3 Ways To Remove Muscle Knots And Become Pain Free For Life

March 25, 2014 | 3 Comments

If you’ve been exercising, especially weight lifting for any extended period of time, then you’re eventually going to get that feeling. That feeling you get when you know something isn’t quite right with your body. That feeling in your muscles and tendons where things just feel… off.

Without getting all scientific on you guys, simply think of your muscles like pieces of string, and over time, little tiny knots form in these strings. If you don’t deal with these knots, then you’re going to feel it. You’re going to feel off balanced and your entire body is going to feel stiff and immobile.

So how exactly do you remove muscle knots and become pain free for life? Good question.

Cute baby
What does this picture have to do with muscle knots? Absolutely nothing, but everyone likes cute dirty babies, right?

Here are my top 3 ways to remove muscle knots:

1) MRT

MRT stands for myofacial release therapy(yeah… sounds pretty badass). It’s basically a massage where the therapist digs their fingers deep inside of you to target the “knots” in your muscles, and basically makes you feel like a million bucks. I’ve never personally done MRT, but I’ve had a friend who has, and while he said it hurt like a bitch, he felt absolutely incredible after.

While MRT definitely works and can make you feel incredible, please keep in mind that it isn’t the cheapest thing in the world. My friend spent $150 for a 1 hour session.

Also, be sure to find a professionally licensed therapist that actually specializes in MRT. I know we all want sexy 40 year old cougars to massage us, but that’s not the world we live in. Try and find a professional and reputable therapist who actually knows what the hell they’re doing.

2) Foam roller

Using a foam roller is probably the most well known and effective self-treatment option. It’s a lot cheaper than MRT and can typically be just as effective if you know what you’re doing.

Now, I’m not going to even try to explain to you guys how to properly use a foam roller. I can use it myself just fine, but I am just flat out bad when it comes to coordinating someone else’s body in written words, and I don’t want to be responsible if you hit some super sensitive nerve and become paralyzed from the waist down(just kidding, that won’t happen… I hope). So now, I’ll direct you to an awesome article written by Eric Cressey over at TNation about all the various movements you can do with a foam roller.

Some notes about foam rollers:

– So how often should I be foam rolling? Well… I suggest foam rolling every day. I know that sounds like a lot, but each session shouldn’t last more than 10 minutes, and it doesn’t take much energy to do it.

– Be sure to invest in a high quality foam roller. Your local gym may have one, but those are typically dirty, smelly, and low quality. A good foam roller will typically run you between $20-30 dollars. You can buy good foam roller here.

3) Tennis ball

If you’re not into grinding on top of giant pieces of foam, then another popular method is to use a tennis ball. Tennis balls are used to hit more specific areas of your body that foam rollers can’t reach, such as your glutes. Tennis balls are a great alternative, especially when you’re travelling and you don’t have room in your luggage to carry 3 feet of foam.

Once again, since I don’t want you to kill yourself with a tennis ball, I’ll let TNation explain all the various movements you can do with a tennis ball in this article.

Also know that while tennis balls are great, they shouldn’t replace a foam roller. It’s best to use a combination of both.

Edit: If possible, try to get a lacrosse ball. While tennis balls are great, they tend to deflate relatively quickly. With lacrosse balls, your balls will always remain super hard.

Bonus method: The stick

Honestly, I absolutely have zero experience using the stick to help release muscle knots. I know some people who have used it with moderate success, but no one has ever said it will never replace the foam roller and tennis ball.

You can definitely try it out, and if you do, let me know if it works. You can buy the stick here.

Bottom Line

So there you go, 3 great ways to help you remove muscle knots and stay pain free for life. While I believe MRT is definietely the best option here due to the hands on nature of the treatment, not everyone will be able to afford it, and that’s fine. Using a foam roller and tennis ball are both excellent alternatives.

Am I missing anything? What are your favorite knot releasers? Let me know below.

3 Comments - Leave Your Thoughts

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  1. Great blog! I really enjoyed your writing style and truly agree with your views on fitness and diet. What’s your take on solely using bodyweight exercises to maintain muscle during periods of intermittent fasting?

    1. Hey Steven,
      Thanks. I”m glad you like it.
      As for bodyweight workouts, I’m actually a big fan of them. They are a great way to maintain muscle mass during intermittent fasting, but you shouldn’t expect to gain any muscle mass from doing them alone. If you set up an intense bodyweight circuit and do it 3x per week, then you probably don’t even have to go to the gym.

  2. I bought a foam roller this summer, had some serious knots in the IT band, damn it was painful, after working pretty much bodyweight i can roll over it pain free now.

    @steven- you can maintain muscle mass during intermittent fasting, do it in a strength manner and in a sense all your doing is letting your body know that muscle is a precious resource and not to use it for energy, this will send a signal to your body to use glycogen as fuel first and then fat. Combining a great diet and resistance training alone, can get you ripped, adding cardio will just make it quicker and take your body up a notch.

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