Exercise & Stretch Guides - By Body Part
Sports massage, remedial massage, and deep tissue massage are the best remedies for the body, but in between massages, you need to keep relieving muscle aches and pains.
I have compiled a range of trigger ball exercises and stretches to help you do this from home. Browse through these photo and video guides to follow various self-massage and stretch techniques. From beginner to advanced, there is a 'how-to' for all abilities. The moves take a matter of minutes and help you to continue taking care of your body post-massage.
Trigger Ball Exercises
Using a trigger ball is a highly effective way of relieving your muscle aches and pains. Scroll through these images to see demonstrations of this self-massage technique and how-to guides for using the ball on the body.
Trigger Ball for the Upper Body
Neck, shoulders, arms, chest and back
- Place 2 trigger balls at the base of the neck, where the neck meets the shoulders, as demonstrated.
- Allow your body weight onto the balls, relaxing with arms down to the side.
- Do small movements side-to-side or up and down.
- To make it more intense, lift hips slightly.
- Explore with the arms - arms up in the air, circular motions or side-to-side.
- For all of the above, allow 30 to 60 secs rest and repeat 3 times.
Trigger Ball for the Lower Body
Hips, glutes (buttocks), quads (thighs), hamstrings, calves and feet
You can do this either lying down on the floor or stood against a wall. Make sure to place the massage ball on soft tissue on the sides of your hips and avoid direct contact with the bone.
- Lie on the side that’s experiencing tightness. Place your forearm on the ground whilst extending your leg and bring the other leg over in front of you.
- Place the massage ball under your hip, then put your hand on the ground in front of you.
- Alternatively, place the massage ball at the side of your hip and lean against the wall.
- Use the arm nearest the wall for support by placing it up against the wall.
- For both positions, move your hips around to release the tension in the tight areas.
Stretching keeps the body flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. If the muscles are short and tight then, when we need to use them for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. This can lead to stiffness, discomfort, and injury. Scroll through these images to see demonstrations of stretches that will help you to loosen the muscles.
Upper Body Stretches
Arms, shoulders & chest
- Start standing or sitting tall.
- Grab one arm above your elbow with your opposite hand and pull across your body towards your chest until you feel a stretch in your shoulder.
- Make sure to keep your elbow below shoulder height.
- Hold for 30 secs and then repeat on the other side.
Lower Body Stretches
Glutes (buttocks), quads (thighs), hamstrings and calves
- Lie on your back with both feet flat on the floor and knees bent.
- Lift both knees up towards the chest and place your right foot on to your left knee.
- Grasp both hands behind the right leg and pull towards you, head relaxed on the floor. Hold when you feel the stretch in the side of your right glute/butt.
- Hold for 30 secs and repeat on the other side.