You Foam Roll, You Move Better
A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research confirms that an acute bout of Self Myofascial Release (foam rolling) on the quadriceps enhances knee joint range of motion without impairing muscle performance. What this could mean for you is that your training performance could increase during bouts of resistance exercise. A perfect exercise example would be the barbell squat because the quadriceps are heavily engaged during the lowering and rising phase of the movement. If you’re someone that is overly quadriceps dominant, consider adding foam rolling along with some dynamic mobility drills prior to your resistance training session to get the most out of your lower body exercises.
Most trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, and physical therapists utilize this practice but this is just further evidence as to why you should be working on your mobility and flexibility to keep the sliding surfaces of fascia between muscles and skin running smoothly. My clients that have jobs which require long periods of sitting know to foam roll prior to sessions beginning because they realize the quadriceps, particularly the rectus femoris, becomes overly active in a hip flexed (seated) position.
Typically, I recommend a wide variety of tools to my clients to incorporate into their regular mobility practices. These tools can range anywhere from foam rollers, massage peanuts, myofascial release sticks, therapy bands, or full mobility kits. There are a lot of options to choose from so the price ranges vary. Use what works best for you and your budget. Keep in mind this is just my strong suggestion especially if your goal is to improve full range of motion at the joints. Look for upcoming segments and videos in the near future with demonstrations for each type of mobility tool!