All that hard work in the gym and stretching is not enough? Then, myofascial release may be the answer your muscles have been waiting for.
Myofascial release techniques provide a sustained pressure along the connective tissue, which provides a gentle release of the muscle fibers and fascia.
How to do it: You may hold gentle pressure on a certain area for at least 10 seconds or roll along the area until you feel the pain or pressure lessen. Think of these techniques similar to self-massage.
Stretching and myofascial release are both important tools to lessen pain, increase joint mobility and improve the lengthening of connective tissue. An example is utilizing myofascial release for tight calves. Myofascial release using a tennis ball or foam roller along the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) will help to lessen the tightness you may feel, improve your stride on the treadmill and allow you to sit more into your heels during squats.
Below are some examples of exercises and the muscles most needing this type of work. Try these out 3-4 times per week post-exercise in addition to your usual stretching routine: