Introduction: Tennis Ball Back Massager

Picture of Tennis Ball Back Massager

This is a quick and easy way to relieve your back pain.  Your back will love you!

Use it on your own by rolling on it on the floor or have a friend run it up and down your back. 

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Step 2: Tape Tennis Balls Together

Picture of Tape Tennis Balls Together

Lay the duck tape sticky side facing up.  Place the two tennis balls on top of the tape a couple inches from the end.  The balls should be touching and the tape should be right in-between. 

First take the few inches of tape left on the end and wrap it around the junction where the balls meet.  Press the tape towards the meeting point to close any gaps.  Now roll the balls along the tape pressing in the tape towards the center as you go. 

Step 3: Auggie Wanted to Participate!

Picture of Auggie Wanted to Participate!


aquascapist (author)2016-04-29

I like.

Daily Fitness tips (author)2015-12-13

is this one is helpful in Disk Slip Problem ? i read a similar Lower Back pain Factors but i m confuse witch excercise i do

HakanK1 (author)2015-04-01

I love this site! Very smart!

jorge3094 (author)2010-08-22

hi, just wanted to tell you that the tape that you are using is called duct tape and not duck tape, hope it helps great instructable by the way

wolfmanjeb (author)jorge30942010-08-22

No no, it's called duck tape. It was originally created for waterproofing military ammo crates, earning it the name "Duck tape". Check your facts before you correct others.

Cartuner55 (author)wolfmanjeb2010-08-22 Read the first paragraph. There is also a brand "Duck Tape", but I assume you mean this by the "water resistant sealing tape for ammo cases".

MaXoR (author)Cartuner552010-08-22


NEVER USE WIKIPEDIA TO WIN AN ARGUMENT.... Wikipedia is created by users who think they know things. Usually it is correct in general, however among what is correct, can hide things incorrect. It's just never smart to use a database that is maintained by those who view it, for an argument.

thinkdunson (author)MaXoR2010-08-22

so instead of using a source with thousands of people that can contribute, correct, and clarify, we should use a source maintained by very few people?

how do those people get their facts?  do they do every bit of research themselves?  no, they ask experts, they outsource.

i think wikipedia is better.  and at the very least, it’s no worse.


MaXoR (author)thinkdunson2010-08-22

It's your choice, I'm sorry I even said anything. I just know that I can jump on wiki and have my updates that are ENTIRELY incorrect sit there for weeks, as I've done in the past to prove a point. I'm just stating that in my opinion, Wikipedia isn't a reliable enough source to use to debate, or argue over.

And as you stated, it's maintained by the general population.... how many times have you been able to get the inner working of a nuclear reactor from a person you meet on the sidewalk, or can joe shmoe tell you how an aircraft's gyro works? Not likely, and those that can.... probably won't waste their time typing it all out on wikipedia, since there are THOUSANDS of other area's to reference that material.

History is not any less of a task to get correct, than a reactor, so why would you leave it up to those who think they have something to contribute, or have read something in a magazine?! I'd rather know from a reputable source, and in my opinion, wiki is not even close.

But hey, it's my opinion, and everyone is entitled to one... so yours is just as valid, have a good one!

Bryan Smith (author)MaXoR2010-08-23

Wikipedia is a horrible information source! My wife is a Librarian and is always down on Wikipedia because any schmo can change information on a whim. Some do it to just to be mean.

2017M (author)Bryan Smith2014-10-07


Cartuner55 (author)Bryan Smith2010-08-23

Yes, but other readers can see it, even experts, and correct it. Usually there is a moderator that is notified whenever changes something, and can go to check for spam and incorrect statements.

shann.rox (author)MaXoR2011-07-28

That's the best explanation of why Wikipedia shouldn't be used for specific facts....its great for an overview of a subject but for dates, historical facts etc. its not always accurate.

mr monoply33 (author)wolfmanjeb2010-08-22

"Duck tape" is a sister brand like gorilla tape, sprouted from the misconception between "ductworking tape" and the word "duck". (ironically, most building codes within the US now frown upon using duct tape for duct work) "Duck tape" is by "Duck productions", who is a division of "ShurTech Brands" who is a sub of the parent company "Shurtape Technologies" who owns the trademark of the name "Duck tape". Duck tape is trademarked by the logo with a duck on the inside of the roll ( ) There is no logo on the inside of the roll in step one, so it is a generic roll of hardware store "Duct tape". Both Duct and Duck tape exist.Duck tape is more commonly used for crafts because it comes in a variety of colors, is not known for it's supportive taping properties, and using a different polythene mix. Yes, the term "duck tape" was coined in military use, perhaps because of it's water proofing properties, but it also went by "hurricane tape", "riggers' tape" and a few others which have not stuck around. It was not ONLY refereed to as "Duck tape". Check your facts before you correct others. (I can not believe I just wrote that much on duck/duct tape...)

