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If you want a low cost way of improving localised circulation and stretching your muscles, you should consider a massage ball.
Whilst you shouldn’t use a massage ball on a new muscular injury, after a few days of recovery they can help relieve muscle stiffness and performance. However, should you use an old hockey ball or invest in a massage ball that has been specifically engineered to relieve stiffness in all the correct places?
We’ll answer that question, as well as explain why you should use a massage ball, how to use one, what to look for when buying one, and, of course, the best massage balls to buy right now, in the sections below.
The Best 5 Massage Balls
Kieba Massage Ball
The Kieba Massage Lacrosse balls are the same size as regular lacrosse balls and are ideal for treating knots and tight muscles. They’re made of normal rubber, so they’ll last a long time even if you use them a lot.
These balls are normally sold in pairs, and despite their smooth surface, they have a strong grip that prevents them from slipping during use. Furthermore, these balls come in a variety of hues, including red, blue, orange, yellow, pink, purple, and green.
- These massage balls are made of solid rubber and are built to last.
- They’re small enough to be used on a number of body parts.
- The price is quite reasonable.
- May be too hard for some
Triggerpoint Massage Ball
A smaller foam ball is better for minor portions of the body, such as the feet, while the larger one is best for larger areas, such as the back and chest. Furthermore, the foam is non-slip, ensuring that it remains in place while in use.
Beginners and those who require a soft massage ball can benefit from the TriggerPoint Foam Ball. The firm surface of this foam ball aids in gripping the muscles to keep them pain-free, and it comes in two sizes: a 2.6″ ball and a 5″ ball.
- Beneficial for myofascial relief
- Travel friendly
- Unique design
Epitomie Muscle Max Massage Ball
The trigger point massage grid of this ball is designed to target sore muscles from numerous angles, and deep ridges reach into core muscles to reduce stress and tightness. This rubber Epitomie Fitness massage ball can be used to massage broad portions of the body, such as the chest and back. The ball’s surface texture ensures a strong grip on a variety of surfaces, and it comes with a carrying case for simple transport.
- Great grip
- Super solid
- Might be too aggressive for some
- Quite Expensive
4KOR Fitness Ball
These thermoplastic rubber massage balls are meant to provide deep tissue massages, and the massage grid feature on this ball provides a solid hold so you can massage without slipping. They have a diameter of 3.2″ and are ideal for trigger points and major muscle group massages.
Furthermore, this massage ball is comprised of a long-lasting substance that will not lose its shape after repeated use.
- Set of three
- Contains textured balls
- A bit pricey
TriggerPoint Vibrating Massage Ball
Three vibration levels are available on this vibrating massage ball, allowing you to customize your body massage. You can use this ball to release tight muscle groups and target hard-to-reach parts of the body. Also, you can charge this cordless massage ball with the included charger.
However, it is more expensive than the majority of the other massage balls we’ve looked at.
- Good for specific work
- May be too small for some areas
- Less versatile
What Are Massage Balls?
In a similar way to a foam roller, they can be used to relieve tension in our aching muscles after a long day at the office or an exercise. One of the differences is that it can reach areas like the upper back, bum, and feet that are difficult to reach.
Why Use Massage Balls?
Essentially, massage balls are great for stretching and warming up your muscles before working out and releasing tension afterward. It’s also required for myofascial release, a sort of physical treatment that tries to relieve tension and tightness in specific trigger points throughout the body.
However, you don’t have to take our word for it when it comes to the usefulness of massage balls. There is a great deal of evidence suggesting they are effective for reducing muscular tightness, increasing range of motion, and improving muscle performance.
A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, for example, discovered that utilizing a massage ball can help avoid muscular injury. Massage balls were found to be a useful warm-up tool in another study published in Frontiers in Physiology.
Types of Massage Balls
Below are the types of balls you can purchase:
Spiky Balls – These balls often have a spiky surface that stimulates the body, improves myofascial release, and improves blood circulation. They’re frequently used on sensitive regions of the foot and can help with conditions like Plantar Fasciitis.
Smooth Trigger Point Balls – These balls have a smooth surface and can be used to massage various body regions. They usually have a rubbery texture that helps them stay in place when you use them against a surface. Its smooth surface also makes it easy to roll over the region you want to target.
Peanut Balls — This sort of massage ball is structured like a peanut, as the name suggests. The massage ball can be used to target areas around your neck and upper back.
Vibrating Massage Balls – A vibrating massage ball is used to ease tired muscles. This ball can also be used to massage different parts of the body to relieve tension and promote blood flow.
Tennis Ball – Tennis balls can also be used as massage balls because they are delicate enough not to cause pain while being small enough to target specific body parts. On the other hand, tennis balls have a tendency to move when a certain amount of pressure is applied to them.
How to Choose Massage Balls – Buyer’s Guide
Since there is no one-size-fits-all ball that will work on all bodies, we’ve identified 5 essential areas for you to concentrate on. Your choice of massage ball will be determined by how essential each of these areas is to you.
The size of the ball you purchase will influence its use. A little ball won’t help you massage larger muscle groups like your quads, glutes, or shoulders, but it can help relieve tension in minor places like the balls of your feet.
Furthermore, the strength of the ball you choose, like the size of the ball, is a very personal decision. Although a soft ball may be more comfortable, it may not be able to release trigger points that require hard pressure. A hard and dense ball, on the other hand, may be too unpleasant to use, so choose carefully.
Texture of the Surface
Massage balls come in a range of surface textures, which will evoke diverse responses, just like a professional masseuse may use different parts of their hands and arms on different sections of their body. Raised bumps or spikes can pierce an area of the body, but smooth and soft textures will cover places that may be too painful for a person to bear.
Remember how we talked about the difference between a regular hockey ball and a massage ball? One of the major differences is grip. While hockey balls are helpful, they are also slick and difficult to keep in position, whereas a good ball is designed to grip the floor.
It should go without saying that you’ll want your ball to last a long time, so look for massage balls that are composed of durable materials and built to handle repeated use without breaking down.
Can I Use it on My Feet?
Step softly on the ball in a sitting or standing stance and roll the ball back and forth on the area where you feel tension.
Can I Use a Massage Ball on My Bum?
To apply pressure, place the ball on the tight place on your buttocks and lean against a structure with your body. In order to relieve tension, use a variety of movements such as up and down and sideways motions.
How Often Can I Use a Massage Ball?
The number of times you should use a massage ball is highly dependent on the severity of your discomfort or tension. If the trigger points require more attention, repeat the massage treatment twice daily.
However, if the pain does not go away after using the massage ball for a while, you should see a sports massage therapist.
What Are Spiky Massage Balls Used for?
Regularly using a spiky ball can help you retain flexibility, relieve muscle stress, and improve performance. Spiky balls are very good for relieving tension caused by myofascial trigger points. These are the knots and contractions that develop as a result of bad posture and overuse.
Self-myofascial release can be done with these balls. They allow you to target specific knots or trigger spots on your body using acupressure.
You might be after something bigger than a ball if you’d like to target a broader body area at once. In that scenario, use a foam roller or a muscle roller stick.