As old as massage balls are, they are incredibly effective to this day. They are a great short term solution to relieve moderate pain immediately. But today, you have a lot of different types available in varied shapes, sizes, and textures. Choosing massage balls can be a bit of a challenge, so let me help you there. Let us look at the different kinds, shapes, and sizes of massage balls that you can choose from.
Choosing Massage Balls Correctly
Size– The size of the massage ball should ideally depend on the area of the body you are targeting. A massage ball working on your hands, feet, and forearm is different from one that will work well on your back, calves, hamstrings, deltoids, or neck. While the former needs a smaller lacrosse ball, in the size of a typical golf ball, the latter requires one in the size of a standard baseball. If you are targeting your chest and shoulders, you will need to look for a ball in a larger size, about 100 mm in diameter (a typical golf ball is 42.7 mm in diameter), which is unusual for a sports ball. However, you can find such balls manufactured by many brands in the market.
Weight – Weight is a huge factor when it comes to massage ball. The heavier the ball, the more effective it will be for several reasons. The most important of those reasons being it is more likely to stay where you put it and not shift or collapse under your weight. Also, their deformation is more predictable under the weight of a human. Therefore, you should go for the more massive options, although a lighter (inflatable) ball will cost you considerably less. But it will also work less significantly, if at all.
Grip – When you put a massage ball to treat a particular area, it can only do so if it has the necessary grip. If the ball keeps sliding from under you and will not stay put, it will not be effective at all to get you your desired results. In this case, spiked or pitted balls do have a slightly better grip than smooth surface balls.
Some Other Factors
Shape – Even though there are photos all over of spiked, knobby massage balls that claim to do wonders, it is usually a smooth round ball that will work best in my experience. That is because they will stay put and move quickly to the desired area. Although brands make claims like spiked balls will treat your target area better and dig into the muscle, it is untrue. The best results can be obtained when the ball works on the surrounding area and not directly dig into the target muscle.
Hardness – As crucial as the hardness of the massage ball you use is, it depends on a lot of factors, and there is no particular standard for this. The stronger your muscle gets, the harder a massage ball it will require overtime. Also, if you are looking to treat an injured or sore muscle with the massage ball, it will have to be soft to not hurt the area further.