There can be many causes of muscle tension, from living a sedentary lifestyle to overuse or injury. Even emotional tension can manifest in a muscle, for example, holding anger in the muscles of the neck. The tennis balls help relieve muscle tension by creating counter pressure to the tightness. When we find an area of tension, breathe into it and relax your body into the tennis ball. The tension will slowly start to let go. This tennis ball massage can be seen as a self administered, deep tissue treatment.
- Sitting on the floor with legs crossed, place a tennis ball under the right side of the right lower leg, just above your ankle.
- Now lean with your weight onto the muscle creating pressure on the ball against your leg.
- Continue for 5 deep breaths, then move the ball up a few inches and again apply pressure on the ball by pushing your weight against it.
- Repeat all the way up the leg until reaching the right buttock, making sure you don’t put pressure on bones or any joints.
- Sit on the ball so it is centered on the right buttock and hold for 5 deep breaths.
- Start to rotate the buttock on the ball, stopping at any tight spots. If you do find one try to breathe into it with a few deep breaths.
Glutes, Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) and Iliotibial band (IT band)
- To work on the Glutes (in particular, the medius and minimus) lie on your side and place the tennis ball under the top of your right buttock applying pressure. Lean slightly back and move slowly around until you feel areas of tension and stay there for 5 deep breaths.
- To work on the TFL lay on your side, place the tennis ball above the head of the femur (thigh bone) and turn slightly onto your front. move around feeling for areas of tightness, once found hold and take 5 deeps breaths.
- To access the IT Band, lay on your side and place the tennis ball on the outer thigh muscle just below the head of the femur. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
- Move the tennis ball further down, hold and feel the counter pressure the ball is creating, thus loosening the muscle.
- Continue this until you reach just above the knee (pressure should never be put on the knee, any joint or bone).
- Once completed, repeat on other side.