demonstrate the plausible short-term benefits of foam rolling on muscular performance decrements associated with acute muscular fatigue from exercise. Foam rolling following an exercise fatigue protocol blunted attenuation of movement velocity and power during a maximum vertical jump test but failed to alter decrements in direct performance outcomes (i.e. vertical jump height and DRT). Thus, a level of uncertainty remains with respect to the efficacy by which foam rolling blunts performance impairments provoked by strenuous exercise.