Published On: February 13, 2024

6 Self Massage Tips You Can do at Home!

Massage is a very important tool to add to your self care regimen.  From the extreme athlete to the weekend warrior and of course those who spend most of their time working a desk job coupled with an equally long commute everyone can benefit from massage!  Why?  Well, massage can help with sore/tight muscles, injury recovery, chronic pain, postural deviations, stress reduction and sleep disorders just to name a few.  Massage also helps to break up the fascia that surrounds our muscles.  What is fascia?  Real quick, fascia is a connective tissue that basically surrounds everything in our body… organs, muscles, etc.  Some say fascia is life!  This is getting off topic… Ha Ha!  Facia is an entire topic on its own which I will talk about in a different post!

It would be wonderful if we could all add massage into our regimen at least once a month if not twice.  Unfortunately, not everyone can take the time or afford to do so.  SO…. I’m going to share some self massage tips and tools that you can do on your own at home or at your gym!

1) Foam Roller – You can buy one of these bad boys for around $20!  You can use a foam roller pretty much on your entire body… calf’s, hamstrings, quadriceps, up and down your spine, low back, lats and shoulders.  Simply place the foam roller on the desired area and roll up and down using the leverage from you feet, legs or arms.  Spend time in spots that feel a little spicy, they most likely need more love!

2) Lacrosse Ball – This tool, also cheap, can be used for smaller muscle groups like your chest muscles (pectoralis major/minor), shoulder muscles (deltoids) and your rotator cuff muscles, etc.  Use this tool just like the foam roller… place under the desired area and roll it around your muscle.  For your shoulders and chest you can either stand against a wall placing the ball in between the wall and yourself or lay on the floor placing the ball in between the floor and yourself.

3) Double Lacrosse Ball aka. the Peanut – The double lacrosse ball is essentially 2 lacrosse balls taped together and is under $10 to purchase.  This tool is fantastic for spine health and breaking up those muscles, the erector spinae group, that are right next to your spine.  Place the peanut on the floor, lay on it placing the two balls on either side of your spine then using your feet as leverage, roll up and down.  When you find a spicy spot just relax into it taking some deep breaths, allowing the peanut to sink deeper into those muscles.  Fantastic!

4) Softball – A softball is a great tool to use for larger muscle groups like your glutes, hamstrings, quads and even your pecs.  The softball is a larger hard ball that covers more area of the muscle than the smaller lacrosse ball.  To use this tool you place the ball under the desired muscle group by sitting or laying on the ball.  Using your body weight as your pressure gauge you can roll the ball across the muscle group, with the direction of the muscle fibers as well as just holding the ball on a sore point within the muscle.  Softballs are a great tool and works wonders on those tight muscles!

5) Kettlebell – You might not think of a kettlebell as a mobility tool however, it is and it’s AMAZING!  How???  By placing the kettlebell on the floor you can use the handle as tool to smash those calf’s!  Just put your calf on the handle and roll from side to side, up and down your calf.  If you find a spicy spot, hang out there for  a minute applying more pressure to help diminish that trigger point.  You can also use the belly of the kettlebell to smash your quads…  be careful with this though!  A lot of us have tight and sore quads so the kettlebell may be a little intense, just take it slow!

6) Barbell – Barbell’s like kettlebells are another great mobility tool!  Place your barbell on the rack as if you are going to perform a back squat, then step under the bar perpendicularly.  Stand up into the bar so the bar is across the top of you shoulder aka. your traps.  You can use the bar by moving it across the top of your shoulders and up into the side of your neck.  Pulling down on the bar will allow you to determine the amount of pressure that is right for you.  You can also use your barbell to roll your quads.  To do this you place the barbell on the floor then sit down with your legs out straight.  Using the portion of the bar you put weights on, roll it up and down your quads.

Phew!  Good stuff!  I hope you find some of these tips and tools useful and can incorporate them into your daily routine.  I promise, you will feel some of the same benefits you receive from a massage therapist.  And, when you’re ready for that massage give me shout!  You can find me in Homewood, CA located on the West Shore of beautiful Lake Tahoe just 6 minutes from Tahoe City… Cheers!