I highly recommend you work the knots out of your muscles using a foam roller, especially if you’re an active individual. I had been bicycling for years and didn’t even realize the hundreds of knots that had accumulated in my quadriceps and calves until I tried this for the first time. Not to mention the amount of relief and release it created in the mid to upper back!
What is a muscle “knot”?
A muscle knot is technically known as a trigger point. It’s a small group of muscle fibers that have contracted locally in one spot amidst a much larger muscle bundle or muscle spindle. It usually occurs from chronically overusing a muscle.
What’s the problem with knots? Anytime there is any compression of a muscle, the blood vessels compress and that shuts the flow of blood (and oxygen). That’s why you can’t indefinitely keep lifting something up with your arm and eventually need to relax. Wherever there is a knot, the muscle fiber is chronically constricted, consuming energy and the lack of oxygenated blood flow causes waste products such as lactic acid to build up and the waste products cannot leave since the blood flow is decreased. This causes knots/trigger points to remain very tight and painful when massaged.
Anyway, whats the point of this? How do we get rid of these knots?
The problem with these knots is that stretching may not get rid of all these knots as effectively as we would like. Deep Tissue Massage works best but most people can’t afford a massage regularly! Luckily, there is a form of self-myofascial release that you could do yourself using a foam roller that is actually quite inexpensive and incredibly effective!
Grab this ridiculous foam roller that’ll last forever
You see this foam roller on the right? This thing is absolutely ridiculous. It’s called the Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller and for $40-shipped, I got rid of all the knots on my entire upper back and legs. I feel so incredibly loose afterwards. It’s like giving yourself a massage every time. It’s painful at first, but the pain lessens with each subsequent session and the areas feel so much more flexible.
Note: When I first ran the foam roller along my back for the first time, it got rid of so many knots I didn’t even know existed. Being a regular cyclist for over five years now, the amount of knots I had built up in my quadriceps were innumerable and I had no idea.
If you are on a tight budget, don’t get the cheaper foam roller. Just save up a little longer. Trust.
I’ve tried this j/fit foam roller as it was only $20 instead of the $33 but it wasn’t very good, at all. I wouldn’t be impressed with foam rollers if this is what they were like. It barely works and it’s absolutely nothing like the trigger point brand.
Here’s my video tutorial for using the foam roller
Want more? Download this manual that explains how to release the knots for every muscle in perfect detail!
I found this manual online that explains in detail how to perform Self Myofascial Release for every muscle and what tool to use. Most of them call for a foam roller but some of them can also be done with a lacrosse ball or a stick, which I will make videos for in the future as well.
Hope that helps!