If monthly (or weekly!) massages were complimentary, I probably would be the first to queue. But with an average cost of $45 per hour (in Singapore), it’s not exactly an affordable expense on my salary monthly. To add on, having to squeeze in massages to work around your work schedule amongst gym time and chill sessions with friends can be a challenge for such a luxury activity.
Luckily for you guys, I have an amazing solution for you: self-massage. Often, taking a short 10 minutes rub at the beginning of the day or after a workout to alleviate the sore muscles or pain in general helps to prevent injuries. Knots, aka trigger points, are minor injuries that occur in the muscle. If they are not resolved, they deteriorate over time which causes stress and strain.
Instead, you may try these 3 simple self-massage techniques using a tennis ball to tend to part of your muscle aches and pains.
So why tennis balls?
Tennis balls are a perfect tool for the self treatment of sore muscles. By applying the right amount of pressure, the tennis ball releases muscle tension and reduces the risk of injury before and after a workout. Do take note to start off gently, and not directly into the aching area to avoid sharp pain or over acute injuries or inflammation. You can try alternating between rolling movements and sustained holds on a trigger point. Most importantly, do listen to your body and avoid overworking the muscles.
Place the tennis ball at the back of your waist and slowly roll it downwards to the curvier area of the hip while standing against a wall. For a stronger release, do this lying down with bent knees and firmly press your feet onto the floor to control the weight on the ball. Allow the knees to gently fall out to the side for a deep gluteal muscle release. Once you are adjusted, try this exercise with two balls to double the fun to release double the ache.
Begin with an upright standing position and lean into a wall. Place the ball below the sharp bony part in front hip and gradually lean your body weight to sink into the ball. Stay propped up on your elbows, and allow the ball to move in gentle circular movements, working slowly to the outer hip.
Start lying backwards on the floor with the balls on either side of your spine, gently moving it from the lower back up to the upper back. When the balls are centred between the shoulder, try a few overhead arm raises. You may need to support your head on a pillow.
For the best effective treatment, always remember to close your eyes and take deep breaths so that your muscles will release more readily once your body is relaxed.