Two Tennis Balls, A Sock and Your Back (Basic)

Welcome I’m Brian Hagan with HealthySteps. Our vision is to give you the education, techniques, and support, to help your steps on your unique health journey.

Our video today is on loosening the muscles of the back using two tennis ball and a sock. First it’s important, if you have back issues or think you may have back issues, that you discuss this with your primary care provider prior to using this technique. This technique requires you to move your body up and down in a squatting movement. If you have concerns about your knees consult your primary care provider before performing this technique. Also start off slow working the tennis balls into the back muscles only for approximately 5 minutes for the first two days. Then as you get a better feel for how tinder this area is you can increase the time. Ideally you want to work this area 3-5 minutes twice a day for about a week or two. Then as the back becomes less tinder move to the advanced technique. (For the floor techniques watch Two Tennis Balls a sock and your back {advance})

The tool that we are going to use is two tennis balls and a sock. Take the two tennis balls slide them all the way into an old sock (No holes). Then tie a knot into the sock so that the two balls are tight together at the end of the sock. This is a great tool to work the muscle along the spine from the back of the skull to the sacrum. The reason that you are putting the two tennis balls tightly together is because it forms a V. It is in this V that the spine will be as you roll the balls up and down the back. This way you don’t have to worry about rolling over the spine.

To start you want to find a wall without chair rails. It is best to do this without a shirt or for females a sports bra. Other wise the tennis balls will get wrapped around the shirt. You are going to stand with your back against the wall and your feet about shoulder width apart. Now move your feet about one and half feet from the wall. Keep your butt and your back against the wall. The sacrum is located between the two Glute (butt) muscles and where the spine comes into the hip. If you place your hand in that area you will feel a good size bumpy bone. That is your sacrum. At the very end or bottom of your sacrum is your tailbone. We do not want to run the tennis ball over the tailbone. Place the tennis balls between the sacrum and the wall so that they are parallel to the floor. Once they pined between the sacrum and the wall start moving up and down so that the tennis balls roll over the entire sacrum. The movement should be slow and controlled. Once this area feel nice and warm (less then a minute) Move the tennis balls up and into the lower back. The tennis balls should be off the sacrum and just above the hip bone with the spine resting between the two balls. Again move your body up and down so that the balls are rolling 2-3 inches up and down the lower back. Again you are just trying to warm up these muscles up so rolling up and down approximately 10-15 times or roughly less the a minute. Proceed in this manner up the back until you get to your shoulders. This technique does take some practice so be patient. The first couple of times it will seem difficult to keep the tennis balls in place and not slipping and falling to the floor. Once you get to the area behind your shoulders you can add the movement of your arms. Also you may need to move your feet out a couple of inches and you may need to lift your glutes off the wall. The important point here is that you feel the tennis balls getting into the muscles. After moving up and down and warming the area up. Stop and move your arms through their entire range of motion. This might cause some tenderness. If to tender stop and move up and down to warm the muscle up more. As you move up the body the glute (butt) may come off the wall “That is okay”. If you feel you need to put more pressure on the tennis balls then move you feet out to about 3 feet. If that is uncomfortable then move them back. Again you want to feel the balls working into the muscle but not terrible pain. Finally you will need to work the neck. Because of the curve in our neck you will need to move your Glute (butt) off the wall. Move it to where ever it feels comfortable. Again you are moving up and down so that the balls work then entire length of the neck including the back of the skull.

Okay that is the technique of using to tennis balls, and a sock to loosen the muscles of the back. Thank you for watching

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