Big balls, small balls, spiky balls, hard balls, soft balls... so many options, but which one is right for you? With hundreds of trigger point massage balls to choose from, here’s how to pick the best one for your body and goals. What matters most? Being able to get the ball where you want it and control the movement so you can put pressure where you need it. So how do you figure this out?
Check out these key qualities:
Pick a ball based on the body part you’re working!
- Hands, forearms and feet: 2in/5cm (golf ball size)
- Butt, calves, hamstrings, psoas, upper and lower back, delts and neck: 2.5in/6.5cm (tennis ball size)
- Chest and shoulders: 2.5in/6.5cm
Totally dependent on the body part and your tissue health.
- Injured tissue - Softer (I.e., ball deforms more under your body weight)
- Healthy/more flexible tissue - Harder (I.e., ball deforms less or not at all under your body weight)
You want a smooth surface that grips your skin and doesn’t slip. Bumps and spikes may feel nice on your skin and look cool, but they don’t improve grip or the pressure you feel. You are probably wondering about tennis balls since we talk about them in terms of size. YES, you can absolutely use a tennis ball for self-massage. BUT… they slide and they can pop (seriously, we know someone who popped one).
If you’re using a rubber ball, make sure it’s natural rubber, otherwise it may irritate your skin. Cork is antimicrobial and good for sensitive skin. Tennis balls are soft, but like I mentioned before, they slip.
Matters if you are traveling or backpacking with your balls. If you want lighter balls, try cork. Otherwise, natural rubber is solid, sturdy and stays put.