FFF: Five Uses for a Tennis Ball


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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32 thoughts on “FFF: Five Uses for a Tennis Ball

  1. Great tips! I have used a tennis ball for these things. We have plenty and it’s not because we play tennis. Our dog is obsessed with tennis balls, lol. They are all over the house!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I laughed when my chiro asked if I had any tennis balls to massage my calf. Then my Pt showed how to use it for my neuroma.

      Why spend money???

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  2. Obviously I use a lot of those techniques, and many more. I personally prefer a foam roller for my back. I would also suggest using your peanut on the wall for your back — for me, I find on the floor with that doesn’t get into the areas very easily, but you can use it on the wall & pretend you’re a bear, LOL! That works better for me. I do do that for shoulders & upper back often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. I miss it.

      But you have to join a club and pay expensive membership fees. When I got this job, I traveled a lot so I couldn’t justify the $$.

      Now working from home, I could have joined but then they were closed and then the contracts were full. If we never travel (which is doubtful) I will play again. I wish I had the timeline for that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad that everyone has reminded me about the lacrosse ball. I’m sure there’s one in my basement. I’ve seen some lacrosse sticks.

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  3. Thanks for the great tennis ball tips. I think you are right – you don’t always need all the expensive gadgets. When my piriformis hurt, I would put a tennis ball or a lacrosse ball under the cheek that hurt while driving in the car or riding in a plane. It took some of the pressure off the injured spot and made long rides much less painful.

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    • I’m glad to hear that these are helpful. There are a lot of gadgets out there but sometimes you can do what you need without spending any $$.

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  4. I think I’ve used a tennis ball (or lax ball) in all these ways too, but I mostly use it for my feet. I have a few other gadgets that work well for me on other areas. But the tennis ball is great and really does have alot of uses!

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  5. I can see why you don’t have a foam roller- you don’t really need one if you use a tennis ball like this! I do have a foam roller but a ball is better for certain areas. I need to pay more attention to my peroneals- i’m going to roll them tonight (except I use a lacrosse ball- pretty much the same thing.)

    Liked by 1 person

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