Jo is a Pilates and biomechanics specialist coach and is a senior trainer and the Lead Quality Verifier for Drummond. Her long standing industry experience in the field of corrective exercise and biomechanics analysis brings outstanding results for her clients with kinetic chain or movement dysfunctions. Jo specialises in developing Pilates beyond its current functional use to an application that pushes the boundaries of science for therapy and health management.
Lifting and mobilising the arches is a very effective strengthening exercise that helps shape and maintain the arches of the feet. There are 3 arches in the foot. Most of us think of the obvious arch that shows up along the inside of our foot. That is the medial longitudinal arch. But there is another arch that runs lengthwise along the outside of the foot, the lateral longitudinal arch. We also have an arch that runs side to side across the mid-foot which is the transverse arch.
We need all 3 of our foot arches to be strong and flexible in order to have healthy feet that provide a good foundation to stand on and move and transfer energy through the body from.
Tennis Ball Massage
1) Start with the ball on the inner arch and roll the ball along the inside edge with a firm (but not painful) action.
2) Now move the ball to the outer edge and repeat.
3) Next place the ball under the ball of the foot- and roll from side to side
4) Finally roll the ball in circular action under the whole foot –remember to
change direction! You will feel the sensory system igniting as it is stimulated
by the rolling action. Remember you are in control of the pressure- try
gradually increasing it to reap greater benefit.
Tennis Ball Wall Massage for Hip, Shoulder & Back
You can use the tennis ball to help loosen off some of the muscles that support the pelvis which can in turn lead to better alignment and relief of hip and sciatic pain. You can also explore other tight areas such as the back and shoulder, which are linked to the alignment of the body via their soft tissue connections.
Firstly you need to “map” out your body to find the areas to work on.
Stand with your back to the wall and pop the tennis ball under 1 buttock. Massage around until you find a “sweet spot”. Work around this area, gradually increasing the pressure. (You may not necessarily have any tight areas so just move on when you need to!).
Move up the back towards the shoulder blade, focusing on any areas that feel sore or tighter.
Repeat on the other side. Pay attention to which areas are sore- and make these the ones you focus on each day- your map. Aim to massage them morning and evening for around 20 seconds or until the soreness starts to dissipate.
All releases to be done when you are warm and have been up for an hour in the morning to allow the body to respond at its best.