How To Use Massage Balls For Snowboard Health

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When you snowboard your body is hard at work so it’s no surprise that your muscles get tight, knot up, and ache. Especially, if you’re taking some bails out on the slopes! From sore feet to tight quads, hamstrings, and shoulders, massage balls might just be the wonder-worker you’ve been looking for. They will help you get a great nights sleep and wake up feeling fresh and ready to ride.

In this post you will learn about:

  • Connective tissue + self-release therapy
  • 4 ways to use massage balls – Feet, legs, back/shoulders, neck

Use Massage Balls To Recover After Snowboarding

Something other than your sore muscles could be needing attention…

Connective tissue called fascia covers all your muscles and organs like a thin sheath. It is responsible for connecting and activating muscle groups.

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Just like muscles this fascia can get tight and pull your body out of alignment. As the connective tissue tightens up it increases pressure on joints and muscles causing even more discomfort and pain. 

Performing repetitive motions and taking falls whilst snowboarding can definitely disrupt the fascia causing you pain and inhibiting movement patterns.

Massage balls are a great form of self-release therapy. They loosen and stretch the fascia allowing the muscles and underlying tissue to move freely! Soft tissue trigger points are a common cause of pain and can be tender and sore to work on at first. 

Benefits of applying gentle & sustained pressure to soften and stretch connective tissue:

  • Increase motion range
  • Encourage blood flow and lymphatic circulation
  • Reduce muscle fatigue
  • Enhance recovery and lessen risk of injury
  • Boost muscle performance
  • Decrease aches and pains after exercise

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When snowboarding for multiple days in a row it’s crucial to take care your body. Massage balls are one of the easiest, quickest, and cheapest ways!

Massage balls are simple to use at home to give deep muscle release and soften connective tissue. They are perfect to bring out when you first get in off the slopes or right before bed. Even if you are short on time it doesn’t take long to target the muscles that need it most and provide some relief!

4 Ways To Use Massage Balls

Target and isolate some common problem areas after snowboarding.

Feet: Your Connection To The Board

Your feet are engaged all day when snowboarding, which can leave them irritated and swollen. There is a thick band of tissue that runs the whole length of your foot called the plantar fascia. When this gets inflamed it can be painful and a massage ball helps to break up the tension and ease discomfort. 

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  1. Roll a Massage Ball to the arch and middle of your foot
  2. Do the edges and your heel
  3. Move to the ball of your foot and drape your toes over the massage ball
  4. Take your time in the spots that give you that “it hurts so good” feeling 
  5. Breathe and slowly let your weight sink into the spots – Try to do at least 2 minutes

The soles of your feet are the key to the whole body. When you massage them you loosen the focal point of a connective tissue network that runs throughout the whole back body. Your whole body can be calmed and rejuvenated by stimulating the trigger points in your feet!

Shoulders + Upper Back

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  1. Place the ball between your back and the floor. You can also use the wall standing up too. 
  2. Position the ball between your spine and shoulder blade. 
  3. Roll around to find the tender and juicy spots. It can be especially uncomfortable at first when working in this area.
  4. Relax and breath, let the weight of your body sink into the spot
  5. Keep going to find other sensitive areas then massage out any knots or sore spots. 

A healthy, pain-free body is key to enjoying your time on the slopes. Add massage balls to your routine and reap the benefits.

Glute, IT Band, Hamstring

Tight glute muscles reek havoc on your lower back and hips. Doing squats all day on a snowboard can irritate and lock up your glutes. Relieving tension in this region can improve posture, ease lower back pain, and improve flexibility in the back and hips. 

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  1. Move around and lean into a Massage Ball to pinpoint those tight tender spots. 
  2. Breathe through it. 
  3. Relax your weight on to the ball.
  4. Allow pressure to be applied on to the tender spots.
  5. Do your hamstring, down the outside of your leg (IT band) and meaty area of your butt.

Neck

If you are dominant with one foot leading and don’t ride in switch often, your neck is cranked in one direction the whole time that you are riding. Falls and the dreaded heel edge catch can often result in your head being jerked back much like whiplash. Working on the neck provides sweet, sweet release!

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  1. Roll the ball up and down your neck.
  2. Do the upper back.
  3. Focus on the shoulders and front of shoulders.
  4. You can do this by hand or by leaning against a wall.
  5. Breathe, move slowly and gently before increasing pressure.

There may be some brief discomfort and sensitivity when first getting into sore muscles and soft tissue trigger points. If you stick with the massage balls and use them regularly it is an amazing way to ease tension and soften up your whole body. Relaxing tight muscles and the fascia daily will help you ride long and hard into your old age while keeping you fresh day after day for the entire season.

Grab yourself some massage balls for the season at the Watch & Ride store

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Fraser Johnston

Founder & Trainer at Watch & Ride
CASI Lvl 3 | Evaluator Lvl 2 | Park Evaluator. After coaching and evaluating "instructor training programs" for several seasons, I fell in love with the science of snowboarding. I believe there is no better way to spend a day, than using your body for sport outside in nature! It is always such a joy to guide and watch people reach their potential on the snow, as well as surpass milestones of what they thought was possible.The goal for Watch & Ride is to create fun and simple Virtual Snowboard Lessons that are available to everyone and conveniently accessible. My wish is to grow the sport and evolve the way people learn to snowboard, ensuring they have fun, stay safe and get the best possible experience on the mountain.

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