The few hours of sleep, the crowded subway or long commute in the car, the endless hours sitting in an uncomfortable office chair looking at a computer screen… the hustle and bustle of everyday life can lead to problems with our back, neck, and knees. But there is something you can do about this and you only need one inexpensive item: tennis balls! Use them to do these simple exercises as often as possible and you might just be able to avoid a trip to the physiotherapist or chiropractor. Watch the following video to see how…
1. Back pain
To relieve pressure on your back muscles caused by poor sitting posture or standing all day, try the following exercise: lying down, place two tennis balls under your back lengthwise, between the tailbone and the ribs (careful not to place them directly under the spine!). Then move your hips on both sides, so that the balls roll down the back and massage it. If you want, you can put the balls in a sock so they don’t roll away. As with the rest of these exercise, you should find a pressure that’s comfortable to you. So if you feel the need to, perform this exercise on a softer surface or place a cushion under your head.
2. Neck pain
To relax the muscles in this area, lie on your back on the floor, stretch your legs out, and place two tennis balls (preferably inside a bag or sock) at the base of your skull under your neck, so that your head rests on it. Tense your toes and push the balls a small amount upwards so that you can feel a stretch in your neck. Once you feel the stretch, you can relax your toes again. Then take at least 10 deep breaths.
3. Hip pain
The pain in the hips usually appears when you wear uncomfortable shoes like heels or when you sit for too long. To relieve the pain, lie on the floor, place the tennis ball under one side of your hip and use it as a support. Once you have found the balance, move your hip in a circular motion 12 times slowly in one direction and then in the other. When you finish, change the ball to the other hip and repeat.
4. Shoulder pain
Relieving tension in the shoulders is very simple: lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and place the tennis ball between your shoulder blade and your spine. Then slowly begin to move your stretched-out arm over your body, head and the floor in a circular motions. Make sure you find a pressure that’s comfortable.
5. Leg muscles and knee joint
If you notice that your knees hurt, this exercise will help you: in a sitting position, bend one knee and place the ball on the back of it. Pull your leg so that you press the ball between your calf and thigh, as if trying to crush the ball, count to 10 and relax. Count to 10 and repeat it again eight to 10 times. Then repeat with the other knee.
6. Foot reflex zone
To exercise the foot reflex zone, place the ball on the floor and roll your foot over it. You can decide how much pressure you apply on it. Roll the ball of your foot, the arch of your foot, your heel, and the inside of your foot for 30 to 60 seconds. To finish, repeat the exercise on the other foot.
7. Hand massage
Using the computer mouse on a daily basis is one of the main causes of having sore hands. Sitting on the floor, place one hand on a ball. Place your other hand on it to exert pressure, and “crush” the ball by dropping your weight on it. Stay in this position for one minute while breathing deeply. Then move the ball from side to side and then up and down, tracing the shape of an asterisk in the palm of your hand for two to three minutes. Repeat with the other hand.
You can perform some of the exercises against a wall while standing. Simply place the tennis ball on the tense area in your neck, shoulder or back, leans against the wall, and roll the ball in circles with the movement coming from your knees. Although tennis balls may initially be somewhat uncomfortable and hard, after performing these exercises, you’ll notice how your muscles are much more relaxed and you’ll be able to face everyday life with all the energy that it requires. Who would have thought that two tennis balls could do all that?