Roll it Out: Exercises for Relieving and Relaxing Sore Muscles

Use these moves to release tension and assist recovery

Suffering from tight, sore muscles? As Jill Miller, co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide, creator of the corrective exercise format Yoga Tune Up and author of The Roll Model would say, you’ve got issues in your tissues.

Your muscle tissues, that is.

“Whether you are a top athlete, a new mama with sore shoulders or someone who works at a desk all day the treatment is the same,” Miller said.

She explained that relief will come from targeted techniques that can help to improve your mobility and even increase your energy levels. The self-massage exercises she offers in The Roll Model are designed to restore mobility and relieve soreness so that, as Miller put it, “you can do what you want to do, but better and pain free.”

“It offers you ways to improve the health of your fascial and myofascial connective tissue to improve mobility and increase energy as well as eradicate pain so you can feel better every day, in everything you do,” she said.

Miller said the inspiration for her book came from the simple fact that she truly wants to help people live better in their bodies.

“Collectively, we have come to rely on doctors or pain meds to solve most of our physical ailments but I created The Roll Model Method with the firm belief that we all should have the ability to perform basic self-care techniques to live better in our bodies,” she said.

Below she offers a few of the most helpful rolling techniques from her book that you can use to help relieve and relax your sore muscles.  

Reset Your Breath

“Dysfunctional breathing patterns are both a result of stress and can create anxiety and unease,” Miller said. “Remodeling the tensions in your abdominal tissues immediately improves your access to deeper breathing and will help your whole body to relax as a result.” In her book, she explains that abdominal breathing, which focuses on the diaphragm and transversus abdominis (or “the muscle that wraps horizontally around your waist from front to back”), is the most calming.

While lying on your back, take deep breaths in and out, “think of a sleeping baby’s belly inflating and deflating,” Miller explains in her book. Practice this while lying still for a few moments, and aim to maintain this focused, deep breathing technique through all of the following exercises.  

Save Your Sole

“Our feet have 33 joints, and yet most feet don’t have a movement diet that exercises all of the muscles helping the joints to function properly,” Miller explained. “Save your sole after the wear and tear of workouts as well as uncomfortable footwear and more. “

One therapy ball exercise that miller suggests is called the “arch cross.” Place your left arch on top of the ball while keeping your heel on the ground and then take 5 to 10 deep abdominal breaths (hold onto a chair or stool for extra balance if needed). Pivot your ankle from side to side 10 times and attempt to “smush” the ball as you move your foot back and forth over it, then repeat on the other foot. 

Click here to see more exercises for relieving and relaxing sore muscles.