chaydgb (author)mr monoply332010-08-24

We in the theater tech and film industries call it by the generic name gaffer tape, although I also believe there's a brand called 'Gaffa'. There is also a joke in that duc[k/t] tape is like The Force (Star Wars) - it has a dark side and a light side and it holds the universe together :)

sbacon (author)wolfmanjeb2010-08-22

actually, it's original purpose was for making canvas plane repairs, and was nicknamed 100 mile an hour tape, soldiers quickly found that it could be used for a variety of other things, and when it reached civilians, it was marketed as a way of connecting air ducts, hence the name "duct tape"

aaronjehall (author)sbacon2010-08-22

that's what I grew up calling it. My father was in the Marines and the Army.

poepadoe (author)sbacon2010-08-22

There is still 100 mile an hour tape, and it is not the same thing as commercially available "duct tape" as my dad always insisted we call it, used by parachute riggers and other paratroopers.

Another explanation is that the cloth used was similar to cotton duck cloth, which is a canvas type material used for tents, tarps and other military type applications. The original tape was a cloth like this with adhesive on it. See the article below for more info. They have citations dating back to 1945. I wouldn't edit it. Nice work to the author. vince

codongolev (author)jorge30942010-09-03

if you look at the duck brand... um.... rubber fabric tape, then it says "duck brand duct tape". therefore, when you say duck tape, it's like saying kleenex - it's technically a brand name, but nobody cares. if you say duct tape, it's like saying tissue - it's the generic name, but again, nobody cares.

goldenshuttle (author)2013-12-07

sounds like a good idea.

parisusa (author)2013-08-20

Chiropractors & Massage Therapists recommend this idea. But I never heard of putting 2 together. Great idea! Also, stepping on a tennis ball (or frozen plastic water bottle on its side) & rolling from toes to heel is helpful for certain foot issues/pain (check with your professional doctor/therapist first!). :)

binary78 (author)2012-04-20

This is awesome. Sometimes I have a problem with triggerpoints in my back and specifically gluteus medius, it can get so bad that I'm not even able to stand up. This is perfect for releasing the triggerpoints, and it's helped me alot. Thank you :-)

zjschafer (author)2011-11-09

I dunno if your dog Auggie wnated to participate.. I think she just wanted the ball xD

ac-dc (author)2010-08-22

I wonder if I used 1000 tennis balls, could I build a massage trampoline?

JermsG (author)ac-dc2011-09-10

I WANT one! =8-D

nyannayon (author)2010-10-11

Whatever. I use this tool in a slightly different way. I put the two tennis balls in a knee high trouser sock and tie a knot in it. If I have a headache, I lie down on the floor with my lower legs resting on the seat of an upholstered chair. I relax my legs so that they relax apart and are supported by the arms of the chair. I may have to put a towel under my lower back to acheive comfort. Then I'll use a hand towel or washcloth to prop the tennis balls in the occiput. I've heard that it's not a good idea to do this for more ten minutes and I suspect that it's because the flow of fluids is stopped/slowed by the pressure of the balls. If you are are going to try this, be sure to have a few pillows and towels near to hand (and maybe an eye pillow) to prop yourself comfortably. It's a wonderful way to unwind when you get home from work.
Thank you, Carleyy!

Screamo (author)2010-09-25

Great instructables! :) you can all shut up about the "duct tape" "duck tape " thing

codongolev (author)2010-09-03

duck's a brand name, duct's a generic name. but you don't see anyone freaking out about calling a tissue kleenex, do you? (in other words, agreed.)

hlhenry (author)2010-08-26

Doing it against the wall also works.

pedaltroy (author)2010-08-25

I use a large superball. It is less compliant and works well for getting a deeper tissue massage.

menahunie (author)2010-08-22

You are correct in the name of "Duck" Tape. I really wonder why some people nit pick and even when they are wrong/right continue to do so? It is kinda like banging your head against the wall; it only gives you a headache and leaves a mark on the wall. IT IS CALLED BOTH Duck/Duct TAPE; depending in what country you are..

sbacon (author)menahunie2010-08-24

Duck is a corporation, they make all sorts of tape, including duct tape, and cleverly put their name in big letters on their duct tape because it is similar to the word duct, in that only the t is replaced with k, creating a homophone, i agree that the conversation is unnecesary, but i felt the need to defend the correct answer to defend the oppressor wolfmanjeb:)

ronartcal (author)2010-08-24

Nice Girl! Thanks! :-)

slloren (author)2010-08-22

Actually a better way to do this is using old tube sock instead of duct tape. Insert the balls inside the sock and tie at both ends. Voilà!

