In this post I’m going to show you how to use the tennis ball to mobilize the muscles along the shin bone and down the outside of the lower leg . This includes the anterior tibialis, extensor digitorum, and peroneal muscles. 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.
1) Go back and read the massage post specifically on the hand itself to review the body landmarks and muscles in this region. There is one bony landmark that you will need to be able to find to as your point of reference- the fibular head. This is where the peroneal muscles attach and if you move forward towards the shin from this landmark, where the anterior tib and EDL muscles are.
The fibular head is actually located slightly below the knee. To find it, while sitting with your knee bent, wrap your hand around the upper part of your calf so that the space between your thumb and index finger are directly behind the knee and your fingers are wrapped around towards the front of your knee. The fibular head will be the large, bony bump under your index finger.
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 to one of the three yellow x’s (picture below) and to then move the foot/ankle to stretch out the muscle against it. Remember, only go as far as you can comfortably. You’re not trying to force these! If this is too much or the spot is too tender ease up on the pressure or go back to the foam roller. 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.