Exercises With Spikey Balls
Developed in Denmark, the spikey ball is a small, spike-covered massage ball used to release muscle tightness, which facilitates increased flexibility and improved posture. Avoid using the spikey ball if you have acute inflammation, severe bruising or joint pathology. Exercises should be pain free, leaving the targeted muscles feeling lighter and more relaxed afterward.
Upper back extensions encourage more fluid movement in the upper spine, rib cage and chest. Lie flat on the floor and place two spikey balls under your upper back so that one rests on either side of your spine, in between your shoulder blades. With your knees bent toward the ceiling and your feet flat on the floor, straighten your arms up to the ceiling and lower them over and behind your head toward the floor. Repeat 10 times, exhaling through your mouth as you move your arms back to the starting position.
The pectoral release exercise helps to open the muscles of the chest, benefiting those who have rounded, internally rotated shoulders from spending large amounts of time sitting. Stand close to a door frame or wall and place a spikey ball between the inside of your shoulder joint. Use the wall to roll the ball across your chest horizontally, the direction of the muscle fibers in your pectoral muscle. Move back and forth from shoulder joint to shoulder joint 10 times.
Numerous exercises can be done to loosen up the feet. To help reduce plantar fasciitis, an irritation of the plantar fascia underneath the feet, place a spikey ball under the arch of your left foot and step down on the ball for 30 seconds. Repeat one to two times on each foot. You also can practice your balance by balancing one foot on the ball at a time, hovering for 30 seconds. Stand near a wall or chair so you have something to steady yourself if you lose your balance.
To soften the sides of the legs and the buttocks, lie down on your back with one spikey ball on either side of your sacrum, the hard flat bone at the top of the pelvis. Place a pillow under your head to prevent neck strain. Move your weight slightly from ball to ball until you feel a release of tension. You may need to periodically adjust the balls if they roll out of position. You can further release the sides of the legs simply by carefully resting the side of your leg on a ball.
Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.