Almost every single night, I wind up with the same exact problem: a super tight, cramped-up neck. Between sitting hunched over my laptop all day and having way too many Netflix binge-watching sessions, it’s really no surprise that it’s a regularly occurrence. While getting rid of that pain isn’t exactly easy—or cheap!—there is one super-affordable option that helps almost immediately. I’d love to a masseuse on call to help banish those knots in the neck, but that’s just not realistic.
Instead, I’m left with the next best thing: a tennis ball. The solution seems so ridiculously simple—especially considering aspirin has been my BFF lately. And even though it can’t fix crappy posture, it can definitely provide some relief until we all finally decide to sit up straight (it’s hard, okay?). Here’s exactly how to give yourself an epic neck massage right at home.
How to give yourself a massage when you’ve got knots in the neck
To give yourself a neck massage with a tennis ball, first find a comfortable spot on the floor to lie down. Then, follow these simple instructions.
- Bend your knees, keeping the pressure off your low back, and place the tennis ball in the groove on the back of your neck.
- Take a few seconds to breathe, letting the tennis ball sink into the muscle tissue.
- Slowly turn your head to the right, taking a deep breath when you hit an area that’s tender. Hold for a few seconds. Continue rolling until your ear is facing the floor.
- Slowly return to center and repeat on the left side.
- Lie down in the same position as the previous move with your knees bent and the ball in the groove on the back of your neck.
- Instead of turning your head side-to-side, slowly tuck your chin toward your chest, then return to your starting position. Continue tucking and lifting to massage your neck muscles.
There are some other ways to get relief at home, too—no masseuse needed. Here’s how to use a tennis ball to work out your shoulder knots. Then learn how to make foam rolling feel like a full-body massage.