Have you ever had a muscle ache right between the shoulder blades, just out of reach? It can be so frustrating, unless you have the secret weapon – a tennis ball!
Tennis balls are great because they are firm yet give a little under pressure, so they contour nicely while at the same time applying a decent amount of pressure to achy muscles. I have heard of people using golf balls and baseballs, but you need to be careful not to run over bony prominences with them – they are much too hard and could cause injury. If a tennis ball isn’t firm enough you can also try a Kong dog toy.
Once you have found the perfect massage tool, all you need to do is place it into a long sock. This will be your handle. Now you can toss the massage ball behind your back, holding onto the top end of the sock, and position it wherever you need it.
Next up is the final piece of equipment – a wall or floor!
Now that you have all the pieces of your self-massage tool assembled, lets get on with the treatment!
Super Spot #1
Between the Shoulder Blades
Stand with your back to a wall, and place the tennis ball behind your back. Lean against the wall, and position the ball so that it lies in the groove between your spine and shoulder blade. Move yourself up and down, and side to side while leaning against the wall to massage the area. If you feel a specific tender spot in the muscles, hold on that spot for a few seconds, and take a couple deep breaths.
Feel better? Now do the same thing on the other side of your spine and shoulder blade.
Super Spot #2
You can work your neck with a tennis ball while relaxing in your favorite chair, as long as the back of the chair is high enough! Simply place the ball into the groove between your spine and the side of your neck, and below the base of your skull, and rest your head back onto it. You can even put two tennis balls into one sock, and work both sides of your neck at the same time. Pure heaven!
This technique can be done lying down as well.
Super Spot #3
This is a fairly large area, and so you have some freedom to move the ball around wherever it feels good. Work all around the hip joint, and into the tissue of the gluteal muscles. You can do this by lying on your side, or leaning against a wall. If using the wall, bending forward and pressing your hip and gluteal area into the wall will help increase pressure and really get those muscles!
Super Spot #4
Tight hamstrings are a common and tender area. Simply place the ball on a chair and sit on it. You can then roll forward and back on the chair, and side to side to work the muscles from the sit bones down to just above the knee. Please be careful not to put pressure behind the knee joint.
You can also put the ball on the floor and sit on it there too. Either way works well.
Super Spot #5
All I can say is Oh Ya! Place the tennis ball on the floor, and roll it around on the ball of your foot. You can do this while sitting at your desk, or if you feel that you need a little more pressure, just stand up. Stabilize yourself if needed by holding onto a wall, back of a chair, etc.
Don’t’ forget to work the other foot too!
These are just a few of the spots you can self-massage with a tennis ball. Try some other spots out like calves, forearms, and quadriceps.
Do it on a regular basis and feel your aches and pains melt away!