Using a tennis ball for self massage (or self myofascial release as it’s known) is an amazingly effective and cheap way to release knots and tension within the body. Simply trap the ball between your body and something else… like the floor or a wall. This can be used on any part of the body that you are feeling tightness.
Ok so this is the ‘fun’ part… you are looking for the painful spots. Yes I said painful. But what I actually mean is those spots that are uncomfortable when you press on them. You’ll know when you find them. *
When you find a spot, hold the ball in place with sustained pressure (or alternatively you can ‘milk’ the area by moving a couple of mm over the area).
Put enough pressure on so that you are reaching around a 7-8/10 on the discomfort scale. Breathe. Relax into the ball. Let your muscles release. Drop your shoulders.
Hold until the discomfort reduces to around 2-3/10. This sometimes takes around 2-3 minutes. If it still hasn’t dropped after this time come off and try a different spot. **
Listen to your body and stop if anything feels “not right.” It should feel like a ‘good’ pain. Again, you’ll know what I mean when you hit the right spots 😉
* If you’re not sure if you have or not, chances are you haven’t!
**Use the 10 second rule….if the pain INCREASES after 10 seconds and you haven’t increased the pressure then this could be more of an acute injury to the tissues. This doesn’t need massage. It needs time to heal.