If you just finished an intense workout and your muscles are feeling tight and sore, it may not be a result of the exercises. Instead, you may have adhesions -- commonly referred to as knots or trigger points -- in the muscles. The knots are found around irritated patches of muscle fibers where the tissues fill with fluid. Getting the knots out of your thighs and legs is an essential step in improving the effectiveness of your workout and maximizing your performance.
Schedule a sports massage. The sports massage helps break up and relieve the muscle knots, along with promoting healthy blood flow to the muscles. It may take several trips to the massage therapist to loosen all the knots.
Maneuver on a foam roller for about 10 minutes before every workout. The roller is a short log made from foam that allows you to place direct pressure on muscle knots. Essentially, the foam roller is ironing out your muscles. You can also use the foam roller during a post-workout cooldown to loosen tight muscles.
Use a lacrosse ball to work deep muscles. Roll on the ball to apply direct pressure to a specific muscle knot. Once you find a knot, stay there and slowly work the lacrosse ball in circular motions. Apply as much pressure to the lacrosse ball as you can tolerate.
Stretch every major muscle group in the legs after your workout. Stretching helps prevent muscle knots from forming and it promotes healthy muscle tissue. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds and alternate between each muscle, including the hamstrings, quadriceps and calves.
Perform the exercises and therapy techniques on a regular basis. Physical therapist Kelly Starrett says you can promote healthy muscle tissue with no knots and optimal flexibility in 10 minutes a day.