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Self Massage How-To - Page 2

Self-Massage Guidelines


Although professional massage can be pricey, Abookire recommends making once-a-week or bi-monthly visits during the four to six weeks of your peak training block. Similar to stretching, it is best to make time for self massage post run when muscles are warm. Depending on your injury history, perform a light self massage routine five to six days a week.

Churgovich has an arsenal of massage tools, including a foam roller, The Stick, a foot roller and a lacrosse ball. Depending on what ails you, consider the following self-massage tools and techniques to help keep you healthy and moving forward. Begin by gently massaging each area for 30 seconds to a minute and increase the intensity as your body adapts.

Foam Roller

  • Area: Quadriceps, hamstrings, illiotibial (IT) bands
  • Start with your IT bands. Lie sideways on the ground with your left leg on top of your right leg and lift your body up to place the foam roller beneath you, perpendicular to your body. Put your weight on the roller just below your right hip and brace yourself on the floor with your right arm. Slowly roll the device down toward the side of your knee, then roll back up toward your hip. Similarly, lie face up to roll out your hamstrings and face down to roll out your quads.

The Stick

  • Area: Calves, hamstrings, quadriceps
  • The little brother to the foam roller, the stick is used in a similar fashion. However, instead of relying on body weight, you use your upper body. This is particularly good for the calves, which are hard to massage with the foam roller.

Golf Ball

  • Area: Plantar fascia
  • Place your foot on top of the golf ball, and make circles around the heel area and then lengthen strokes towards your forefoot. If you have a tight area, pause on top of it and apply a bit of extra pressure. Begin by sitting and as your body can tolerate it, apply more weight. Be careful to avoid pushing too hard and causing bruising.

Lacrosse Ball

  • Area: Back
  • Put your lower back on top of the ball on the floor or a hard surface. Focus on circular and linear movements on tight spots and work your way up toward the trapezius muscles of the upper back. If a lacrosse ball feels too firm, start with a tennis or racquet ball.

Tool Tennis Ball

  • Area: Glutes
  • Begin by sitting on the ball at a set point and roll towards your hip. Go back to that point and roll toward your back. Your body should be facing a different direction at the end of each roll. Since this is an area that can handle deeper massage, switch to a lacrosse ball if the tennis ball isn’t dense enough.


This article originally appeared in our June 2012 issue.


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