Purpose: To determine whether foam rolling (FR) alone, static stretching (SS) alone, or FR + SS together has the greater acute and long-term effect on range of motion (ROM) in individuals that have limited ankle dorsiflexion (< 20°). Ankle dorsiflexion was of interest because mobility at the ankle has strong implications for reduction of injury and performance enhancement. Background: As most individuals wish to decrease joint stiffness and enhance performance, the most effective method to do so is in question with a variety of mobility techniques available. There are several methods that are useful for improving ROM, with SS being one of the most widely used methods. A relatively new method, FR, is a form of self-myofascial release that has been increasing in popularity over the past few years. Research Design: The FR group foam rolled the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (calf); the SS group held a wall stretch for both legs; the FR + SS group combined the two. The main outcome of interest was the amount of dorsiflexion obtained from each intervention. Dorsiflexion was measured in two different methods (goniometry & dorsiflexion wall test). Subjects completed 12 sessions over six weeks (2/week for each group). Measurements were taken at baseline pre/post the first session, pre- session two of week 3, pre/post the final session at week 6, and follow-up at week 7. Conclusions: Although there were improvements within each intervention group, there were no significant differences between the intervention groups. These findings imply that each intervention (FR, SS, FR + SS) is just as effective for improving ankle mobility, reducing risk of injury, and enhancing performance.
Powell, Anfernee, "Effects of Foam Rolling and Static Stretching on Dorsiflexion of the Ankle Joint" (2022). Graduate Research Posters. 34.