I used to play tennis almost everyday.
Now it’s just my hubby who plays. IOW, we have lots of tennis balls. lol
I am also an advocate on not spending all the $$ on all the gadgets. (I don’t even own a foam roller.)
So that’s my topic for today: Five Running-Related Uses for a Tennis Ball
Disclaimer: I have not taken any myofascial release therapy courses nor do I have any medical background. My knowledge comes from tips from my PT, from my chiropractor and from websites and blogs.
1.To Relieve Tightness in Your Fascia
I don’t have PF but I do suffer from a multitude of foot issues.
All you need to do is place the tennis ball on the ground and step on top of it. Roll it along the length of the bottom of your foot. Apply as much weight as you can on any tight spots.
2. To Stretch Out Calf Muscles
Mine get tight because I sit at a desk all day long and I just have tight calf muscles (in my right leg.)
Place the tennis ball on some books and then put one calf on top of the ball. Start with the ball at the bottom part of the meat of your calf. You can cross the other leg on top to help apply more pressure if you need it. Then rock slightly side-to-side a couple of times and then move the ball to another spot on your calf, working over the entire meaty part of the muscle right up to below the back of your knee.
3. To Dig Out Those Peroneals
The Peroneals are the muscles down the outside of your lower legs. Place a tennis ball on the ground in front of you and then bend your knee and place the side of your lower leg on top of the tennis ball. Start with the ball below and outside your knee. Press down on your lower leg with your hand to apply more pressure so that the tennis ball digs in. Then move your leg so that you make small circles on top of the ball. Work your way down the length of the side of your lower leg.
4. To Loosen Your Hamstrings
To do this, you need to sit on the tennis ball while sitting on a chair. Take the tennis ball and place it at the top of your hamstring right under the bottom of your butt and then rock side to side on the tennis ball and roll it from your inner thigh out toward the outside of your leg. Work your way down your hamstring toward your knee.
5. To Release Muscles Along the Spine and Lower Back
This is a big problem area for me. I think again it is caused by sitting too much (job-related)
The best tool to roll out your back is the peanut, which can easily be made by using some duck tape and two tennis balls (or put two tennis balls in a sock and tie the end as I did above.)
You need to lay on the ground with the peanut starting above your glutes. (One ball should be on each side of your spine.) Tuck your knees into your chest and then relax your feet back down to the ground. Touch your feet back down and crunch your lower body again, bringing your knees into your chest. Hold and release. Repeat that lower body knee tuck a few times then move the balls up higher, making your way all the way up your back along your spine.
Happy Running! Do you use any of these techniques? Any others to share? Any free tools to suggest? Please share.
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