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Foam Rolling for Performance and Recovery

by Sean Kratchman
Personal Training Quarterly February 2015
Vol 2, Issue 3

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Self-myofascial release (SMR) through the use of foam rolling or other implements is a time and cost-efficient method of increasing performance and recovery.

Foam rollers and massage sticks have increased in popularity in the fitness industry and are often recommended by strength and conditioning professionals. There is evidence that shows positive effects of foam rolling on range of motion (ROM), recovery, and performance.

Despite its effectiveness, the mechanisms as to how foam rolling works are not fully understood. However, it is likely that acute responses in foam rolling are similar to those elicited by manual therapy, which are thought to be neurophysiological in origin.

Many different health professionals including physical therapists, athletic trainers, and massage therapists use foam rolling clinically. However, foam rollers and massage sticks allow individuals to apply manual therapy on themselves, making them portable and affordable forms of therapy. 

This article originally appeared in Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ)—a quarterly publication for NSCA Members designed specifically for the personal trainer. Discover easy-to-read, research-based articles that take your training knowledge further with Nutrition, Programming, and Personal Business Development columns in each quarterly, electronic issue. Read more articles from PTQ »

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Sean Kratchman is currently in his senior year of undergraduate studies at Georgetown College, where he is pursuing an exercise science degree. He pla...

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