2 Tennis Ball Massages to Loosen Tight Muscles

By Larry Payne, Georg Feuerstein, Sherri Baptiste, Doug Swenson, Stephan Bodian, LaReine Chabut, Therese Iknoian

Sometimes muscles that have been very tight for a long period of time can actually lose the ability to relax on their own, resulting in persistent muscle and skeletal imbalance, nerve impingement, and most likely, chronic pain. When that happens, the only thing that can really help the muscle let go is focused massage.

Unfortunately, for most people a good massage is a luxury of both time and money. But don’t despair — you can effectively apply pinpoint massage on chronically tight and painful muscles both quickly and inexpensively. All you need is a tennis ball and an open space on the floor.

Two techniques using a tennis ball are useful, and both are simple. These measures will keep you out of the doctor’s office and make your next massage all about indulgence, not pain management.

If you use either of these massage techniques, heed these precautions:

  • Don’t overdo it. Let the muscle relax slowly and gradually. It may take repeated attempts over several days to get severely tight muscles to stop clenching and let go. Aggressive massage can actually bruise the muscle, which just makes things worse and keeps you from addressing your fundamental muscle tension for several days until you heal.

  • Never place the ball directly beneath your spine. Your spine is made of bones, and bones won’t stretch. They can bruise, though, and be pushed out of alignment, which again will only make things worse.

Tennis ball technique #1

  1. Place a tennis ball on a clean, flat place on the floor and lie down with the ball directly beneath your tight muscle.

  2. Lie there and breathe deeply, using your own body weight to apply pressure to the muscle.

    The increased amount of oxygen in your blood helps to initiate the relaxation response and to wash through the tight muscle and remove toxins.

Tennis ball technique #2

  1. Place a tennis ball on a clean, flat place on the floor and lie down with the ball directly beneath your tight muscle.

  2. Move slowly back and forth, gently rolling the tennis ball all around the affected area to mimic the motion of a firm, steady massage.

    Do this for approximately 30 seconds and then roll off the tight area to give it a rest.

  3. Repeat until you feel the muscle relax.