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Effects of foam rolling and CORE training in adult recreational athletes

Summary of a study on the effectiveness of foam rolling or core stabilization comparing to usual training in recreational athletes.

Who

40 recreationally active (2-3 times per week) men and women (Austria).

Foam rolling (FR) group
14 athletes aged 30.5 (±10.2)
Core stabilisation (CS) group
14 athletes aged 28.2 (±7.8)
Control group
12 athletes aged 29.1 (±6.9)

Design

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

Control group

usual training

Outcome measures/tests

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

Main results

  • 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

For a clinician
Strength endurance improved with CORE training and range of motion improved in FOAM rolling group in adult recreational athletes.
For a parent
Adult recreational athletes can improve their strength endurance with specific CORE training and range of motion with a specific protocol of foam rolling.
For an athlete
If you are an adult recreational athlete, you could improve your strength endurance with specific CORE training and your range of motion with a specific protocol of foam rolling.

Original article

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.

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