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How to use a massage ball to relax your glutes

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

In the video below I show you the different massage balls and tools that you can use on your glutes and demonstrate how to use them. Make sure that you also check out the sections on when you shouldn't use it and why you may sometimes find it ineffective.

Learn how to use a massage ball to relax your gluteal muscles.

In this article:

  • Video: How to massage your glutes with a ball

  • When to ball massage your glutes

  • When NOT to massage your glutes

  • When using a ball to massage your glutes won’t work

Video: How to massage your glutes with a ball

When to ball massage your glutes

A massage ball can be very useful if you have tight or crampy glutes from exercise. I find that the ball works much better than a foam roller to provide point pressure and really get into the muscle. The current research shows that self-massage tools like foam rollers and massage balls can be just as effective as a sports massage to improve your flexibility.

I personally find that I get best results when I sustain the pressure on tender spots in the muscle for about 60 seconds before I then move on to the next spot.

There is also proof that rolling your muscles after exercise can decrease the muscle soreness that you feel after a hard training session or competition.

When NOT to massage your glutes

If your glute pain or discomfort came on suddenly as a sharp pain while doing an activity, I would suggest that you consult a physiotherapist before attempting any massage. This type of injury usually means that you've torn a muscle and you will make the injury worse if you massage it too hard during the first week or so.

You should always feel either better or the same after using a massage ball. It's OK to feel a bit tender after using it and it can be quite uncomfortable while using it, but it may not be the right thing to do if you feel that your pain is worse afterwards or even the next day.

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When using a ball to massage your glutes won’t work

You may find that your glutes remain tight and sore despite ball massaging and stretching them regularly. This is usually because you've not addressed the underlying cause. Some of the most common causes I see in practice include:

  • Lower back issues: I specifically did not say lower back pain as your lower back doesn't have to be painful to cause you trouble. If your lower back is unhappy with life it usually also causes your glutes to tighten up. I find that the glute tightness only fully subsides once the back has also been addressed through exercise and changing habits.

  • Over-training: If you don't give muscles enough time to recover between exercise bouts, they will become tight and sore and you may even end up with overuse injuries. No amount of stretching or massage will fix this. They need rest. It's important that you plan your training weeks and months to allow recovery.

Need more help with your injury? You’re welcome to consult one of the team at SIP online via video call for an assessment of your injury and a tailored treatment plan.

About the Author

Maryke Louw is a chartered physiotherapist with more than 15 years' experience and a Masters Degree in Sports Injury Management. Follow her on LinkedIn or ReasearchGate.