About three years ago my husband started using golf balls and lacrosse balls for self myofascial release. In the morning he would sit on the side of the bed and roll his feet. Then around dinner he would be leaning up against a wall doing his shoulders, arms and back. In 2013, when I began really lifting heavy 6 days a week with figure competitions in mind, the muscles in my shoulder and traps were getting tight and sore. I needed to do something that was convenient and affordable. So, to the lacrosse ball I turned! And it was fabulous. It was something I could do everyday or as needed to keep my muscles in good shape.
The lacrosse ball ($5) is cheap and easy to carry around with you. It has a nice grippy surface but they can be a bit hard relative to other alternatives out there like the Trigger Point Performance Ball
($20) ,a tennis ball ($1) , or a Yoga Tune Up Therapy Ball ($10). The Trigger Point Ball and the Yoga Tune Up balls are more pliable making them better for deeper work.
Make sure that you are working the whole muscle including above and below your pain. Working points where your muscles connect to your bones helps to release a lot of tension even though there may not be an adhesion (knot) or soreness there.
Here are some great uses for the lacrosse ball to keep your body in good shape so you can keep your body in good shape! 😀
1) Shoulders and Back
I like to work the anterior, lateral and posterior deltoids (shoulders) by standing next to a wall and leaning onto the ball working back and forth or in circular motions. Getting the ball into postion on your rear deltiods and back muscles can be tricky if you stand up. You can either lay on the floor or use a wall. If you use a wall, you can place the ball between you and the wall where you can reach and then move your body to roll the ball into position. You can also place the ball in a long sock. Then postion the ball with one hand hanging it behind you over your shoulder.
Postion the ball over the area in need of release and make small cirucular motions or hold in position with pressure.
Forearms not only take a beating during lifting sessions but they get tight and sore sitting at a computer all day! Avoid carpal tunnel syndrome by trying some of these tension releasing exercises: Hold the ball in one hand and role it up and down the forearm, or place the ball on a desk or other flat surface and rest your forearm over the ball. Do this several times a day or as needed.
I have particullary tight hips due to rotation of my left pelvic bone. This wreaks havoc on the balance thoughout my entire body causing tight muscles, especially with the muscles around my pelvic structure. One thing I do to help this is the following: you can “sit” on the ball leaning back slightly to dig in to the the hip muslces high on your glutes and for the front, you can lay on the ball rolling back and forth or in ciruclar motions to aid in tension release. You can also do this standing up on a wall.
You can do this standing up against a wall or sitting on the ball on the floor. Place the ball where you are experiencing tension and soreness. Press your bodywieght into the ball back and forth across the fibers or in small cirucular motions. The glutes are a large muscle group so try and work your way through the whole muscle.
Put the lacrosse ball under the arch of your bare foot. Then work small cirucular motions.