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10 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Tennis ball mobilization- mid back

In this post I’m going to show you how to use the tennis ball to mobilize the muscles in the mid back. This includes those hard to get to rhomboids between the shoulder blades and the middle traps that sit on top of them. The goal with this mobilization is to anchor one end of the muscle down and then actively stretch the muscle out against it.

Key Points

1) Go back and read the massage post specifically on the mid-back itself to review the body landmarks and muscles in this region. The main areas you will need to be able to locate for this mobilization are the  shoulder blade/scapula itself but also the spine of the scapula (the bony ridge that runs across the middle of it). The spine is how you will place the tennis ball: 1) at the level of the spine of the scapula, 2) just above the level of the spine, and 3) below the level of the spine. If you find yourself above or below the shoulder blade, you’ve gone too far.

2) This is a two part move. The first part is bringing your arms up towards the ceiling to clasp your hands together overhead. The second part is then “punching” your arms up to the ceiling. Come back down and then release your arms back to the floor. The only variation for this move will depend on where you have the tennis ball positioned. See the video below for further details.

a) at the level of the spine/middle of the scapula- punching up straight over head

b) just below the spine/middle of the scapula- hands up to the middle and then punch up closer to your head.

c) just above the spine/middle of the scapula- hands up to the middle and then punch down closer to your waist.

3) Try to perform 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

5) If you’re having difficulty using the tennis ball on this area, find that you frequently have to work on it, or more importantly want to work on both sides of the spine at once, definitely consider getting a RAD Roller. You can read more about the RAD here in this blog post or you can check out their website


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