A warm-up and stretching is widely accepted as a prerequisite to participation in athletics, strength training and aerobic training. The common thought to a warm-up and stretching is that it will increase performance and reduce the risk of injury (Hough, Ross & Howatson, 2009). Other common thoughts to performing a warm-up routine is to increase muscle and body temperature to increase nerve conduction velocity which in turn drives performance (Behm & Chaouchi, 2011). Many research articles have been published displaying the effects of various types of warm-ups and stretching. The two most common stretching types include static or dynamic stretching. It has been shown that performing a static stretching protocol prior to athletics is inferior to performing a dynamic warm-up routine (Behm & Chaouchi, 2011). A dynamic warm-up consists of a submaximal aerobic component as well as functional movements specific to the sport or activity and is traditionally used for athletes (Behm & Chaouchi, 2011). Studies have shown that a dynamic warm-up can improve power output and vertical jump height (Hough, Ross & Howatson, 2009).
More recently, a new type of stretching technique known as foam rolling has been increasing in popularity in athletics (Healy, Hatfield, Blanpied, Dorfman & Riebe, 2014). Foam rolling is performed by small undulated movements back and forth over a dense foam roller, using ones own bodyweight to provide friction causing a warming of the fascia (MacDonald et al, 2013). Foam rolling is thought to be used as a self-myofascial release technique to relieve soft tissue from an abnormal hold of tight fascia (Miller & Rockey, 2006). In addition, foam rolling is thought to restore optimal muscle length-tension relatio…
…in muscle activation or force. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27(3), 812-821.
Miller, J.K., & Rockey, A.M. (2006). Foam rollers show no increase in the flexibility of the hamstring muscle group. UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research IX, 1-4.
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Nuzzo, J.L., Anning, J.H., & Scharfenberg, J.M. (2011). The reliability of three devices used for measuring vertical jump height. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(9), 2580-2590.
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