How to Conduct Self-Myofascial Release

Are you feeling tight in certain areas or have sore spots from intense training? You might benefit from some soft tissue maintenance! What is soft tissue and why do we do this? 

Under the skin you have bone, then muscle, then fascia, and then skin on top of everything.  Fascia is the official name for soft tissue, and it is an interconnected web that keeps your body together and holds muscles and bones to each other.  When we train our muscles with intensity, the fascia gets sticky, tender, and knotted up.  This can contribute to muscle tightness and soreness, and we need to release it and untangle it by smashing it around!

The only tools you need are a foam roller and a lacrosse ball.

In general, to use these tools you need to put pressure on the places that hurt.  If you’re sore in one spot, put the tool under your body (sit on the foam roller, for example) and hold in that sore position while taking deep breaths, allowing your soft tissue to release and relax.  For a larger area like your hamstrings, you can roll your legs forward and back on top of the roller and keep trying to relax your muscles as you roll.  

The ball can be used more for trigger points- smaller points of pain and tightness like in your shoulders or pecs.  Place the ball either on the ground or on a wall and lean as much bodyweight on that sore spot as you can stand.  While pressing and trapping those muscles you can move the limb (your arm, for example) through its range of motion and release the muscles around the tight spot, allowing the soft tissue to stretch out and untangle. 

Soft tissue release can be done anytime and as often as you have sore muscles, and is an important part of self-maintenance to optimize your results! 


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