GJS Tries Spikey Massage Balls

If you suffer from muscular aches & pains, tightness, trigger points or if you could just do with a good old massage to relieve some tension, these plastic, spikey little balls are a MUST.

Gym-goers who have tight spots will find them particularly useful and unlike other exercise purchases which are gathering dust in your shed, this is one bit of kit that you will want to use regularly.

I was first introduced to them three months ago by my antenatal yoga instructor when we rolled them under the soles to massage the feet and relieve puffy ankles. It was a little uncomfortable (but not painful) but after just a few minutes I did feel some relief.

As my pregnancy has progressed I have experienced back pain, concentrated to one particular trouble spot and it is exacerbated by being desk-based for a significant part of my day. A visit to the physio was little help, she could only recommend exercises that I was already doing in my yoga classes and she suggested I “keep mobile” which I think my weekly swim, body pump & aqua aerobics already cover not to mention the 1.5 miles I walk each day as part of my commute and the fitness classes i teach!

Then recently my antenatal yoga instructor got the spikey balls out again – this time for self massage of the back. Standing with backs against the wall with the balls pressed in between we swayed, rocked and bobbed to roll the ball around the surface of the back. Whenever a tight or sore spot was found we were encouraged to increase the pressure so that the ball really worked into the muscle. This proved to be simple to do but incredibly effective. I was able to work the ball quite vigorously into my trigger points and release the tension. I felt lighter, looser and in significantly less discomfort in just a few minutes. I went home and purchased a pair straight away.

Apart from the obvious advantages of being small, portable & inexpensive, the balls are a great buy because you are fully in control of the pressure & duration of your massage, you can do it anywhere and you don’t require another pair of hands to help.

The balls come in different sizes and hard or soft plastic. For a deeper massage a smaller sized, hard ball is best. I ordered a pair of 10cm hard spikey massage balls for just £7 from an online physio store.

Check out the following links for techniques on how to self-massage various muscles using the balls:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/411650-exercises-with-spikey-balls

http://www.physioadvisor.com.au/11176250/massage-ball-exercises-self-massage-muscle-ten.htm

When I’m back in the gym full-time I intend to incorporate the balls as part of my stretch & cool-down but for now I’ll be using them daily to work on pregnancy niggles. If you give them a go, let me know what you think.

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