Acute effects of deep tissue foam rolling and dynamic stretching on muscular strength, power, and flexibility
A new study evaluated self myofascial release using foam rollers on sports performance of elite sportsperson of Division 1 Lineman Rugby players in the USA. The study evaluated the acute effects of a single-bout of lower extremity self-myofascial release using a custom deep tissue roller (DTR) and a dynamic stretch protocol. Subjects consisted of NCAA Division 1 offensive linemen (n = 14) at a Midwestern university.
A randomized crossover design was used to assess each dependent variable (vertical jump [VJ] power and velocity, knee isometric torque, and hip range of motion was assessed before and after: [a] no treatment, [b] deep tissue foam rolling, and [c] dynamic stretching).
Results showed no significant differences in pre- and post-treatment tests among the groups for VJ peak power, VJ average power, VJ peak velocity, VJ average velocity, peak knee extension torque, average knee extension torque , peak knee flexion torque , or average knee flexion torque. However, hip flexibility was statistically significant when tested after both dynamic stretching and foam rolling.
The authors concluded that there is no change in strength or power, however, there is increased flexibility after DTR which may be used interchangeably with traditional stretching exercises.
Running exercise strengthens the intervertebral disc
There is currently no evidence that the intervertebral discs (IVDs) can respond positively to exercise in humans. Some authors have argued that IVD metabolism in humans is too slow to respond anabolically to exercise within the human lifespan.
In a new research from Deakin University in Vicoria, Australia, the authors show that chronic running exercise in men and women is associated with better IVD composition (hydration and proteoglycan content) and with IVD hypertrophy. Via quantitative assessment of physical activity, they further find that accelerations at fast walking and slow running (2 m/s), but not high-impact tasks, lower intensity walking or static positions, correlated to positive IVD characteristics.
These findings represent the first evidence in humans that exercise can be beneficial for the IVD and provide support for the notion that specific exercise protocols may improve IVD material properties in the spine.