Tennis ball mobilization- low back

In this post we’re going to use a tennis ball to try and break up soft tissue restrictions in the low back. The goal is to anchor down one end and then to slowly stretch the muscle out against it.

Key Points:

1) Go back and read the massage post specifically on the back itself to review the body landmarks and muscles in the lumbar region. The main area you will want to be able to locate for this mobilization is the PSIS (aka the posterior superior iliac spine). This is the common insertion point of the long back extensors and you will need to be able to find it so that you can accurately position the tennis ball.

2) This is a two part move. The first part is moving into a pelvic tilt. The goal of this is to engage the lower abdominals and stabilize the lumbar spine. See the video below for full details.

3) When performing a rep, lay flat on your back with your legs straight and the tennis ball in position. Then move into the pelvic tilt. From here, slowly try to bring your knee up towards your chest. Do not force the movement. You may not be able to bring the knee all the way on the first few tries. Go as far as you can comfortably and then return back to the start. Try to hold the tilt throughout all of the repetitions. If you can not, stop, rest, and then reset before continuing.

4) Try to perform 10 reps.

5) 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