The self-treatment tool I use the most, especially while on tour with teams, has got to be the Peanut. This is a handy little tool that you can use to loosen up your stiff back very effectively, and it’s not bad for doing a bit of muscle work too! The great thing it, you can make one at home and I’m going to show you how.
It is perfectly suited to give your spine a good loosen up as it has a nice groove down the middle for your vertebrae to rest in while bulging out to give the muscle down either side of your spine a nice firm massage. You can move it up and down your spine slowly, meaning at each level it;
1. Loosens up the muscles and other soft tissues and
2. Mobilizes your spine at the same time.
Your thoracic spine is very key for pain-free and strong neck and shoulders and is far too often overlooked and missed. So if you have any neck, shoulder or upper back pain or a stiff back – This will be a great exercise for you to try and even better to combine with this myofascial release for tight shoulders.
So, here is how to make your own peanut to mobilize your spine at home:
What you need:
1. Two balls (Mind out of the gutter!) – I prefer to use lacrosse balls but it is up to your preference, tennis balls can do a really good job too.
2. Tape: A good, strong and durable tape it best. I use strapping tape but that’s just because I have a lot of it! – Use what you have available.
Put it all together:
Now all you need to do is strap the two balls together – the best way to do it is lengthwise around both balls at once and then around the middle before going around and around where-ever needed to hold them together. In other words, just give it a go, there is no exact way to do it!
Don’t have time to make one yourself? You can pop over to Amazon and buy one Here
How to use it?
It is best used in your upper back, otherwise known as your thoracic spine. Lie on your back and use you knees bent up and feet on the ground to roll it up and down. Stretching your arms over your head or across your chest can help also – experiment and give it a go, you will feel much better for it!
I will be making a video in the coming weeks to show you exactly how to give your upper back a good loosen up so stay tuned or make sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Good luck and let me know how you go!