Do it yourself massage: The tennis ball and foam roller self-massage for the best performance in your sport practice on the French Riviera!

Are you practicing a regular sport activity or do you do your sport only during your vacation?

For both of these, warming up and stretching before exercising is highly recommended to improve your practice and prevent soreness and injury.

If you are still experiencing muscle pain after your sport activity, massage will be an excellent solution.

Small injuries, knots, tight and sore muscles can be treated effectively by getting regular massages.

You will not only prepare your body and prevent muscle aches but you also will increase your sports performance.

Professional athletes are always assisted by massage therapists during their training and games.

It’s been proven that the treatments have a huge impact on their performance.

While there’s no substitute for experienced hands, some of the benefits of massage can be replicated at home through self-massage.

The following auto-massage techniques can be easily applied by yourself before and after each training session.

You can use a foam roller soft or hard, or a tennis ball to help you massage yourself.

Place the foam roller or tennis ball directly on the muscle or body area you want to be treated.

By applying medium to strong pressure with your body weight, the tissue, tendons and muscle will be massaged.

For the neck, back, shoulders, quads, glutes, and hamstrings it’s best to lie on the floor so your body can be used as natural weight.

With your body, slowly start rolling over the roller or ball for several minutes.

Rolling over problem areas can help release that built-up tension and re-establish the integrity and optimal performance of muscle tissue.

Increase pressure slowly and never force yourself in the area of injured or inflamed tendons and muscles.

If you attack an already-irritated area of your body with aggressive self-massage, you can increase inflammation and hamper the healing process, so go easy.

The foam roller and tennis ball technique are very effective when used together.

The foam roller is good for larger areas and gives a more overall release of tension and warming up of muscle groups, while the tennis ball should be used for more precise pressure on specific knots and tight spots, as it goes deeper into the layers of the muscle and connective tissue.

You can replace the foam roller with several tennis balls assembled in a sock.

Now it’s your turn!

Shoulder massage
Stand straight and hold one ball on your shoulder blade. Roll the ball slowly in all directions starting from the base of your skull into the neck and towards the top of your arm. Bend your head down in the opposite direction. Continue for 3-4 mins and repeat on the other side.

sport massage shoulders

Upper back massage
Lie down and place the foam roller or two balls together in a sock side by side on either side of your upper back. Interlace your hands behind your head and lift your head off the floor, bringing your chin toward your chest. Lift your bottom off the floor. Roll the foam roller or the balls up and down your upper back for 3-4 mins.

sport massage upper back

Lower back massage
Place a foam roller or 2 balls in a sock vertically between your bottom and your ribs and lie down on top of them. Breathe deeply while shifting your pelvis from side to side so the foam roller or the balls cross your entire lower back. Soften the pressure when approaching the spine. Continue for 5 mins.

sport massage lowerback

sport massage lowerback

Glutes and hip massage
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your hands on the ground
Place a tennis ball under one buttock and stay in this position for 1 or 2 minutes.
Then roll the ball in small circles around your buttock to cover the entire area for 3-4 mins.
Repeat this exercise on the other side

sport massage glutes

Posterior leg and calf massage
Lie down on your back and place the foam roller under one of your hamstrings and roll the foam roller up and down your entire hamstring for 3-4 mins.
Lie down on your back and place the foam roller under one of your calves and roll the foam roller up and down your calf for 3-4 mins.
Repeat with the other leg.

sport massage hamstring

sport massage calves

Anterior leg massage (quadriceps)
Lie down on your stomach and place the foam roller under one of your quadriceps and roll the foam roller up and down your quadriceps for 3-4 mins.
Repeat with the other leg.

sport massage quadricepts

Leg IT band massage
If you tend to move around a lot, you probably have a lot of tightness in your iliotibial (IT) band, which is the band of tissue that runs from your hip to just past your knee. Try this simple exercise for leg pain relief.
Lie on your side and place the foam roller under you hip and slowly roll the roller foam up and down from your hip to your knee. Roll for 3-4 mins.
Repeat with the other leg.

sport massage IT band

Foot massage
While standing next to a wall or chair for stability, place a ball underneath the arch of your foot. Keep your heel on the floor and let your body weight sink in. Slowly roll your foot from side to side and in different directions so the ball crosses your arch. Continue for 2-3 mins. Repeat on the other foot.

sport massage foot

Discover our article “How sport massage can help you with your sport practice”

Blue Tree Massage operates in our treatment room in Saint Paul de Vence, and at your home on the French Riviera, mainly in the Alpes Maritimes, in the principal towns along the coast (Cannes, Antibes, Cagnes Sur Mer, Nice, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche, Monaco, Menton…) as well as further inland (Mougins, Grasse, Valbonne, Biot, Roquefort les pins, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Vence…).