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🔥🔥 SMR (self-myofascial release) is popular among athletes and rehab specialists to improve ROM, performance and decrease recovery time by attenuating the symptoms of DOMS. However, does the science back this up, see if using a foam roller is worthwhile.

Does foam rolling help increase ROM?- Yes (short term); Looking at a review study of the effects of foam rolling showed that rolling had an acute effect on increasing ROM. However, some studies showed a return to original ROM within a week. It is also worth mentioning that foam rolling in combination with static stretching had greater increases in ROM than stretching alone(Cheatham et al 2015). It may be useful to you to include foam rolling in your stretching regime if your goal is to increase your ROM.

foam roller
👉🏻 foam roller

Does it decrease soreness post workout? Maybe (leaning towards yes); 3 studies compared the effects of foam rolling on soreness and post workout performance and two of the studies showed a statistical improvement in pain reduction and performance post foam rolling. So, based on the results it may be beneficial to foam roll post to reduce muscle soreness. Also, worth mentioning is that pre-exercise foam rolling does not improve performance.

How long should you foam roll for? The research suggests that foam rolling for 2-5 sets for between 30 sec to 1 min is beneficial for increasing your ROM this may vary between individuals of course. Who uses a foam roller, have you noticed any benefits?

Foam rolling most likely works through a neurological path decrease the myofascial tone temporary through some sort of inhibitory process. It does not break up fascial adhesions or muscles knots. Research has shown those may take up to 9000 Newtons of force to have any change which is equivalent to 2000 pounds.

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