If there’s one thing we get excited about at Travel Roller, it’s good science. Yes, that sounds dorky, we know. But if you lay down a peer-reviewed, properly researched and well-written study in front of us… well, you just made yourself some friends.
That is why we were pumped to read this article, An acute bout of self‐myofascial release increases range of motion without a subsequent decrease in neuromuscular performance, the first peer-reviewed study examining the effects of foam rolling.
The entire article isn’t available online yet but here is the abstract can tell you the most important part. Myofascial release did not decrease muscle activation or force. In layman’s terms: Foam rolling doesn’t make you weak.
Why is that a big deal? Because for years scientists thought self-massage slowed your muscle response. That hypothesis was based on old research investigating the effects of massage on spinal motorneuron excitability. Disputing that old research with good, solid science is a big step for the strength and conditioning world! It also means using the good old Travel Roller isn’t going to hinder your performance (no offense to the researchers but we could’ve told you that before).
Regardless, it’s good science and great research. For an in-depth and very readable look at the study you should have a glance at “The Glute Guy” Bret Contreras’ blog about it here.
Now we’re off to go read some science journals…right after we cook up some hard-boiled eggs and prune juice!