Deep Tissue Tennis Ball Massages




Ever need a deep massage?  Spouse at work?  No problem: tennis ball massage to the rescue.

A tennis ball is a cheap, easy, effective way to give yourself that deep tissue massage you've needed without the price tag of a spa. 


~Tennis ball (either one or 2)
~a hard surface to lay on

Step 1: Shoulders and Neck Area

To begin your massage, take the tennis ball(s) and place underneath your shoulder muscles.  These muscles fall between the neck and ball and socket joint of your shoulder.  To prevent injury, do not place the tennis ball on your spine or scapula. 

Once your tennis ball is in place, slowly rock one shoulder from side to side over the tennis ball.  You should feel the tennis ball working deep into your muscles. 

Step 2: Midback

Now move the tennis ball down the back by supporting yourself on your hands and feet and rolling over the ball until you get the ball down to approximately the middle of your back.  Again, be sure to be careful of your spine and shoulder blades. 

Step 3: Lower Lumbar

Using the same method as previously described, roll the ball down to your lower back. 

Step 4: Hamstrings

Move one tennis ball under the right hamstring.  Using the other foot to support your weight, Rock back and forth over the tennis ball to release tension in the hamstrings of the right leg.

Repeat for left.

Step 5: Calf Muscles

This is my favorite area to massage.  Place the tennis ball underneath the top of the calf muscle, just below the knee area.  Using your arms and left foot to support you, roll over the tennis ball lengthwise so that the ball goes from just below the knee to just above the ankle.  Repeat several times until you feel the tension in your calf release.

Repeat for left calf.

Step 6: Enjoy the Muscle Release

Once you've finished with the massage, your muscles should feel relaxed.  Remember, the key to a good massage is time.  If you have a short amount of time, focus on the parts of your body that are obviously tense.  If you have a little more time, try the whole body massage and take at least a few minutes to work out the knots of each part.  To avoid injury, don't roll over parts like the spine, scapula, rear hipbones, knees, and ankles.

Now, it is called a deep-tissue massage for a reason.  It will be going deep into your muscles, which can be uncomfortable for a little, but, if it doesn't hurt, then it will make you feel much better after.  As with any exercise or stretch, if it hurts too much, just stop and rest for a minute.  Child's pose tends to work well for relaxing.  Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and get some nice massages out of tennis balls. 

Participated in the
Humana Health Challenge



    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • Sew Tough Challenge

      Sew Tough Challenge

    4 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    When I saw: "Tennis Ball" and "Deep Tissue", I thought you would be sitting toward the wall and someone would throw the balls at your back!

    I had a Tennis coach that used to do that whenever someone was messing around when we were training! (Everyone would get 2 balls to throw at the smartass) LOL!!

    About the instructables: Very nice, I'm gonna try it!


    8 years ago on Step 6

    Can this be used by one person on another? Like, is there a way I can use this basic technique on my girlfriend somehow?

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    This has worked wonderfully for me, actually. Thank you very much for sharing this :)