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  1. #1
    Registered User samrozay3's Avatar
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    Working out with muscle knots: Yay or Nay?

    A lot of people have probably dealt with muscle knots before. To get rid of muscle knots the advice usually is to foam roll it and see a physio and/or chiro. While that is of course good, we hardly ever hear about whether it's a good or a bad idea to workout despite having muscle knots. I tend to get knots in my back every now and then, but when I do have the knots I don't feel them during the workout. I use a peanut foam roller and a lacrosse ball afterwards and go to my physio to rub them out.

    The consensus when it comes to muscle knots in the back is that they often originate from having bad posture and tight chest muscles and possibly underdeveloped back muscles. Therefore it is advised to strengthen your back muscles in order to correct your posture. But when you have knots in the back (and for some people knots can stay for months) then it seems counterintuitive to workout your back. Most people would tend to wait until the knots are gone until they start working out again.

    So what say you? Should you work through your muscle knots? Should you adjust your rep range to go for lower weight and higher volume? Or should you rest and wait until your knots have gone completely?

    Interested to hear what the community thinks about this
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    My view is that they are caused by using a muscle through a shortened range of motion or with a jerky action (e.g. power cleans).

    I have had success dealing with stiffness/knotting issues by using targetted resistance training - this worked for me much better than any amount of stretching or foam rolling, massage etc.

    For example, overhead shrugs target the traps with a smooth full ROM movement without needing a lot of weight. Using the hamstring curl machine and the hip abductor helped with issues in the lower body too. There are probably a few others I can't remember right now too.
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  3. #3
    Registered User samrozay3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    My view is that they are caused by using a muscle through a shortened range of motion or with a jerky action (e.g. power cleans).

    I have had success dealing with stiffness/knotting issues by using targetted resistance training - this worked for me much better than any amount of stretching or foam rolling, massage etc.

    For example, overhead shrugs target the traps with a smooth full ROM movement without needing a lot of weight. Using the hamstring curl machine and the hip abductor helped with issues in the lower body too. There are probably a few others I can't remember right now too.
    When you have had knots, did you stop your regular training regime or did you continue working out normally with added resistance training?
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by samrozay3 View Post
    When you have had knots, did you stop your regular training regime or did you continue working out normally with added resistance training?
    They don't stop you training normally. Although sometimes I believe they can be responsible for spasm/cramp so you might have to be careful while your are waiting for the remedial exercise to take effect.
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  5. #5
    Rarely here jafomofo's Avatar
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    don't work out with a knot unless you can rub it out or are doing light lifts. If your have a knot and are doing a heavy lift like bench, you are at elevated risk for a tear as the muscle is shortened and the pressure on it will be exacerbated.
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    Registered User ncsuLuke's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jafomofo View Post
    don't work out with a knot unless you can rub it out or are doing light lifts. If your have a knot and are doing a heavy lift like bench, you are at elevated risk for a tear as the muscle is shortened and the pressure on it will be exacerbated.
    Citation please
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