A single bout of foam rolling increases flexibility of the hip adductor muscles without compromising strength

Gavin Connolly, Roger L. Hammer, Joseph A. Powell, Paul L. O’connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Foam rolling (FR) is a method of self-myofascial release (SMR) implemented to reduce tension in underlying soft tissue, leading to increased range of motion (ROM). The hip adductor muscles of the groin are commonly less flexible and often a site for soft tissue injuries. Limited research has been done to determine the most effective flexibility exercises to increase ROM in the groin muscles prior to exercise without comprising strength. The purpose was to determine the effect of an acute bout of FR on passive groin flexibility and strength. Randomized crossover study with 3 X 2 (Condition X Time) repeated measures ANOVA statistical design. 40 volunteers (n = 20 males; n = 20 females) with limited flexibility in groin ROM participated. Following warm-up, maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) and static ROM were measured pre and postintervention. Conditions included 60 seconds of FR, SS, and CON. The Condition X Time interaction was not significant for MVC or ROM. A main effect of time showed a significant increase in ROM from pre to post for FR (1.2°, p < 0.001), SS (1.0°, p < 0.001), and CON (0.5°, p = 0.039). No significant changes in MVC were observed for FR from pre to post (p < 0.05), whereas SS and CON both increased (p < 0.05). An increase in passive groin ROM after acute bouts of SMR or SS without compromising MVC was observed. This suggests that 60 seconds of FR may be employed before exercise to improve flexibility without strength decrement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938-949
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Exercise Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2020


  • Groin muscles
  • Maximal force output
  • Range of motion
  • Self-myofascial release


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