Necessity is the mother of invention! Sure, it can be great having a professional massage therapist working on my legs a couple of times a week. But if that was the case, then I wouldn’t be sharing this Self-leg-massage tutorial with you.
What did I do? Research the various ways that I can deal with my leg’s stiffness, sourness and pain without involving a professional massage therapist. I always knew it is a hit or miss game.
So, after trial and error period, I managed to compile some effective ways that really helps me on my day to day leg massage needs. The following is the list of methods and tools I use to ensure my legs are on top condition week after week:
1. Using Foam Roller
In my workplace, I scale stairs almost every day which ends up hurting my legs in some days. How do I deal with that? I use a form roller to fix it.
Rollers are usually made from a hard foam. My form roller helps me massage the IT band or tight muscles that are hurting. The trick is to get a deeper massage from this than when a use my hands only.
- I lie on my right side and place my right hip on the roller
- Then I put my hands on the floor for support
- I cross my left leg over to my right and place my left foot level on the floor
iv. After that, I roll my body to my right allowing roller movements – from my hip to my knee to cover the entire length of my outer thigh.
v. Finally, I roll back and forth for about 30 seconds and then switch to my left to repeat the whole process again.
2. Using Frozen water bottle
When I am called to present or talk about some issues, I spend a lot of time standing. This makes my little muscles at the bottom of my feet to get strained. In such cases, a frozen water bottle comes to my rescue.
- I just put a frozen water bottle on my floor
- Roll back and forth under my feet while paying attention to the areas with super soreness as well as my heels
- If I become uncomfortably cold, I slip on a pair of socks and keep rolling
- I only require to roll each foot for 15 minutes and I am through
3. Using tennis ball
This is one of my favorites because I can do it under my desk at my workplace without interrupting my schedule. I use a spiked ball for better results but occasionally I also use the regular tennis ball.
- While sitting, I step on the ball with either a sock or barefoot
- Then I roll back and forth starting from heel to toe with steady pressure – but I make sure I don’t flatten the ball fully.
- After that, if there are still areas that I am feeling tender or painful, I work on those knots by rolling in small circles. But if I need more pressure, I do it while standing.
- The I repeat the whole process for my opposite foot
4. Using PVC pipes
Running early in the morning after waking up is kind of my hobby. Although running keeps me fit, sometimes I may have some uncomfortable tight spots before or after the race.
That’s why I can’t do without PVC pipes although I still own a foam roller. There are some reasons why I use PVC pipes instead of a foam roller in such cases. Those reasons include firmness and ability to work well on large muscle groups like hamstrings.
- I place my PVC pipe on the floor.
- I lean my body weight into it while bracing myself with legs or hands so that I can control the pressure easily.
- Then, I roll up and down my muscles along the front and back of my body particularly focusing on all the tight spots
5. Using quadriceps technique
This is one of the methods that I use that doesn’t require an item to be purchased. But it still very effective in ensuring that my feet muscles are relaxed.
- While sitting on the ground with my legs out in front, I knead, squeeze and shake my leg muscles using both hands
- Then I use my fingers and thumbs to apply some cross-fibre strokes along the stretch of the muscle.
- After that, I push down gently into the muscle using both thumbs at the same time and massage towards my knee
- I then go back to the top of my thigh and rotate my thumbs outwards across the top part of the muscle
- While there, I squeeze down into it while still moving down towards my knee
- Finally, I ensure that I repeat the movements
6. Using hamstring technique
Here is how I deal with minor hamstring muscle problems that don’t require medical interventions.
- I sit up against my house wall with one of my knees raised and my foot level on the ground
- Using my both hands, I knead, squeeze and shake the whole stretch of my hamstring muscle
- Then I lie on my back and press the hamstring muscle with my fingertips such that the back of my fingers, on one hand, are touching the back of the other.
- Finally, I work my way up towards my backside
7. Using calf technique
From time to time I may encounter calf problems which are annoying at times. Luckily, I found a way to deal with the issue.
- I start by sitting on the ground with one of my feet out to the side and in front such that my lower leg is at about 45 degrees angle with the floor
- Then using both of my hands, I knead and shake my calf muscle giving me problems
- Finally, I combine the cross-finger strokes and effleurage with my thumbs as I move up and down the muscle.
8. Using gliding technique
It is one of my easiest methods I use regularly. One of its benefits is saving time.
- With my fingers relaxed and hand open, I glide over my legs starting from the feet upwards
- I do 10 strokes per leg, hitting my hamstrings, quads, shins and calves
- To vary the intensity, I start light and then dig in using my palm while moving in a circular motion towards my core.
9. Using pressing technique
During my free time, I may decide to work on my legs a little bit to release muscle tension.
- I start by squeezing all my toes before squeezing my Achilles tendon
- As I work my way up, I intensify the pressure on all the tough muscles like quads and calves
- Then I squeeze my muscles either using one hand or both. Sometimes I use my elbow or fist to do the trick
10. Using the drumming technique
Because of the nature of the exercises and work I do daily, it’s had to go for a long time without getting leg muscle cramps. And here is how I deal with that issue.
- I make a fist or use either the side of my hand or palm to drum my way up my leg
- By varying or regulating velocity and intensity, I am able to stimulate my cramped muscles
Lastly, I usually get a lot of benefits from the above Self-leg-massage tutorial. Some of those benefits include sore muscle recovery, pain relief, and better blood circulation.