Everyone knows how important it is to get plenty of exercise each week. According to the MayoClinic, the target is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity – or a combination of the two.
But you don’t often hear about the counterpart to all that physical activity: rest and recovery.
The truth is, your body can get too much stress and exertion. That’s why it’s important to prioritize days off from intense exercise, and also why you need to take an active role in recovery. Here’s a look at how lacrosse ball exercises can give your sore muscles the relief they need!
What does a lacrosse ball do for muscles?
Like a good massage, a lacrosse ball is able to eliminate tension in the connective tissues around your muscles. The lacrosse ball is small enough that it can provide targeted attention on problem areas.
Whether you’ve gotten sore from a strength training workout, a long run, or just sitting at the computer all day, a good lacrosse ball like the one from Victorem (https://victoremgear.com/products/lacrosse-ball) can relieve soreness and get you ready for your next big workout!
6 Great Lacrosse Ball Exercises
Feeling stiff? We’ve listed 6 exercises you can do with a lacrosse ball to self-myofascial release (massage) those achy feet, shoulders, back, and more!
1) For feet
Simply place the ball on the mat or floor in front of you. While standing up straight, lift one of your feet and place it on top of the ball. Then, roll it around in a back-and-forth or circular motion so that it’s putting pressure on the arch of your foot.
2) For quads
Kneel down so your legs are bent at the knees, with one thigh placed on the lacrosse ball and the other leg behind you. Keep your upper body straight and apply your body weight onto the ball. You should keep up the pressure on your quad for about 30 seconds before changing positions.
3) For hips
Hips are one of the places on the body that carry the most stress, and they also get the least attention! To fix that, you’re going to lie on your back with legs bent at the knees. Target the ball right under your lower back or glute – wherever the pain and tightness are occurring. Then, move your body up and down on the ball with plenty of pressure.
4) For glutes
Your gluteus maximus (glute) muscles are used in everything from standing, walking, and running – not to mention squats and lunges! To help soothe any discomfort and increase blood flow, lie face-up on a mat with your knees bent, and put the lacrosse ball right at the point where your lower back and your bottom meet.
With elbows at your side for extra stability, roll your body to the right and lower the right leg to the mat while keeping the left one still. Do this for a minute or two and then switch.
5) For shoulders
The shoulders are another spot that holds a lot of tension. You can soothe your shoulder muscles by placing the ball between your upper back and the mat or floor. Then, move your body so the ball is hitting the muscles around your shoulder blades, including the trapezius and deltoids. Or if you’d rather be upright, you can do the same thing in a standing position with the ball wedged between your upper back and the wall.
6) For back
The back is a huge area with 40 different muscles, so there’s a lot of potential for soreness there, especially in the lower back. In reality, your back muscles are activated all day long while you’re sitting at work or driving, so it’s a good idea to give them some attention.
Start by lying face up with the ball between your back and the mat or floor, and will your upper arms and elbows pressed against the ground for extra stability. Have your legs bent at the knee and move the ball under your back from side to side. Then, lower your right knee and thigh toward the mat for a minute or two, before switching to the other side.
Final Note: Lacrosse Ball Exercises
Remember to breathe while you’re doing these exercises, and to stop if anything starts to hurt. It may feel a little uncomfortable, but it should be a good kind of pain as you knead out any knots in your muscles.
Last but not least, try to do a thorough job with all of your different muscle groups. This will help you stay limber and avoid lasting damage to your body. Good luck!