A recent systematic literature review, published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, suggests there is strong evidence for a short-term increase in ankle dorsiflexion range of motion after a single application of foam rolling (FR) in a healthy population. Furthermore, some of the evidence suggests that FR may be a more suitable alternative to static stretching prior to athletic activity because it may not reduce calf complex force output. In comparison, the review suggests conclusions on long-term effects cannot be drawn due to lack of evidence and differences in previous literature.
Source: Grieve R, Byrne B, Clements C, Davies L-J, Durrant E, Kitchen O. The effects of foam rolling on ankle dorsiflexion range of motion in healthy adults: A systematic literature review. J Bodywork Movement Therapies. 2022;30:53-59.