Do foam rollers work?
When I use equipment for private sessions and classes I want to know the equipment is benefitting my clients. I know the foam roller works for me, and for my clients to enhance our workout by reducing muscle stiffness, muscle soreness, increasing joint range of movement, providing a greater challenge during some exercises and increased relaxation during relaxation exercises.
This is however purely anecdotal; one of the best ways to know whether foam rollers are more likely to work than not is to look at the weight of evidence for and against from the best quality research available. Remember a single piece of research doesn't "prove" anything, a piece of research is designed to "disprove" what's called a null hypothesis therefore it is just that a "piece" of a puzzle (a good reason to be cautious when you read that something has been "proven" to be effective). A meta-analysis is a piece of research that reviews multiple relevant research articles at high level. Effectively the meta-analysis does the work for us so we don't have to spend months evaluating the evidence available.
Wilke, Muller and Giesche et al., (2019; see research section - still being populated:-) published a meta-analysis of 26 trials showing that using a foam roller was shown more likely than not to improve joint range of motion in the subject participants of those studies. So, back to my question "do foam rollers work"? According to the weight of evidence presented in this meta-analysis foam rollers are more likely to work than not to increase joint range of motion in participants who have similar characteristics to those in the studies.
We use the long 90cm foam roller during some of our sessions. We have found reasonably priced foam rollers via Amazon which can be found in the shop area of our website; click shop to view. We earn a small commission for advertising these at no extra cost to you when items are purchased via our link. This helps support the running of our services at this trying time.
Have a great day,