Best Massage Therapist: Lacrosse Ball

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Many experts in the realm of fitness are emphatic about using lacrosse balls as a tool to reduce muscle adhesions and relieve trigger points.

Today I welcomed my first lacrosse ball at my doorstep. I was really excited to give it a try. To say I was blown away by its positive effect on my body would be an understatement. I felt incredibly loose and incredibly mellow after rolling on it.

 

Working My Way From Head to Toe

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First muscle group to be attacked by the ball was my upper back. I leant against a wall with the ball sitting right on my upper traps.

This was probably the most unpleasant physical therapy I have ever put my body through. Well, my enthusiasm for the ‚Magic Ball‘ quickly faded away when I quickly realised that rolling my body on it was turning out be a hell of a torture. I encountered spots in my upper traps that had me close to screaming out loud because of pain.

Moving on, I worked my way up the neck and rolled the ball midly on both the sternocleidomastoid muscles of the posterior neck. This gave me the most ridiculous creeps and let my skin crawl like crazy. It seemed to have hit some nerves whose tantalising effects I could sense running through my body like an electric current.

I then faced the wall and ran the ball across my entire face – slightly painful sensation yet with the most wonderful after-effect of relaxed facial muscles.

Next up were my glutes. Sitting down on the floor with the ball beneath my butt was no fun in terms of testing my pain tolerance. I rolled forth and back while exerting as much pressure as I could on super tight areas. After enduring the hardcore beating on my glutes, I finished off my physical abuse by localising tense spots in my quads. 

 

It Felt Like a Workout

Even though this 10-minute rolling session felt like a tough workout with my heart rate noticeably increased and sweat running across my back, I was beautifully relaxed and felt like my body had been pleasantly loosened up. Where a foam roller is nowhere near as effective in targeting singular deep-lying muscular adhesions, the lacrosse ball gets the job beautifully in a masochistic way.

Usually, I welcome it when people get into working out and push their muscles hard. However, just like a car/machine requires regular maintenance to keep the parts working in tune, so do our muscles require periodic service to allow proper physiological functioning. For this purpose, I can recommend anyone to give the lacrosse ball a shot. Applied pre- and post-training it will aid one’s ability to recover and possibly reduce „Delayed onset muscle soreness“ (DOMS).

I find that the Lacross Ball is wonderful for specifically targeting localised tightness in the glutes, calves, upper back, forearms, biceps, shoulders, and quads. However, to effectively target the hamstrings, IT band, lower back without screaming out loud, I have found a larger ball more suitable. I like to use The Orb. It has a bigger diameter and isn’t as hard as the Lacrosse Ball but allows me to really the entire length of my hamstrings.

Anyhow, whether you decide to use a Lacrosse Ball or The Orb, be prepared: it will hurt – no doubt!  To quote Jason Ferruggia in his recommendation to use a lacrosse ball:

„You’ll hate me at the time but will thank me later.“

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