What you do between workouts can be just as important as what you do during them, and whether it’s post-workout stretching, adequate sleep or finding care at the hands of a physical therapist, there are a ton of ways to take care of your body between training days. One of those ways is with myofascial release, also known as trigger point rolling.
To describe it in simple terms, trigger point rolling is basically a deep-tissue massage you give to yourself, using a trigger point ball. The idea is to break down muscle scar tissue build-up from training, overuse, dehydration or injuries, by slowly kneading out the knots using small, circular motions. Trigger point balls and accessories can be purchased at health and sporting goods stores or online. But hey, even a tennis ball will do the trick.
HOW TO: Do these five lower body exercises 3-5 times per week, post-workout or on rest days. Do two rounds of each exercise and take your time. Myofascial release, although highly effective for getting those knots out, can be uncomfortable. Go slowly and work within your body’s threshold–don’t force it. Go through the following exercises mindfully.

Psoas Release

Set up: Lie on your stomach and place the ball beside and slightly below the belly button, near your hip bone. Let your body weight bear down on the ball and lie still for a few breaths.
Action: Bend your knee (same side as the ball), and then straighten it, continuing this motion until the area feels less painful. Then rotate your leg back and forth to target the psoas even more.

Glutes Release

Set up: Place the ball to the outside of your sitting bone on the right side. Sit on the ball with your knees bent and apply as much pressure using your body weight as you can handle.
Action: Once you’ve found the tender point in your glutes, slowly rotate your hip (same side as the ball) internally and externally several times until the tension subsides.

ITB Release

Set up: Place the ball near your hip along your pelvis, where your lower back and glutes meet. Lie on the ball on your side and apply as much pressure as you can handle using your body weight.
Action: Bend your opposite leg and rotate it towards the ground, turning over onto your front allowing the ball to roll along your pelvis into the area where your hip flexor meets. As you roll, oscillate back and forth over the tender area until the discomfort subsides.


Set up: Lie on your stomach with the ball under your quad, just above your knee cap. Place as much pressure onto the ball using your body weight as is comfortable.
Action: Bend your knee and then extend it to massage the area. Once the area is less tender, move the ball towards the outside of your quad and  repeat.


Set up: In a seated position on a chair, box or bench, place the ball along the fleshy part of your hamstring or where the muscle is  most tender. Apply as much body weight pressure as you can handle.
Action: Lift your leg to extend your knee, then flex it, keeping the ball in the same place as you do this. Once the tenderness subsides, move to another point and repeat.
Written by Sandy Braz, Deputy Editor  |  Routine and demonstration by Amanda Kotel,
B.Sc Exercise Science, CPT  | 
Photography by Dave Laus
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