Everyone deals with aches and pains differently - some people have massage therapists on speed-dial; and some go home to loving partners (read: glorified masseurs - just kidding). But that just isn’t realistic for many of us.
Happily, however, you can probably find the next best thing in relieving muscle aches and pains on the floor of your kid's bedroom. The humble tennis ball has skyrocketed to fame over the last few years as an effective self-massage tool that allows you to easily alleviate any muscle-related woes.
Giving yourself a tennis ball massage increases the temperature of soft tissue in the targeted area and promotes tissue elasticity, relieving any muscular tension and boosting your range of motion - it's basically a deep-tissue massage that you can do yourself in front of your TV.
Recent findings also suggest that the benefits of tennis ball massages may reach beyond the muscles and joints and to the cardiovascular system. Applying rolling pressure at various points on the body increases blood flow and circulation to the soft tissue, which reduces arterial stiffness and improves vascular function.
And the benefits don't just stop there; they have a knock-on effect on your general wellbeing. They can lead to better sleep, improved body functioning and a decreased recovery time should you experience an injury. We don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty sweet deal for just rolling about on the floor. So, why not put your tennis ball to the test and try some of the exercises below?
Soothe sore feet
Place a tennis ball under the arch of your bare foot and by applying gentle pressure, let the ball roll up and down the muscles of the foot. Pro tip: keep a tennis ball in a ziplock bag in the freezer for a cooling sensation after a long day on your feet.
Ease forearm pain
Place a tennis ball between your forearm and your desk. Press down gently and let your arm run over the ball in backwards and forwards motions.
Relieve shoulder stress
As this area can be quite tricky, place the tennis ball in a pair of stockings. Standing tall against the wall, position the ball over a pain point with each end of the stockings in either hand. Pressing your back gently into the wall, guide the ball in circular motions to relieve pain.
Ease glute pain
In standing position, rest a tennis ball between a wall and a pain point in your glutes. Applying gentle pressure, roll the ball around the area.
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