"Working on Recovery" by Coach/Pro Triathlete Dr. Matt Hanson

Working on Recovery
 
Two common recovery methods are foam rolling and the use of compression garments such as socks and tights. I have seen more and more of these products being marketed to athletes recently. After looking into quite a few of the companies selling these products, I found only 2 that actually referenced real research findings on their websites. So I looked at the 5 most referenced articles on foam rolling/myofascial release and on compression garments with distance running or cycling subjects. Here is what I found.
 
The findings on foam rolling were pretty consistent among the different types of exercise. When used for 20-30 minutes following high intensity and/or long duration exercise, subjects experienced increased range of motion and reduced muscle soreness. The findings were a bit more inconsistent when it came to force production following the treatment Some showed no change and some studies showed an increase in force production, however no study suggested foam rolling decreases force production following treatment.
 
Compression garments were not as consistent in their findings. Wearing compression garments during exercise generally showed no improvement in anaerobic performance, aerobic performance, or team sports. While exercising in warm conditions, a few studies showed a small decrease in performance due to the decreased ability to dissipate heat. Wearing the garments post exercise did show benefits in perceived soreness and second day performance testing. One study included compression garments and ice and found that the addition of ice led to a greater reduction in muscle soreness than the compression garment alone.   
 
Two main conclusions can be drawn. First, both foam rolling and compression garments used post exercise help the athlete FEEL better. It seems pretty clear that there psychological benefits to both treatments at minimum. Second, it is probable that there are performance benefits following both treatment methods. One special note, many of these studies were performed on untrained athletes so caution must be used before taking a definitive stance. 
 
--Article written by Coach/Pro Triathlete Dr. Matt Hanson
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Archive for 01 March, 2014
Working on Recovery
 
Two common recovery methods are foam rolling and the use of compression garments such as socks and tights. I have seen more and more of these products being marketed to athletes recently. After looking into quite a few of the companies selling these products, I found only 2 that actually referenced real research findings on their websites. So I looked at the 5 most referenced articles on foam rolling/myofascial release and on compression garments with distance running or cycling subjects. Here is what I found.
 
The findings on foam rolling were pretty consistent among the different types of exercise. When used for 20-30 minutes following high intensity and/or long duration exercise, subjects experienced increased range of motion and reduced muscle soreness. The findings were a bit more inconsistent when it came to force production following the treatment Some showed no change and some studies showed an increase in force production, however no study suggested foam rolling decreases force production following treatment.
 
Compression garments were not as consistent in their findings. Wearing compression garments during exercise generally showed no improvement in anaerobic performance, aerobic performance, or team sports. While exercising in warm conditions, a few studies showed a small decrease in performance due to the decreased ability to dissipate heat. Wearing the garments post exercise did show benefits in perceived soreness and second day performance testing. One study included compression garments and ice and found that the addition of ice led to a greater reduction in muscle soreness than the compression garment alone.   
 
Two main conclusions can be drawn. First, both foam rolling and compression garments used post exercise help the athlete FEEL better. It seems pretty clear that there psychological benefits to both treatments at minimum. Second, it is probable that there are performance benefits following both treatment methods. One special note, many of these studies were performed on untrained athletes so caution must be used before taking a definitive stance. 
 
--Article written by Coach/Pro Triathlete Dr. Matt Hanson