How To: Tennis Ball Upper Back Massage

Keep your massages cheap by doing them yourself.

No need to spend loads of money on a professional massage. Getting into your upper back with a lacrosse or tennis ball will do the trick.

“Using a tennis ball or lacrosse ball to self-mobilize your upper back can improve thoracic, scapular and shoulder mobility,” says Jason Hantavis, MSPT, CSCS, OCS. “A looser thoracic spine and looser muscles will improve mobility and posture.”

Step 1: Lean against a wall, placing a lacrosse or tennis ball between your back and the surface of the wall. Make sure the ball is not on your spine.

Step 2: Move up and down, letting the pressure of the ball go over your muscles and the surrounding soft tissue.

Step 3: For an added benefit, pull your ball-side arm across your chest and support it with your other hand, letting the arm relax. This opens up the muscles and allows for a deeper massage.

Step 4: Move the ball to the other side of your back after a couple minutes. “Don’t go too fast,” Hantavis says. One-and-a-half to two minutes on each side will suffice.

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