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Myofascial Release vs. Dynamic Stretching for Improved Performance

There’s some debate about which protocol—myofascial release or dynamic stretching—is best for improving muscular strength, flexibility and power. A new study contributes to that discussion.

The crossover study included 14 NCAA Division I football offensive linemen who were tested on vertical jump power and velocity, knee isometric torque and hip range of motion. Subjects performed tests at baseline and after completing the following protocols: no treatment control, deep-tissue foam rolling (DTR) and dynamic stretching.

So, which of the two “treatment” options came out on top? Neither, said
the scientists. In analyzing post-intervention performance data, they found no improvements in vertical jump power and velocity or knee torque.

“However hip flexibility was statistically significant when tested after both dynamic stretching and foam rolling,” the authors noted. “While
no changes in strength or power were evident, . . . DTR may be used interchangeably with traditional stretching exercises [for increased flexibility].”

The study was published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2015; doi: 10.1519/ JSC.0000000000001051).

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