A Fast Fix for Muscle Tension

3 moves that ease stress-related knots

Muscle tension can cause pain, decrease range of motion, and prevent muscles from contracting and moving the way they’re designed to. A small massage ball can soften these aches, allowing you to move better and perform at your peak. 

Perform this combination of rolling moves whenever you feel tight, or do it daily as a prevention plan. They target areas of the body that are most likely to hold tension. You can do them anywhere—even in your office. 

Thoracic Mow: Standing against a wall, place two balls between shoulder blades on either side of spine. Bend and straighten knees to ‘mow' the balls up and down the length of the thoracic spine (the upper and middle back). Continue for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.

Chest Release: Stand facing the wall, and place a ball between the wall and one side of your chest. Lift arm on that side 45 degrees, then 75 degrees, then 90 degrees to find tight spots. Use your chest to move the ball over those points for 30 to 45 seconds each.

Rhomboid Wringer: Standing against the wall, place two balls between shoulder blades, wrap arms around chest in a hug, and ‘swivel’ shoulders while bending and straightening knees to swirl the balls up, down, and all around the rhomboids (the muscles of the upper back). Continue for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.