As athletes, we love getting a great massage prior to a big race to ensure we’ve gotten out all the kinks, but why wait until all the big training is in the bank to reward yourself? Why not do a little preventative and restorative work on your own, between massages, to keep tired muscles loose and moving! It’s a great way to prevent injury and keep tight and tired muscles supple during the build phases of your training plan.
Simply implement a few minutes of self massage a few times per week utilizing these three simple tools: a foam roller, massage stick and a tennis ball.
One minute rule – keep it short : Use your watch or iPhone to set a timer so that it beeps every minute – that’s all you need.
For the Feet – Tennis Ball:
Roll the ball under each foot for one minute. Apply enough pressure to feel out hot-spots or tension under the foot and gently roll back and forth.
For the Calves and Achillies tendon – Sport Stick :
We love this one, as you can apply focused pressure to deep knots in the calf’s and achilies tendon. Always roll from the bottom up to encourage circulation and blood flow to the muscles working on the calves and hamstrings for pin-pointed relief.
For the Quads – Foam Roller :
Bonus – this one will also give your upper body a bit of a workout! Lay the foam roller on the ground and using your upper body for balance and support, roll out your quad muscles from bottom to top!
For the IT bands – Foam Roller :
Same as for the Quads, your upper body can help support your weight while you work the IT Bands – trust us, this one is not only self-massage, but a workout at the same time!
For the Hamstrings – Foam Roller and Sport Stick :
We like to mix up a combination here, using both the Sport Stick for specific knots and the foam roller for the overall muscle.
For the Glutes – Foam Roller and Tennis Ball:
This is a great combo to roll out the hips and lower back across the foam roller, then get specific and pinpoint problem areas and knots deep within the glute muscles.
Make sure you take the time to breathe while doing these self-massage exercises. It’s normal to tend to hold your breath while engaged, so remember to simply breathe throughout the process. It usually takes about 2 days to feel the effects of self-massage, so if you implement this as part of your regular routine, you’ll find your muscles will loosen and range of motion will improve over time if you make this a regular part of our exercise routine!