In this post I’m going to show you how to use the tennis ball to mobilize the gluteus medius muscle where it sits just above the IT Band. The goal with this mobilization is to anchor one end of the muscle down and then actively stretch out the rest of the muscle against it. You can read more about the why and how of these mobilization techniques here.
1) Go back and read the massage post specifically on the hand itself to review the body landmarks and muscles in this region. There are two landmarks you will need to find for this mobilization- the illiac crest and the greater trochanter.
The Iliac Crest-the IC is large hip bone on either side that you feel when you “place your hands on your hips”. The crest is the bony ridge at the top (the highest point of the IC). In the picture above it is represented by the white tape under the thumb.
The Greater Trochanter- the GT is a common muscle insertion point on the outside of the hip. To find it, start with your thumb on top of your hip bone at the highest point of the iliac crest. From there, simply lay your hand down over the outside of your hip with your fingers pointed down towards the floor. The GT can be found under or close by where your middle finger is (it will be a small bump).
2) To perform these mobilizations, you’re going to need a tennis ball and some floor space. The basic idea is to apply pressure with the tennis ball by laying on it (on your side) with the hip and knee straight. From here, the next step is to cross the top leg over and then try to lift the bottom leg up with the knee still in that straight position. Remember, only go as far as you can comfortably. You’re not trying to force the movement. If this is too much or the spot is too tender ease up on the pressure and move to a different spot. The picture below has yellow x’s to show you possible spots to work on. In general, you can move straight up from the greater trochanter or slightly forward/back to cover the full gluteus medius muscle. See the video below for full details and demonstration of the mobilizations.
3) Repeat for 10 reps.
4) Same warm up rules apply. Try to do this either following a workout or warm up the area with the foam roller first. Especially if you’re coming back from an injury or this is a problem area.