What’s This Research About?

This study examined how foam rolling (FR), a common practice in rehab and fitness, affects muscle tightness and strength. It reviewed extensive research on healthy adults or athletes to see if foam rolling helps loosen muscles and makes them stronger. 

It found that while foam rolling can make the muscles that straighten the knee (knee extensors) work better, it doesn’t seem to loosen muscles or improve overall muscle strength significantly. The results were mixed: some studies found benefits, while others did not.

Because of these mixed results, the study suggests that we can’t say for sure if foam rolling is effective for these purposes. It calls for more thorough research to better understand foam rolling’s effects on muscle tightness and strength.

Recent reviews have looked into how foam rolling affects flexibility, recovery, and sports performance, but there’s still a lot we don’t understand, especially about how foam rolling before exercising affects muscle stiffness and strength. This is why this review focuses on the immediate effects of foam rolling on muscle stiffness and strength in healthy people or athletes.

Person foam rolling the calf

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