After a STUDIO RED class, you might be feeling tight or sore. One of the best ways to relieve aches and overall muscle stress is to use a technique called self-myofascial release. Self-myofascial release can have many benefits including:
- Decreased soreness
- Increased range of motion
- Increased blood flow
The most common tool for self-myofascial release is a foam roller, but these are bulky, difficult to transport, and can’t access deeper muscle tissues. That’s why a massage ball is the perfect recovery tool. It’s firm, small shape will help you loosen even the smallest of muscles. And because it’s the size of a lacrosse ball, it can easily be thrown into your gym bag or purse and used when you need it most.
How To Use Your Massage Ball
The best time to use the massage ball and enhance recover is at the end of a workout. Spend about 90 seconds on each muscle before moving to the next muscle.
Place the ball on trigger points that you may not be able to reach with a foam roller. The smaller surface area allows for more accuracy and increased pressure on tight and sore muscles. Try it on your pecs, traps, lats, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and the bottoms of your feet.
Once you’ve found a trigger point, move your arm, leg or body around on the ball to massage the stress away. The pressure intensity should be no more than a 7 out of 10. You should be able to breathe deeply and let your muscles relax around the ball. Too much pressure could irritate an already tight muscle.
Standing (usually against a wall) is the best starting position if you want to keep the pressure intensity low. Once your muscles loosen and soreness has reduced, you can try more intense ground-based positions.