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Home > Self-Massage > Self-Massage with Tennis Ball > Calves

Calf Self-Massage with Tennis Ball

Background

When I first massaged my calves with a tennis ball it was incredibly painful.  Every spot was a knot.  I did a calf massage with a tennis ball for about 15 minutes and afterwards my calves felt incredible; I got instant relief from some of my knee pain from the calf massage also.  All the stretching I had done for my calves had gotten me nowhere until I used a tennis ball on them.  I stuck with the calf massage every day for two weeks and my calves/knee haven’t given me trouble since.  If you’re going to do a calf massage with a tennis ball, be patient, a calf massage takes a long time and a lot of readjusting to hit different spots.

tennis ball massage

Setup

  1. Sit on the ground, preferably on some sort of mat.  If you’ve never done this before, you may want to do it on a carpet because it won’t hurt as much.  Sitting on a wooden floor will hurt your butt and the ball will slip around, so it’s not recommended.
  2. Stretch both of your legs straight out in front of you.
  3. Put a tennis ball underneath one of your calves, either at the bottom near the ankle or at the top near the knee.
  4. Bend the other leg so that foot is flat on the floor, knee at 90 degrees.
  5. Plant both hands behind you and out to the side a bit, elbows straight.

calf massage

Execution

  1. Scoot your butt back and forth so that the tennis ball moves up and down your calf about an inch to a half inch in each direction.
  2. After 10-20 seconds or so in one spot, reach down and move the ball up or down the calf, or simply scoot your butt back or forward to reposition the ball.

tennis ball calf massage

Tips

  1. Once you’ve got the hang of the calf massage, consider rotating your leg inward or outward to target different sides of the calf musculature.
  2. Once you’ve done this for a week or two and worked out most of the adhesions, cross the support leg over the rolling leg for more pressure.
  3. Practice tennis balls work best because they are harder and don't lose their bounciness.

tennis ball calf massage


Last Updated: 6/7/2011
Originally Posted: 4/7/2008