In the words of Al Pacino in Scarface - Say hello to my little friend!
Once you invest in massage trigger balls you will never look back. They are great for deep-tissue self-massaging for pre and post-workout muscle recovery. They are also nice and portable and can go with you everywhere in your kit bag or hand bag.
Massage trigger balls come in a wide variety of designs and levels of firmness. However the density of a silicone massage ball is perfect for pressure point release as it is not too hard like a golf ball but also not too soft like a tennis ball.
Here is a guide as to why you should use massage trigger balls and how to get the best from your massage trigger ball.
WHY USE A MASSAGE TRIGGER BALL?
After doing strenuous physical activity such as a gym workout, running, swimming or cycling it is normal for your body to experience soreness. This is even more prevalent if you are new to a particular workout program or a type of exercise.
This discomfort is referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness or (DOMS) which are small microscopic tears in the muscles caused by contractions in the muscle through exercise. These muscles can also get tight and inflamed which causes the pain. Also tight and sore muscles do not function properly.
Putting exercise aside you can also experience discomfort and tightness in the top of the shoulder blades from sitting at your desk on your computer for long periods during the day.
The massage trigger ball allows you to target tightness and discomfort in the smaller muscles or hard-to-reach areas. By using a massage trigger ball to apply pressure to the muscle groups and surrounding connected tissue you can increase blood flow to that area and help to release knots or trigger points in the muscles and surrounding fascia. It also provides that nice feeling of release or good pain.
HOW TO USE A MASSAGE TRIGGER BALL?
You can use a massage trigger ball and dual peanut trigger ball to target many different pressure points in your body including the plantar fascia in your foot, the upper and lower trapezius “traps”, glutes, piriformis and the calf muscle. Make sure to listen to your body and focus on those areas that feel tender but not excessively sore. If you experience excessive pain avoid using the massage trigger ball in that area.
The plantar fascia is the thick ligament at the bottom of your foot that connects your heel to the front of your foot which can often get tight or sore. You can target this pressure point of the foot or plantar fascia by standing or sitting on a chair placing the massage trigger ball on the ground and simply pushing your foot down on the massage ball. As you get used to it and the foot relaxes you can roll the ball on your foot to target specific pressure points. You can also start to apply more pressure.
To target the shoulder area or the upper and lower trapezius this can be done either lying on the ground or up against a wall. We find using the wall is most effective. Simply place the ball between your shoulder area and the wall and start to locate your trigger points. The trigger points will be in the muscle where it is soft and not bone. Once you find that knot or trigger point start to put pressure on it using your body weight for 30 seconds up to a minute. You should start to feel the release as the good pain decreases. Top tip – To avoid the massage ball falling on the ground all the time while you lean against the wall put the massage trigger ball in a football sock or tights. This will allow you to find and target your trigger point more easily without dropping the ball on the floor.
Another great trigger point for the massage ball is your glutes and piriformis. The piriformis is a small muscle located deep in your glute or buttock. The massage trigger ball is perfect for targeting the piriformis due to its small size. Lie on the floor placing the massage trigger ball on the ground. Start by just leaning on to it but then build up to sitting and rolling on it but ensure the muscle is relaxed. Start with 5 or 10 seconds but then if it feels good work up to about 30 seconds.
Dual peanut massage trigger balls are particularly good for targeting tightness and soreness in the calf muscle. Whilst lying on the floor place your calf on top if the dual peanut massage trigger ball and using your arms for stability start to roll the calf up and down the dual peanut trigger ball. It may be tender at first but as it start to feel good and you start to feel the release you can increase the pressure and roll for up to 30 seconds at a time.
So are you ready to find yourself a new best friend - remember you heard it here first!