Foam Rolling and Effects on Core Strength
Check out this research investigating the true benefits of foam rolling.
Researchers in this study turned to core strength endurance, balance, muscle performance and range of motion to critique the value of a foam rolling protocol on an 8-week training plan. They found foam rolling had no effect on dorsal trunk strength, muscle performance (via horizontal jump testing) and balance. However, they did find hamstring flexibility was improved by a foam rolling intervention.
Researchers found 40 active female and male participants to volunteer for this study. They set up two groups: a foam rolling group (FR) and a core stabilization group (CG).
Participants completed baseline testing including:
- Bourban trunk muscle test
- Standing long jump
- Single leg triple hop for distance (muscle performance)
- Y-balance test (balance)
- Stand and reach test (flexibility).
Participants were given an 8 week, twice per week, progressive training plan whereby they recorded daily RPE. They were sent back for testing following the 8 weeks of work.
Here’s how the FR protocols were structured:
- Calf muscles
- Quadriceps femoris
- Gluteal muscles
Participants were instructed to apply pressure associated with mild to moderate pain (7 out of 10).
Improving range of motion, as shown by the improvements to flexibility, confirm the value of an FR protocol.
However, there’s still much to be done to determine the optimal training parameters and protocols of FR. Research that focuses on training periods, sessions/week, training time and sets could unpack benefits to core strength, balance and muscle performance not demonstrated here.
Want to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of foam rolling? Check out this article from Healthy But Smart.