by Riley Bestwick

What if I said you could get rid of aches and pains, smooth out sore muscles, and unlock muscle fibers to grow bigger and stronger all for less than a dollar?

I know what you're thinking: "Just how ugly is this masseuse?" Relax, Chief. I'm talking about using a tennis ball for soft-tissue work.

Imagine a muscle as a rubber band. Now tie a knot in it and pull it tight. You have dozens of these little knots (called "trigger points") all throughout your body and they're negatively affecting the way move and feel.


Imagine a muscle as a rubber band

Trigger points exist when the muscle fibers can't release from an active, contracted state. They can be very painful, or you may not even know you have them (until you touch them, that is).

The best way to become pain-free is to get rid of the knots and "release" the muscle by using a foam roller or tennis ball and then stretching the muscle to reestablish length.

We spend most of our day on our feet and ass so I thought it best to address the lower leg and the glutes since they'll need the most work. (Note: this is going to hurt a bit, but you'll thank me later when you're pain free.)

Peroneals

The peroneal muscles are located on the outside of the lower leg and run all the way down the fibula. Sit on the floor and place the tennis ball on the outside of your lower leg and roll on top of it. Make sure to go slow and put slightly more pressure on the tender spots. Spend one minute on each leg.


The Personeal Roll

Follow with a calf stretch and hold for 45 seconds on each side.


Calf Stretch

Piriformis

Take the ball and sit on one of your butt cheeks with a slight tilt. You'll know as soon you as hit a sore spot because it'll hurt like hell. Cross one leg over the other and apply some pressure working your way through any sore spots. Spend a minute or two on each butt cheek.


Piriformis Roll


Piriformis Roll 2

Follow with a piriformis stretch and hold for 45 seconds on each side.


Piriformis Stretch

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This exclusive article (and others) can be found in the latest Wannabebig Serious About Muscle Newsletter - August 27th, 2010

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