NASM answered the question perfectly, one additional step that I like to add is to strengthen weak areas that may be causing the problem as well.
The tension you feel is caused from a muscular imbalance that puts pressure that was not designed in your outer thighs. This is caused from certain muscles being overly tight and others being overly weak or lengthened.
Self myofascial release will help relax and loosen up the tight muscles such as the outer thighs but we must also strengthen weak areas that may be causing tension to be added to the outer thigh.
There are many muscles that may be weak that could be weaked that could be causing this but I want to focus on just a couple of things that tend to be the biggest.
- Many times outer thigh tension will result in your knees moving inward during movement and your feet turning outward during movement. Pay attention to when you exercise and look at your knees and your feet. Are they moving inward and your feet outward?
- If this is the case then make a conscious effort to keep your feet pointed forward turning exercise even if it is uncomfortable. In addition to keeping your feet pointing forward always, also make sure your knees are not caving in, if they are then make a conscioius effort to keep your hips, knees and toes all aligned and pointing in the same direction.
- In order to have the strength to do this I am a fan of an exercise called Tube Walking. You take a exercise or therapy tube, strap it around your ankles and walk laterally. This will strengthen your gluteus medius (hips) and your gluteus maximus (butt). This will help you to keep your feet straight and your hips from caving in.
This will help out tremendously in addition to foam rolling. The two together will work perfectly together.
More Answers from Jeremiah Forster, NASM Elite Trainer