Summary of a study on the effectiveness of foam rolling or core stabilization comparing to usual training in recreational athletes.
40 recreationally active (2-3 times per week) men and women (Austria).
Randomised controlled trial.
Foam rolling (FR) group
Rolling with pressure (mild to moderate pain acceptable): calf muscles quadriceps femoris hamstrings iliotibial band and gluteal muscles 3 sets with 1-minute rest home training progression after week 4 2 sessions per week for 8 weeks
Core stabilisation (CS) group
5 exercises performed while maintaining a neutral position of the spine: front plank back bridge side plank quadruped raising arm and leg diagonally and back extension 3 sets per exercise home training progression after week 4 2 sessions per week for 8 weeks
Bourban trunk muscle strength test (strength endurance: ventral, lateral and dorsal muscle chains), standing long jump test, single-leg triple hop for distance, Y-balance test, stand and reach test
- 36/40 athletes completed the study. Intervention groups did on average 15 training sessions within 8 weeks.
- Strength endurance: dorsal TMS test result has improved in CORE group compared with no changes in FOAM and CG. No effect in ventral and lateral Bourban trunk muscle strength test was found.
- Range of motion (stand and reach test) improved in FOAM compared to CG, but no differences between FOAM and CORE and CORE and CG.
- No effect of an intervention on standing long jump and single-leg triple hop for distance.
- No effect on balance (Y-balance test).
Take home message
Junker D, Stöggl T. The training effects of foam rolling on core strength endurance, balance, muscle performance and range of motion: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of sports science & medicine. 2019 Jun;18(2):229.