24 Activities for your Everyday Stretches & Myofascial Releases for the Lower Body.
Here we focus on Gluteus Releases, IT Band, Piriformis, TFL, Hamstring & Quads, Foot & Ankle
We stretch in the morning to get our blood flowing, we stretch our legs after a long drive, and we stretch our shoulders after sitting at our desks for hours. Stretching is an intuitive movement, not only for humans but for animals as well. We stretch because it is a simple and effective way to loosen our muscles and invigorate our bodies.
Ever had a tight muscle where no matter how much you stretched it each and every day, it was still just as tight on day 21 as day 1? Well, you’re not alone.
A lot of tight muscles have palpable “knots” or “trigger points” in them. These are specific areas of contracted muscle within the entire muscle belly. To target these specific “hard or ropey” spots it is more effective to perform muscle releases (using a ball, foam roller, dry needling or trigger point massage) rather than doing a stretch.
A muscle release is sustained pressure on a trigger point, at a specific angle, held for the duration of around 90 seconds for 2-3 different spots per muscle group.
If the muscle is tight or knotty due to nerve irritation, muscle releases can still be performed, but stretching should definitely be avoided. It is difficult to know whether you have nerve irritation or not until it is assessed completely.
As a rule of thumb, If you have consistently stretched a muscle correctly for >3 days and you’ve had no change, then you’ve tried doing muscle releases and there is still no change, then it is likely that there could be nerve involvement.