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Tennis Ball Shoulder Exercise

author image Lisa M. Wolfe
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.
Tennis Ball Shoulder Exercise
Try a tennis ball for pain relief. Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If shoulder pain will not leave you alone and a professional massage is not within your budget, an inexpensive way to bring pain relief is through the use of a tennis ball. This simple neon ball can work its way into the deepest parts of your shoulder pain, bringing relief. Use it at home where you can relax as you exercise.

What To Use And Why

A used tennis ball is best for self-massage, as it will have more give than a new tennis ball. Since you are controlling the amount of pressure, the massage is completely in your hands. You know best from where the pain originates, and that area of sensitivity is where you'll want to focus the pressure. Use the tennis ball all around your shoulder, but hold the pressure static in the sensitive area until you feel the tension release. If the pain is too intense, release the pressure, roll the ball around and return to that area later.

Massaging the Front of Your Shoulder

In order to release the pressure on the front of your shoulder and your upper chest, Anthony Clark, M.A., suggests that you place the ball under your shoulder, lying face down. Extend your arm straight and out to the side. Place your opposite elbow on the ground to control the amount of pressure. Begin by rolling the ball over the shoulder muscle, continuing slightly onto the chest. When you find the area of most sensitivity, hold and adjust the amount of pressure until you feel the tightness release. Remember to breathe while you are using the tennis ball. Repeat the massage on your opposite shoulder.

Releasing The Middle Of Your Shoulder

To bring relief to the middle of your shoulder, stand with your one side against a wall and place the tennis ball between the wall and your shoulder. Keep your arm down toward your side and control the amount of pressure by leaning farther into or away from the wall. Using your legs, move your body up and down to massage the shoulder. When you find the area of most tension, stop and hold until you feel a slight release. Repeat the massage on your opposite shoulder.

Working The Back Of Your Shoulder

The back of your shoulder and your upper back can be released by lying on the floor on one side with that knee bent. Place the tennis ball underneath your shoulder, almost into your armpit. Straighten your opposite leg and place your opposite hand on the floor to aid in movement. Move the tennis ball around the back of your shoulder and into your back itself. Remember to hold the ball on the spot of most tension and repeat on your opposite shoulder.

What To Watch For

When placing the tennis ball on your body, avoid placing it directly on a bone or on your neck. Lie down in a comfortable area -- either on an exercise mat or on soft carpet. Set your room at a comfortable temperature so you will not be too cold and tense up, which defeats the purpose. If you feel any sharp pain, stop the massage. If you feel any numbness, reposition the tennis ball. Remember to evenly massage both sides of your body. Seek a doctor's attention if the pain persists or is made worse by the massage.

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