Let’s face it – running is hard on the body. Sometimes our stubborn running muscles become so tight that stretching alone doesn’t do the trick. As a runner a weekly massage visit is a must but when you don’t have the time or the funds turn to your sports equipment and grab a ball.
Our muscles have areas called trigger points and when activated through sports massage they cause a relaxation to the entire muscle. This is easy to do at home –all you need is a small ball.
what to expect
- place the ball under your tight muscle
- find a trigger point by moving the ball around until you feel a twinge of good pain (not a sharp pain)
- apply a small amount of pressure
- slowly roll the ball down your muscle and hold on the trigger point for approx 10 seconds
- release and follow-up with some light
My favourite option is a lacrosse ball but you can use anything you have rolling around the house. Here are some of my favourite trigger points for those notoriously tight runner muscles:
Lie on your side, place the ball under your hip and slowly roll towards the leg.
Lie on your back, place the ball under you bum and slowly roll towards the leg.
IT band release
A foam roller works well but you can also use a ball to roll down the side of your leg towards the knee.
Support your body weight with your arms, place your leg on the foam roller or ball and slowly roll.
Place the ball under your calf and roll towards the foot.
Place the ball under your heel and roll along the arch.
This technique doesn’t replace a massage but it’s a great way to bide your time between visits. You can always count on me to have lacrosse ball on hand!