Dryland Tip: Self Myofascial Release Technique (aka Self-Massage)

SANTA CLARA, California, August 16. SELF-MASSAGE techniques are increasing in popularity, and today’s dryland tip shows you one muscle area you can treat on your own!

This dryland tip features Chris Barber of the Center for Optimal Restoration, and five members of the Santa Clara Swim Club, demonstrating the technique that uses a baseball to relieve tension in the neck and shoulder blades.

Purpose: In many swimmers, the levator scapule is extremely tight from frequent arm stroking. Self myofascial releases (SMR) are likely to enhance range of motion of muscles, without decreasing muscular strength (MacDonald 2013).

Directions: Place a tennis ball or baseball in between the shoulder blade and the spine. Next, lie on your back with your knees bent, then roll slightly over this area, looking for the area of most tenderness. Stay on this area for two to three minutes and relax. For more about SMR read here, and if you are looking for a comprehensive shoulder injury prevention program, consider the Swimmer’s Shoulder System.


Macdonald G, Penney M, Mullaley M, Cuconato A, Drake C, Behm DG, Button DC. An Acute Bout of Self Myofascial Release Increases Range of Motion Without a Subsequent Decrease in Muscle Activation or Force. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 May 10.

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