Why do I love a spikey ball for massage? In 2016 I started a journey of discovery of sorts. I wanted a new challenge and signed up to a myofascial movement course with Karin Gurtner of Art of Motion. She is the founder and principal educator of Art of Motion, based in Switzerland. Karin uses rhythmic, bouncing and flowing exercises based on Pilates and Yoga to stretch and strengthen muscles and fascia (myofascia). She also uses spikey balls to massage, release and stimulate the myofascia in order to gain better movement and overall balance in your body’s alignment. I have come across and have used spikey balls in my Pilates teaching but have never used them so frequently and with such versatility. After a week’s training with Karin, my body felt incredibly buoyant and agile.
Spikey ball massage for tight thighs
From my sporting background, I used to suffer from very tight muscles in the front of thighs (hip flexors/quads). I would stretch as much as possible but decided over a month period I would test out the myofascia massage techniques on my thighs. I started using the spikey balls on a daily basis to massage up and down my hip flexors and quads. What started off as being quite painful ended up after a few weeks with me being able to move up and down on the spikey ball without much discomfort. I coupled this with stretching out my hip flexors/quads/hamstrings and strengthening my glutes. At the end of the month my hips were not as tight and I felt overall much more balanced and aligned. Was this to do with the spikey balls or simply because I was being more diligent (something I try to instill with my clients)? Who knows what the answer is but combination of massage and stretching certainly was a huge factor.
Incorporate spikey ball massage into your pilates class
I started incorporating a spikey ball massage exercise in every mat class I taught to see the results. I used the spikey balls under the upper back to open and stretch the chest where people get very rounded and tight. Many of my clients hated it at first but over a few weeks they have grew to love it. One client couldn’t even bear having the balls under her back and used a soft pilates ball instead. It took about 6 months until her myofascia changed and she now uses them regularly. The majority of my clients now own their own spikey balls, take them on holiday and use the massage techniques at home. What more could a Pilates Teacher ask for.