Fresh Start to Fitness: Myofascial Release Exercises Using a Tennis Ball

Fresh Start to Fitness - Myofascial Release Exercises
Muscle soreness after a workout is typically a good thing because it lets us know we are progressing toward change, but sometimes the pain can be a little too much, says Jeffrey Beck, exercise specialist at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray.

Beck recommends that you do the following myofascial release exercises in order to stimulate blood flow and loosen up tight muscles with the use of a tennis ball.

1) Neck: Simply lie on the ground and place a tennis ball behind your neck, just to the right of your spine and under your skull. Sink into the tennis ball and roll your head slightly to the left and right, avoiding your bony bits. If you find a tight spot, stop and hold your position for 30 seconds before continuing. Switch sides after a minute or two.

2) Lower Back: Place the tennis ball under the right side of your lower back. Cross the same-side leg over your opposite knee and roll slightly to that side. Do this for 30 seconds or until you feel sufficient release and then switch sides.

3) Quads: Simply lie on your stomach, supporting yourself on your forearms. Pull your right leg up toward your chest, but rotated out to the side. Place the tennis ball under your left thigh and put the ball of your left foot on the ground for leverage. Use your toes to push and pull yourself forward and backward to roll across the top of the ball. Take your time, and when you're done, switch legs.