Please join me in welcoming Lauren to my blog as she shares this fabulous guest post about how to massage and release trigger points with just a tennis ball:
You like to run, jump, keep healthy and exercise right? Me too! Getting your exercise on is a great feeling, but sometimes when we workout we run into roadblocks. One of the most common ones is injury.
I’m a Volleyballer and I spend a lot of time overseas playing. As soon as I get an injury or even suffer from muscle pain it really affects my game. About five years ago I was having severe shoulder pain. One night I was lying in bed and couldn’t deal with it anymore and I grabbed my mobile phone (an old Motorola brick) and stuck it under my rotator cuff muscles in my shoulder. I could have screamed with pain, but as I moved around I could feel my shoulder loosening and releasing. After a nightmare ten minutes I could lift my shoulder above my head without an issue and my pain was reduced a ton. Later on I figured out I had just released some crazy trigger points that were the cause of my pain.
Obviously I thought I was a genius and started to work on some other areas where I was tight and sore. It was a little awkward with the phone and I couldn’t really move around on it. I had a few tennis balls in the backyard so went out and grabbed them and my new technique was born. Your muscles and fascia can both get tight aggravated, and if you do suffer from trigger points you can feel the pain in other areas. This is seriously one of the easiest ways to keep yourself pain-free and always ready to exercise. You can increase your recovery and make sure that you don’t get injured.
The How To:
- Remember it will be painful, especially if you are new to it.
- Lay or position yourself over the tight area and roll around until you find a point that hurts more than others.
- When you find a trigger point, you will know. The pain might refer down the limb or it could stay local. Either way it should slowly decrease as you hold pressure. Try to hold for at least 30 seconds or until the pain reduces.
- If you don’t find a trigger point, that’s cool. Just work around the area. Your muscles and fascia might be tight and this is a good way to hit them.
It really only takes some experimentation and work in the areas you feel immobile, but here are some common places and techniques I use to keep my legs and hips feeling great.
Your bum is where you get all your power from and when you have tightness or trigger points in there all kind of crazy things can happen. You can refer pain through your hips and all the way down to your knees. To begin, cross one leg over the other, sit on the ball and get to work. Move around and discover the whole muscle and stop on any points you find.
Your ITB is a really big band of fascia that runs down the side of your leg. When this gets really tight it wreaks havoc with your knee. It is also the main contributor to runners knee. If you suffer from knee pain, do this now. Get on your side so you can put pressure through the ball. Slowly move up and down the area.
Trigger points in this area can really attack your Achilles and heel. Most people will have tightness there and not even know it’s causing issues. Sit on the floor with your leg outstretched. Roll slowly over the ball and stop on any points you find. You can place your other leg over the one on the floor to put more pressure on the area.
Go and start experimenting on keeping your body pain and injury free!
Lauren is a fitness coach from Melbourne, Australia. During the day she plays professional Volleyball all over Europe and blogs over at LaurensFitness.com. After the tennis ball epiphany she wrote Tennis Ball Series where you can find a lot more ways to release your body. You can go and chat with her on Facebook!