Self Massage Techniques

Dalia Hawley

Self massage is a fantastic way to keep on top of your training and can be used as maintenance in between your sports massage treatments. It can be undertaken daily or every few days for a few minutes at a time.   I’m constantly recommending my clients to use tennis balls in between sessions as an ideal place to start with self massaging. You can trap the tennis ball between a wall or floor and a tight muscle then gently and slowly apply pressure and roll the ball over the effected area. The final video will demonstrate this for you.   Listed below are a  few common moves used in massage and their contributing benefits. They are also demonstrated in the videos. Using the movements listed; you can create your very own massage treatment.  


  • Effleurage; Long, gliding sweeping strokes using open palms. This move helps warm up the muscles, identify any areas of tension and allow the therapist to spread the oil used. Always glide up the body towards the heart.


  • Petrissage; Moves include kneading (Imagine you are kneading bread)!, rolling of the muscles, wringing and lifting. These movements stimulate blood flow to the area and help free up knotted muscles.


  • Tapotement; Rapid movements from the wrists such as a hacking move, pounding, pummelling and kneading. These moves are often performed at the end of a massage and are incredibly stimulating to the skin and muscle reflexes. These moves are NOT to be performed over the spine, paralaysed muscles or if you are pregnant.



Leg massage for runners


Lower leg and calf massage for runners



Tennis ball massage for piriformis



*PLEASE NOTE: The self-massage techniques in the above videos are only to be used as guidance. If you are pregnant, suffering from recent injuries, have a blood disorder, diabetes, varicose veins, skin diseases, undiagnosed lumps and bumps, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoporosis and heart problems, please seek medical approval before undertaking any form of massage treatment.


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