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Do you spend a lot of time being stagnant? Spending much of your time sedentary at a desk or driving? Do you have tight/stiff quads and glutes? The two are often correlated!
Doing work with a therapy ball can help you to massage out these areas when they are not relaxing the way you would like them to.
Try these techniques to increase blood flow and improve circulation in this area. You will need a large therapy ball. If you don’t have one you could use two small therapy balls tied together in a sock, or try a tennis ball instead.
The one thing you absolutely must do during this practice, is to breathe. All other instructions below are totally optional.
Jenna Switzer’s complete Therapy Ball Mobility series can be found in the Yoga with Kassandra mobile app bit.ly/ywkjenna
1. To start, lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Relax the arms down at the sides, with palms up. Take a moment to inhale and exhale deeply. Grab the therapy ball, and place it underneath your right butt cheek. Find a nice meaty spot to place it. Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, protecting your sciatic nerve. Move around over the ball, keeping it on the one side – between the top of the pelvis and the sit bones. The sensation as you move around should “hurt so good” not like you are bruising yourself. When you find a knotty spot that is in need of some TLC, hold still. Lift the right foot off the floor. Start to open the knee out to the side as you inhale, as you exhale bring the knee back to center. If you want to take it a bit deeper, you can cross the ankle over the top of the knee and then roll in the spot. After a few rounds of this and when you start to feel some relief, lower the foot back to the ground. Begin to move around again until you find another knot. Repeat the process as needed until you’ve worked all the knots on this side.
2. Remove the ball, and lower down on to the mat. Leave your knees bent and soles of the feet on the mat. Take a few deep breaths here. Drop the knees from side to side a few times. Then hug the right knee in towards the belly. Straighten the left leg out. Sway side to side. Take a moment to assess your mobility and how your hips feel. Switch legs, and notice the differences between the side you have massaged and the side you have not.
3. Draw the right knee in again. Drop the knee out to the side, place the sole inside of the thigh as you extend the left leg out. As you inhale, squeeze the muscles of the glute. Then as you exhale, slowly release the muscles. Repeat this exercise a few times. Then switch to the left side.
Now repeat from the top, but placing the ball under the left butt cheek.
4. Now for the quads! Come to lay on your belly. Place the ball just above the knee on the right leg. Take a few deep breaths and then start to roll the leg around on the ball. You may find it more effective to slowly bend and straighten the leg. Or rock the foot out to the side and then back in,
5. Move the ball midway up the leg and repeat the previous process. Then once more to the top of the quad (below the leg crease).
Before you switch to the other leg, come up to kneeling and sit back on the heels if it feels okay for you. Take a look down at your quads. If the side you just worked looks bigger and stronger, that is a sign of increased blood flow in that area.
When you are done and moving on to your day – notice how your body feels.
Would you prefer audio and visual cues for your first time through? Check out the video below.
Yoga with Kassandra – Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.