Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Olufemi A. Oluyedun, Kinesiology

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Foam rollers are used frequently as tools by health professionals and athletes to increase joint range of motion, tissue temperature, and blood flow, providing myofascial relief to areas targeted by the user. Standard foam rollers have been the subject of many studies, with limited work regarding foam rolling of the spine, despite this technique being a common practice among athletes. The chirp wheel is a foam rolling product with a groove down the middle, made to increase pressure on deep back muscles which may act to decrease muscle tension and soreness while optimizing perceived recovery. To our knowledge, this is the first study examining the effectiveness of the chirp wheel. Hope College football players were recruited to take part in this 4-week, 5-session counterbalanced study. The first data session consisted of participant information collection and familiarization while the final four sessions involved weightlifting regimens followed by structured recovery and sit and reach tests. Recovery treatments included the application of either a standard foam roller, chirp wheel, or yoga block to muscles in the gluteal, lumbar, thoracic, cervical, and full back regions. Additionally, in each session perceived relief was recorded immediately after working out, post-treatment (standard foam roller, chirp wheel, or yoga block), and 24 hours after the session. The yoga block was used as a placebo to reduce expectancy error. It was hypothesized that the chirp wheel would provide the greatest increase in lumbar flexion and perceived relief, followed by the standard foam roller and yoga block conditions. Significant results would validate company claims regarding the chirp wheel and would support the preferential use of the chirp wheel in foam rolling of the back. This study is ongoing, results will be available during the celebration.


This research was supported by the Hope College Department of Kinesiology.

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Kinesiology Commons