How to Use Self Myofascial Release for 5 Key Areas of Your Body (Tutorial)

Self myofascial release using a tennis ball increases blood flow and circulation, promotes mobility, and eases muscle tension in our bodies.

This article will illustrate five uses for relief with just a tennis ball.

Take a few moments out of your day and either pick one area or all to mobilize and rehydrate before you get back on the road to enjoy a day of fun and adventure.

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Remember: When using a tennis ball on your body, the sensation should never be sharp, shooting, or painful.

Sometimes there might be tenderness and that’s okay. But if the sensation elicits a painful response, move above or below that area and make sure that the sensation feels helpful.

Do not push beyond pain. When it comes to self myofascial release, less is definitely more.


Here’s How to Use Self Myofascial Release for 5 Key Areas of Your Body:


1. Hips

hips myofascial release

This self myofascial release practice is really helpful for long car rides and can be done in the car or after travel.

In this area of the body, we will mobilize and hydrate the glutes and any areas of the outer hips that tend to get tight or tense after being stagnant in one position over extended periods of times.

This will be a great overall rejuvenator for the pelvis and hips.

Let’s try it:

  • Either start in a seated position with your knees bent or lying down on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor
  • Imagine the bullseye or center of your buttocks and place the myofascial ball right into the center of one side of your buttocks
  • Start to roll side to side and up and down, exploring sensation in your backside
  • Perhaps find an interesting spot to land on and take three to five breaths, really relaxing your pelvis and hips into the ball
  • When complete, switch to the other side


2. Feet

foot myofascial release2

After you’ve been seated for a while, you can often get stagnation or swelling in the feet.

Self myofascial release for the feet can actually help to support the entire body. We can improve circulation and release tension in the legs and back. We can also hydrate the body, removing stagnation.

Practice this self myofascial release for your feet anytime, whether you’re sitting in the car and need a little bit of a pick-me-up or after a long day of hiking or traveling. This can be a really good supportive practice to help get blood flow moving through your entire body.

Let’s try it:

  • Start either standing or sitting
  • Starting with your right heel, press your heel into the tennis ball and rock your heel from side to side
  • Then place the ball under the ball of your foot and rock your foot across from side to side
  • Then begin to roll from the ball of your foot toward your heel in the direction of your heart with pressure
  • Repeat several times, exploring sensation in the arch of your foot
  • Then, with a light, superficial touch, begin to softly “scribble” all over the bottom of the ball
  • This will enhance your body’s awareness of where it is in space, but it also helps to clean up the area of any toxins that may be living in your tissues
  • Once complete, switch to the second side

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3. Shoulders and Upper Traps

shoulder myofascial release
Practice this toward the end of the day to help release any tension that has risen up. This can help calm your body and mind and release stress.

Remember how important the breath is when doing these self myofascial release practices because it elicits a nervous system response that helps to facilitate calming your body and mind.

Let’s try it:

  • Using a wall or a hard back chair, first begin by finding your upper traps by squeezing the top of your shoulders
  • There might even be a little bit of tenderness at the top of your shoulder when you find this spot
  • Place the tennis ball at the top of your shoulder and anchor your body weight into the wall or the hard back chair
  • Take a couple of deep breaths, feeling your body really landing on the tennis ball
  • From here, using the arm that has the tennis ball behind your shoulder, begin to reach your arm forward and backward, mobilizing the tissues on the top of your shoulder
  • There may be some tenderness, but avoid anything sharp, shooting, or painful
  • Play with other arm movements that might feel helpful here to mobilize the tissues of your shoulder
  • Once complete, repeat on the second side


4. Low Back

low back myofascial release
Use this technique at the end of the day or during long car rides where your low back starts to get tender.

This can really help to relieve tension that we often experience in the low back. It can also help to mobilize the low back that often gets stiff during long car rides or travel.

Let’s try it:

  • Using a wall or a hard back chair, place your hands right above your hip bones into the sides of your waist with your fingers pointing forward on your abdomen and your thumbs landing on your back
  • From here, push your thumbs into your back. You might even notice a little bit of tenderness
  • Now, try moving a little side to side and you might feel a muscle pushing back into your thumbs. This is where you will place the tennis balls
  • Place one tennis ball into the area of the low back where your thumb is and use bodyweight or compression to place a little bit of pressure into that area
  • From here, take three to five deep breaths
  • Then, begin to do a little bit of rocking side to side, massaging this area right in the low back
  • Once complete, repeat on the second side

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5. Hamstrings and Back of Thighs

thighs myofascial release
This self myofascial release technique is an all-time favorite for relieving tension in the low back and legs, especially after a long day of travel.

This practice is really great for anyone who experiences symptoms of sciatica or discomfort in the low back.

Practice this at the end of the day, in the morning before you head out for the day, or during long bouts of travel.

Let’s try it:

  • Start seated on a chair or on the floor
  • First, begin by locating your sitting bones under your pelvis (the bony protrusions that you can feel in your seat)
  • From the seat, place the ball directly below your sitting bones (in the direction of your knees) right at the attachment sites of your hamstrings
  • Let your legs get heavy and start to shift your hips forward and backward like you might be wagging your tail
  • Then, start to drag your leg across the floor. Try not to engage your thighs to do the work. Let the leg be quite lazy as you roll across the tennis ball
  • There may be some tenderness here, but remember, if it’s sharp, shooting, or painful, then work below that site

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Use Self Myofascial Release to Feel Your Best No Matter What

Bottom line, when preparing for travel or adventures outdoors, never leave home without your tennis ball. It will help you find relief in so many ways.

Try these tips and tricks out and let us know how it works for you!

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wonderful comments!

Allie Geer

Allie found yoga after a traumatic car accident in 2006. She is a 500-hour certified yoga instructor and a Yoga Medicine® Registered Therapeutic Specialist. Allie assistant teaches Yoga Medicine® 500-hour trainings all over the world.


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