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What is Self-Myofascial Release?

Published 20 Jul 2017

Author Erin Splatt

Nathan from In2Great Training runs an absolutely brilliant course for PD4PTs, based around foam rolling, reducing client pain and enhancing movement efficiency. With a wealth of knowledge around functional training and postural corrections, his course is a must – here’s an excerpt from his course manual to help with your understanding of SMR

Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) is a form of soft tissue therapy using a foam roller to
release the tension in the connective tissue. We apply a gentle force to the Myofascial adhesion, so that the fibres are manipulated from a bundled position, into an alignment that is straighter with the direction of the muscles and or fascia. Put simply we use foam rollers / balls to iron out knotted fascia or connective tissue to be in better alignment. Think of myofascial release like cleaning your teeth: we should do it as much as possible to help remove waste products from our bodies to allow optimal muscle and connective tissue health. Myofascial release will not only have local benefits on the area you release but the results will act globally on the whole connective tissue train spanning throughout your body!
Muscle ‘knots’, trigger points, restricted movement and chronic tissue tightness is our
body’s way of trying to deal with imbalance. All of us have these in our bodies as part of our daily living. Overuse patterns of movement and injuries can make it become worse and eventually cause pain.


Put simply, Myofascial Release can be described to clients as the following:

  • A deep tissue massage for the muscles
  • Getting muscles fibres more in line with the muscle to improve performance
  • Correcting tissue alignment so that the body is more efficient in movement
  • Allowing the smooth surface of the muscle to slide over each other better
  • Releasing glued up areas of connective tissue to allow segments to move better