Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) and its Role in the Warm-Up

Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) and its Role in the Warm-Up

Rolling the ITB has been a hotly debated topic. While some believe direct rolling and the pain felt while carrying this out is good, studies suggest that a more focused approach on releasing the muscle groups and the strengthening of weak muscles to redistribute tension is of more benefit.


Rolling is generally aimed at fascia release. Fascia is a sheath of non-contractile fibrous connective tissue that extends over your entire body. One common area that is quiet often tender to touch, let alone role is the Illiotibial band (ITB). The ITB is naturally a common area for tightness as it blends fibres with the Gluteus Maximus (GM) and Tensor fascia lata (TFL) muscles at one end and the tibia at the other.

ITBDo you experience pain around the knee or hip area? The ITB acts a lateral knee stabilizer and assists in knee flexion. Overtightening of the ITB is usually felt as tightness in the lateral knee. The fascia may become knotted and inflamed as a result of repetitive training. If the area is already inflamed, direct rolling has been suggested to further irritate the area. Therefore an alternate approach may be of more benefit. Rolling the attachment areas around the glutes and hips (GM, TFL) and tibial insertion points may be of more benefit in releasing the ITB. However, quite often the answer to relieving tension comes from utilising a combination of techniques such as stretching, strengthening and even dry needling.

If you are experiencing pain while rolling the ITB it is more than likely due to the irritation and inflammation underneath the ITB. SMR is used to improve the tissue quality of fascia, not just cause you pain! We need to move away from the idea of ‘no pain no gain’. So if you have a tight ITB, let’s try to treat the problem not the symptom.


Falvey EC, Clark RA, Franklyn-Miller A, Bryant AL, Briggs C, McCrory PR. Iliotibial band syndrome: an examination of the evidence behind a number of treatment options. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 20(4):580-7




I am a 27 year old and strength and conditioning coach originally hailing from the Hunter Valley, NSW. I have been involved with sport my whole life ranging from soccer, football, triathlon, snowboarding, free/scuba diving and track and field. In 2010, I started studying a bachelor of Exercise and Sport science at the University of Newcastle. Around the same time I began working for a major sport events company in Newcastle, organising fun runs, triathlons and community events, with some of the events attracting over 10,000 competitors. It was here that I got a real insight into the satisfaction people were getting by achieving their training goals, whether it was competing to win, make a new distance or to run a PB. During my degree I had the opportunity to work with the A-league football team, the Newcastle Jets, where I ended up spending 18 months in the high performance team. In 2010, I began competing in the Professional Athletics Series throughout Australia and have been hooked on it ever since. This addiction has led to twice making the Stawell Gift final and winning The Stawell Gift 200m in 2014. I have always been interested in furthering my knowledge, currently studying a Masters of Strength and Conditioning by correspondence at Edith Cowan University. Over the last five years I have had a broad range of experiences within the sport science field that have brought me to the realisation that I enjoy and get profound satisfaction from training people of all ages and levels to achieve their goals. Most recently I have been training junior track sprinters, who have achieved some very exciting results, with many medals at a local state and national level. In the last season our squad totalled close to $40,000 in prize money from the professional racing circuit.