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If you wondering whether massage balls are effective and want to learn more about how to use a massage ball, this simple guide can help get you started
Please consult your Doctor before beginning any exercise programme. If you experience any pain, dizziness or shortness of breath when performing any of the described movements, stop all activity immediately and consult your Doctor. If you are taking any medication, you should consult your Doctor before beginning any exercise programme. Do not perform self-myofascial release if your Doctor has advised you not to do so. Do not take any risks beyond your level of experience and fitness. The exercises described in this programme are to be used as guidelines only and are not to be treated as a substitute for any exercise routine or treatment regimen that may have been prescribed to you by your Doctor. Do not use a massage ball if you have a circulatory problem and/or chronic pain disease. The recommendations described here are for educational purposes only and are not medical guidelines.
Lay on the floor on your right side, with your right arm extended and place your left hand on your left hip. Your right leg should be almost straight and your left leg bent. Position the massage ball against your lats on your right side, (near your armpits) and rock slowly backwards and forwards. Focus on applying pressure from between your armpits to the end of your ribcage. Now switch sides.
Begin by sitting down. Place your hands behind you against the floor to help stabilise yourself as you place the back of your left leg on the massage ball. Your right leg should be bent. Roll from the back of your left knee towards the base of your glutes and back again. Now repeat on the other side. You may want to start by repeating this 2 or 3 times on each side and increase the pressure as you become more accustomed to the movement.
Sit down on the floor and support your bodyweight with both hands. Cross your right leg over and place it on your left thigh. Position yourself so the base of your glutes on your right side are firmly placed against the massage ball. Apply only a small amount of pressure to begin with. Varying the amount of support you provide your body with your hands will enable you to increase or decrease the pressure applied as required. Now switch sides.
Chest and Shoulders
Stand facing a wall, place the massage ball against the wall and position the right side of your upper chest against the ball. Apply pressure by leaning in towards the ball, pressing it firmly against the wall. Try moving the ball across your upper chest to find and relieve any particularly tight and sore areas. Now move the ball up towards your right shoulder and target tight and sore areas there too, before performing the movements on the left side of your chest and shoulders.
Sit on the floor and support your bodyweight with both hands placed behind you against the floor. Position your right calf on the massage ball and begin to apply pressure. In order to increase the amount of pressure, you can place your left leg on top of your right leg. Repeat the movement on the other side.
Lay down with your back against the floor. You can either support your head with one (or both hands) or rest your head against the floor, whichever is more comfortable for you. Place the massage ball against the right side of your upper back, just beneath your shoulder blades. Use your feet to help you to move your bodyweight forwards and backwards against the massage ball. Apply pressure from between the bottom to the top of your shoulder blades before switching sides.
Upper Back 2
You can also try working the muscles in the upper back by standing beside a wall and placing the massage ball between your upper back and the wall. Start by positioning the massage ball on the right side of your upper back and apply pressure by leaning against the ball and pressing it firmly towards the wall. Now switch sides to perform the movement on the left side of your upper back.
Quadriceps and Hip Flexors
Lay with your head facing down towards the floor and support your bodyweight with your forearms. Place the top of your left thigh against the massage ball and begin rolling slowly towards your hips. Be sure to apply only a small amount of pressure when performing this movement for the first time as it can be quite intense. Now switch to perform the movement on your right thigh.