David Behm PhD, and Duane Button PhD, both with Memorial University in Newfoundland Canada, are the leading researchers in myofascial rolling. Their experiments were the first to quantify improvements in range of motion from myofascial rolling. I’ve written about their research in 2 previous blog posts:
- Roller Massager increases flexibility in seconds without impairing performance
- Can Foam Rolling Increase Flexibility?
They have completed a short video discussing and demonstrating their research methods and outcomes. Their methodology in maintining consistent roller massager pressure between subjects is quite impressive!
Their research supports the efficacy of the Thera-Band Roller Massager Plus and Foam Rollers in improving flexibility of the muscles of the lower extremity. More importantly, these changes occur within seconds and do not affect muscular performance. This is great news for athletes who want to quickly increase their range of motion before participation without the decremental effects of static stretching. Furthermore, Drs. Behm & Button’s research is starting to help us understand the mechanism behind myofascial rolling, suggesting that these techniques truly affect the non-contractile components of muscle rather than the contractile components.
And stay tuned for this spoiler alert: they are about to have another paper on myofascial rolling and muscle soreness published in the ACSM’s Exercise Science in Sports and Exercise! Look for that blog coming soon.