T. Adams, A. Carlson, J. Hunt, H. Murphy, N. Violet, K. Witzke, FACSM

Oregon State University-Cascades, Bend, OR

In recent years dynamic stretching (DS) routines and self-myofascial release (SMR) have become popular stretching modalities. It has been suggested that both methods may be more beneficial for increasing flexibility and muscular power than traditional static modes of stretching. However, there has been limited research comparing both DS and SMR on flexibility and muscular power. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if acute self-myofascial release (SMR), and dynamic stretching (DS) has an effect on muscular power and flexibility. METHODS: Nine recreationally active subjects, four males and five females, between the ages of 18-47y, participated in the study. Subjects completed a 5-min warm-up jog prior to each testing session. Sit and reach, vertical jump, and 20-meter sprint time was recorded following one of three conditions, on separate days: no stretching (control), DS, or SMR. The DS routine lasted between 12-15 minutes and was comprised of 11 exercises that mostly targeted the lower extremities. The SMR routine lasted for 12 minutes and used five exercises with the foam roller that targeted the lower extremities. Immediately following the treatment, flexibility was measured using a sit-and-reach test, followed by muscular power using an electronic vertical jump mat and a 20-meter sprint using electronic timing gates. Data was analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA (SPSS v. 21) with post hoc analyses. RESULTS: Sprint speed was not significantly different between control, DS and SMR (p>0.05). Vertical jump height improved following DS compared to the SMR (19.0 + 4.6 in vs. 17.6 + 5.2 in; p=0.027) and control conditions (19.0 + 4.6 in vs. 18.0 + 5.11 in; p=0.047). SMR was no better than the control condition for vertical jump performance (p>0.05). Sit-and-reach flexibility was only improved following SMR compared to control (18.4 + 3.7 in vs. 17.3 + 3.7 in; p=0.044). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that DS performed immediately prior to performance involving explosive power such as vertical jump, may improve performance, but that SMR using a foam roller is better for improving static flexibility. Results from this study, however, may be limited because of outside temperatures that varied up to 30°F between testing sessions. Future research should include a larger sample size in a more controlled environment.

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