DOES FOAM ROLLING MAKE ME MORE FLEXIBLE?
This is one of the more controversial topics when it comes to the benefits of foam rolling, as much of the research demonstrating this effect has yielded mixed results. This is in part due to the inconsistent application of foam rollers, and the different body parts assessed in the studies. So we're going to go out on a limb and say, "yes...and no".
If you think that a foam roller is physically changing the structure or elongating your muscle, you're probably wrong. Research shows that to break down scar tissue or to manipulate fascia, an extremely high force is needed. Rather, what foam rolling is great at is making sure your muscles are in a healthy operating state (see above).
As compression is applied during your rolling session, the targeted area relaxes and muscular tissue regains its appropriate range of motion and structural integrity. Rather than giving you super-human flexibility, foam rolling essentially takes you back to your flexibility baseline. When foam rolling (or any form of self-myofascial release, "SMFR," like using a massage stick or getting a sports massage) is immediately paired with appropriate mobility drills and strengthening exercises, the combination can yield flexibility benefits. So make sure you're combining some stretching on your roller as well!