Friedo (author)slloren2010-08-23

Wow that sounds like the 2.0 version. Duc(t/k) tape leaves residue if/when it comes off. Maybe using the tube sock with a knot in the middle between the balls to keep them separate, also? Now I want to go hunting for one of my lone ranger socks..

Scatterlogical (author)2010-08-23

I heard about a great way to fix bad backs - something to do with a steel trashcan - hmmm, something is vaguely reminding me of The Simpsons....

emerson.john (author)2010-08-23

Good idea. Auggie wants you to throw one of those balls! And what a nest of amazingly picky makers you uncovered with the tape spelling. I think it should be called DUCKT tape on Instructables henceforth.

HEY YOU (author)2010-08-23

Well done!!

If you drill holes part way through a couple of solid core golf balls (the liquid filled ones are messy) then thread a piece of threaded rod between them, you can get pretty deep into the back muscles.

Don't forget to leave enough of a gap between the balls so as not to rub on your spine!

For chronic foot pain try freezing the golf balls and rolling it with your bare foot.

Cheers, and happy massaging

bsernie (author)2010-08-22

Glad to see your style. I used to do your style with one tennis ball to massage my back 14 years ago when I was assigned overseas alone. I stand backward against the wall, tennis ball is between me and the wall, then start moving upward and downward while pressing ball and bring the ball anywhere in my back . Try to learn how to cortrol the ball to roll anywhere you want fo feel the massage. Furthermore, I discovered as well that my knee got exercised while leaning the wall backward moving sideways and up and down. I encourage this style to those people who live alone that no one will ever massage your back. It helped me indeed! Thanks for reading.

Brother_P (author)2010-08-22

Uh, guys? Maybe find something more constructive to debate . . . Nice job on the i'ble. I have a chronic muscle spasm in my back and this has really helped.

pankratz (author)2010-08-22

Mine is made of racketballs and medical tape; a friend turned me on it. Oh yes.

pekar (author)2010-08-22

You can tie two tennis balls in a sock, avoiding duck wars.

MaXoR (author)2010-08-22

I think Thomas Edison coined the solution to this bickering....... "Hell there are no rules, we are trying to accomplish something!" - Thomas Edison

You guys are taking away from her instructable with your bickering of this, I'm sure if she would have known, she would have simply said "Sticky gray Tape" however no matter what she said, I'm sure SOMEONE would have found the need to interject their own nonsense.

Duck tape, duct tape, gaffers, bulletproof, gator, there are MANY names for a plastic backed, cloth re-enforced, (Originally natural rubber adhesive) sticky, tape. She was simply using it to attach her two tennis balls together, why would you guys have taken this so out of proportion?

mr monoply33 (author)2010-08-22

It's 'acceptable' yes, but not correct. It's a subtle difference in definition like confusing "coffins" with "caskets", and "further" with "farther". It's acceptable in the same way the term "Escalator" is now thrown around when not referring to an actual Otis' brand name lift.

Personally, I'd consider it edit worthy, but just because it's a minor thing and online, I normally wouldn't have said anything. The only reason I did here was because you called out jorge3094, and corrupted the definition even further. If you'd like to continue the conversation more, PM me. I don't think there is much else not worthy to say here, and I don't want to fill this project's comments with our dispute. No hard feelings?

AthleticTrainer (author)2010-08-22

Great Instructable. I had heard of using tennis balls to massage with but hadn't thought of taping them together. I use 3-4 golf balls in a sock or two if you want more padding.

annaliesa! (author)2010-08-22

what a beautiful dog! awwww, happy dog!

iac (author)2010-08-20

Nice midrif photo! And I'll give the exercise a try.

Shut Up Now (author)iac2010-08-21

Agreed. mainly the first part.. :P

liftcadet (author)2010-08-20

More pics please!

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