Foam rolling and tissue flossing of the triceps surae muscle: an acute effect on Achilles tendon stiffness, jump height and sprint performance – a randomized controlled trial
Authors: Sebastian Klich 1, Malgorzata Smoter 2, Kamil Michalik 3, Bartlomiej Bogdanski 4, Juan Antonio Valera Calero 5, 6, Filipe Manuel Clemente 7, 8, 9, Piotr Makar 10, Dariusz Mroczek 3
- Department of Paralympic Sport, Wroclaw University of Health and Sport Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
- Department of Basics of Physiotherapy, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Gdansk, Poland
- Department of Human Motor Skills, Wroclaw University of Health and Sport Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
- Physiotherapy Center “KliniKa Ruchu”, Sobotka, Poland
- Department of Physiotherapy, Universidad Camilo Jose Cela, Madrid, Spain
- VALTRADOFI Research Group, Department of Physiotherapy, Universidad Camilo Jose Cela, Madrid, Spain
- Escola Superior Desporto e Lazer, Instituto Politecnico de Viana do Castelo, Rua Escola Industrial e Comercial de Nun’Alvares, Viana do Castelo, Portugal
- Research Center in Sports Performance, Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Recreation, Melgaco, Portugal
- Instituto de Telecomunicacoes Delegacao da Covilha, Lisboa, Portugal
- Department of Swimming, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Gdansk, Poland
Journal: Research in Sports Medicine - September 2022 (DOI: 10.1080/15438627.2022.2125317)
Field & Applications:
- Treatment evaluation
- Warm-up / Recovery
- Muscle development / Performance
This study aimed to investigate an acute effect of foam rolling and tissue flossing of the Triceps Surae muscle on Achilles tendon stiffness, jump height and sprint performance at different time points.
The participants were academic athletes (n = 32) aged between 22 and 24 years; randomly allocated into two groups: foam rolling (ROLL) and tissue flossing (FLOSS). The participants were tested at baseline and 5-min, 15-min, 30-min, 45-min, and 60-min after ROLL and FLOSS for Achilles tendon stiffness (ATstiffeness) at three reference locations: (1) tendon’s origin, (2) ankle joint height and (3) intermuscular septum of the gastronomies muscle; countermovement jump (CMJ); and sprint performance at 15-m (SPRINT15 m).
The analysis of stiffness revealed a significant decrease in ATstiffness from baseline to Post-60 (p ≤ 0.001) for three locations in the FLOSS group (p ≤ 0.001). In FLOSS, a significant increase was observed from Post-15 to Post-60 (all p≤0.001) in CMJ. We found also a significant decrease in SPRINT15 m in FLOSS in all-time points (p ≤ 0.001), however, SPRINT15 m decreased in Post-5 min, Post-15 min, and Post-30 min (p ≤ 0.001 for all) in ROLL.
The current study suggested that both groups enhanced performance up to 60 min after the intervention, caused by mitigating excessive stiffness.
Keywords: lower extremity, prevention, myofascial release, injury, athletic performance
The present study showed that tissue flossing can be an effective SMR method in decreasing tissue stiffness while contributing indirectly to increasing performance. The tissue flossing application might be used 15 min before the sprint and 30 min before the CMJ. Additionally, foam rolling may decrease excessive stiffness and might influence performance. Future studies are crucial to investigate the physiological mechanisms of foam rolling and tissue flossing.