How can a £10 purchase revolutionise your training? It can if it’s a little foam ball! (This is not a sponsored post, I just love it that much.)
What’s so special about it?
Regular use of the foam ball is an extremely effective way of preventing injuries. When the muscles are tense it is much easier for them to get torn during exercise, especially when the pressure is applied in a strange position like it often is in jiu jitsu.
Have you ever trained so hard that the next day you felt as if you were hit by a bus? When every single movement produces pain, there is nothing better than a foam ball to ease it. Massaging your body not only alleviates most of the pain related to post-training soreness, but it also speeds up recovery by increasing the blood flow to your muscles.
Take it anywhere
Due to its small size and weight, this wonderful thing can be taken anywhere. This is particularly helpful when travelling to competitions on cheap flights with limited luggage. It goes with me everywhere from the gym to holiday destinations.
Helps with everything
The foam ball (8 cm diameter) is small enough to reach many muscles omitted by massage using a foam roller. This makes it suitable for every body part from feet and thighs to shoulders and neck. Pain in the lower back is often caused by stiffness in the glutes, while pain in the side of the knee can be related to tension in thigh muscles. The ball quickly reaches all the sources of pain.
How to use it?
This video covers all essential uses of the ball from the feet to the neck. These are the basics, but it can be used on any sore muscle in the body.
Hip, bum and spine stretches will be most useful for BJJ practitioners. If finding time is an issue start with these three and supplement them with rolling out places, which are causing you pain at the moment.
Use the floor and the wall rather than pushing the ball with your hand to get enough pressure to relieve the muscles. Roll over whole muscles or stay on particularly painful bits for a longer time.
Most people don’t realise how stiff they are. If you do not stretch on a regular basis, this will be relatively painful the first 2-3 times. But the results are instant, so I guarantee you’ll keep coming back!
If any particular body part hurts before the class, it’s worth it to quickly roll out just that one bit to prevent injury.
How often should I use it?
It takes about 15-20 min to roll out the whole body. You only need little space on the floor and a piece of wall to do this.
This is especially helpful following a day of very tough training, when every movement is painful. It’s good to wait overnight until your muscles are not warm anymore. Stretching while the muscles are still warmed up, may be easier, but you could still feel sore the next day.
If you don’t have enough time to do this regularly throughout the week, a full body rolling out session just once a week on your rest day will do wonders for your body.
Which one to buy?
- 8 cm diameter – Small size will let it get to the tiniest muscles.
- Smooth, not spiky – A smooth ball can be slowly manipulated to apply pressure to every place where it’s needed. When pressed against the floor it is possible to slowly shift pressure in whichever direction. A spiky ball is more difficult to use and doesn’t always reach everything that needs to be massaged.
- Foam rather than lacrosse – Foam balls are less painful to use and make this a helpful and relatively enjoyable activity rather than pure torture, while still achieving the same effects. Foam doesn’t mean that the ball is soft!
Here is the link to the one I own myself. This is not a sponsored post, any other one you’ll buy should be just as good! However, if you decide to buy this one through the link, Amazon will pay me some tiny percentage of the price.