Effect of Varying Self-myofascial Release Duration on Subsequent Athletic Performance

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Phillips, J, Diggin, D, King, DL, and Sforzo, GA. Effect of varying self-myofascial release duration on subsequent athletic performance. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2018—Self-myofascial release (SMR) treatments can enhance joint range-of-motion and restore movement function. The effects of different SMR durations on athletic performance have yet to be examined. Twenty-four volunteers had ankle and knee joint range-of-motion assessed using modified weight-bearing and kneeling lunge (KL) tests. Vertical jump and pro-agility sprint performance were also examined. All tests were conducted before and immediately after 1 (SMR_1) and 5 minutes (SMR_5) of foam rolling, and immediately after a control (CONTR) condition. Results showed KL scores increased after SMR_5 (16.4%; effect size [ES] = 0.85) when compared with SMR_1 (12.5%; ES = 0.58). Weight-bearing lunge scores showed little change after either SMR treatment. The CONTR condition exhibited little effect on joint range-of-motion. Vertical jump performance decreased after SMR_5 (5.1%; ES = 0.26) but changed little after SMR_1 (0.7%; ES = 0.03) and CONTR (1.9%; ES = 0.10) conditions. Pro-agility performance improved slightly after SMR_1 (1.1%) but deteriorated after CONTR (1.2%) and SMR_5 (0.5%). Effect size calculations for changes in pro-agility sprint times were trivial across all conditions (0.06–0.15). Data suggest that extended periods of SMR may be recommended, should improvements in joint range-of-motion be required. If power output is a critical requirement of subsequent exercise/performance tasks, prolonged SMR treatment (i.e., 5 minutes) should be avoided. Practitioners should be cautious when implementing SMR treatments within warm-ups.

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