Do your muscles get tight and sore after a demanding dance class or gym session? Don’t have the time to pop in for a massage? Try some DIY myofascial release techniques that have a strong evidence base for success!
What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release is a soft tissue treatment technique used to release muscle tension and aid stiffness and pain. It not only relaxes your muscles, but increases the blood flow to the tissues and improves lymphatic drainage of fluid. It can also increase the stretch reflex in muscles. Myotherapists, massage therapist and physiotherapists regularly use this technique as part of therapy.
How can I do this myself?
These days it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 to free your muscles from tension at home:
1) FOAM ROLLER: this is the most common way to release your muscles. All you have to do is simply lie on the roller over the area you wish to release and roll up and down! Check out this video for some ideas on what to do
2) SPIKEY BALL: this is a great way to get into the smaller muscles, especially those of the hip and shoulder regions. This type of release can be a more localised technique. In many cases, you will be releasing trigger points in the muscle. Use it on the floor or against the wall!
3) BE INVENTIVE: you can use almost anything to release muscle tension! If you don’t have a foam roller, try a rolling pin to roll on your legs. If you don’t have a spiky ball, try leaning on a yoga block. If it feels good, it’s probably right!