Repeated foam rolling is beneficial for increasing range of motion immediately preceding a dynamic activity (strength and conditioning, sport practices and games, etc.), according to research from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Fascia is a component of connective tissue. Myofascia (which resembles a spider web or fish net) is a dense, strong, and flexible tissue that covers all muscles and bones, from head to toe.
When normal and healthy, the fascia is pliable, relaxed, and soft. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction.
When fascia becomes tight and restricted, it can compromise mobility across the entire fascial chain. This can be caused by physical trauma and inflammation — such as the “normal” micro-tears that occur in muscle — as a result of strength training and sport-specific activity.
Myofascial Release is an effective, hands-on therapy (think massage) that focuses on relaxing the deep tissue of the body, which can directly change and improve health of the fascia. The purpose of myofascial release is to break down scar tissue, relax the muscle and fascia, and restore mobility.
Although foam rolling is associated with subjective and objective improvements in range-of-motion (mobility), these effects were not necessarily seen within the first exposure. Consistent (repeated) foam rolling did, however, produce positive results.
Add foam rolling to your dynamic warmup regimen, prior to your training, practices, and games. You can incorporate it into your post-workout/practice/game routine, too.