Massage Ball Exercises (Lower Body)

by PhysioAdvisor Staff

Exercises > Massage Ball > Lower Body

The following massage ball exercises are designed to reduce muscle tension and improve flexibility of specific joints and muscles of the pelvis, thigh and lower leg. When used correctly, massage balls can be used to perform effective self massage exercises or muscle release techniques, simulating the effects of a sports massage.

Massage Balls can be purchased through the PhysioAdvisor Shop.

You should discuss the suitability of these massage ball exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.


Massage Ball Exercises (Lower Body)

The following massage ball exercises should generally be performed 1 – 3 times per day provided they do not cause or increase pain. Initially, they should be performed gently, infrequently and on a soft surface to allow the body time to get used to the exercise. As your flexibility improves, the exercises can be progressed by performing them on harder surfaces or gradually increasing the duration or frequency of the massage ball exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Gluteal Self Massage

This exercise is designed to reduce muscle tension and improve the flexibility of the gluteal (buttock) muscles.

Place the spikey massage ball under your gluteals (buttock) as demonstrated (figure 1). Using your arms and legs, slowly move your body forwards and backwards, and from side to side, allowing the spikey ball to massage your buttock region. Breathe normally keeping your legs relaxed. Repeat this process for 15 – 90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain. You can also apply sustained pressure to a particular tight spot for periods of 15 – 60 seconds or until the muscle relaxes.This exercise can be performed lying on your back in the position demonstrated (figure 2) or with the leg being massaged in a straight or bent position.

Massage Ball - Gluteal Self Massage

Figure 1 – Gluteal Self Massage

Massage Ball - Gluteal Self Massage (Supine)

Figure 2 – Gluteal Self Massage (Supine)

Hip Flexor Self Massage

This massage ball exercise is designed to reduce muscle tension and improve the flexibility of the hip flexor muscles.

Place the spikey massage ball under your hip flexors (front of your upper thigh and pelvis) as demonstrated (figure 3). Using your arms and legs, slowly move your pelvis forwards, backwards and side to side, allowing the spikey ball to massage the front of your thigh and pelvis. Breathe normally keeping your legs and pelvis relaxed. Repeat this process for 15 – 90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain. You can also apply sustained pressure to a particular tight spot for periods of 15 – 60 seconds or until the muscle relaxes.

Massage Ball - Hip Flexor Self Massage

Figure 3 – Hip Flexor Self Massage

An effective progression of this self massage exercise for the hip flexors can also be performed in this position by slowly bending the knee, lifting the thigh and lowering the leg as demonstrated (figure 4). Repeat this process for 15 – 90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain.

Massage Ball - Hip Flexor Self Massge Leg Lifts

Figure 4 – Hip Flexor Self Massage Leg Lifts

ITB Self Massage

This massage ball exercise is designed to reduce soft tissue tension and improve the flexibility of the iliotibial band (ITB).

Place the spikey massage ball under your ITB (outer thigh) as demonstrated (figure 5). Using your arms and legs, slowly move your body from side to side and up and down allowing the spikey ball to massage your outer thigh. Breathe normally keeping your leg relaxed. Repeat this process for 15 – 90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain. You can also apply sustained pressure to a particular tight spot for periods of 15 – 60 seconds or until the soft tissue relaxes.

Massage Ball - ITB Self Massage

Figure 5 – ITB Self Massage


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