Self-massage tips

Avoid having to employ your own soigneur with these self-massage techniques that target post-ride muscle soreness

Iliotibial Band – Foam Roller

“Lying on your side, propped on your elbow, get at ITB (iliotibial band) stiffness by rolling the side of your thigh over the foam roller,” says specialist cycling physiotherapist Nicole Oh ( “It is best to avoid rolling directly over the side of your knee and hip. You can also turn onto your front to do your quads.”

Piriformis – Hockey Ball

“Sitting or lying slightly on your side with your hip flexed, use a hard ball to find the deep tender point in the middle of your buttock, and hold the position for up to a minute,” says Oh. “A trigger point will often refer pain down the back of your leg and performing this technique will relieve that tension.”
Quadratus Lumborum – Tennis Ball

“Lie on your back on a tennis ball placed just beside your spine, about halfway between your ribcage and pelvis,” says Oh. “Hold the position for up to a minute. This will release tension in the back muscle that lies deep between your ribcage and pelvis, next to your spine.”

Levator Scapulae and Rhomboids – Handlebar

“The upper back muscles can easily tighten but they are hard to get to,” says Oh. “So grab a bicycle handlebar, hook one of the drops over your shoulder and – using the inside of the drops and keeping your arm below shoulder level – apply pressure to the upper back and base of your neck.”

Calves – Hands

“Use your fingers and thumb to apply slow firm pressure in an upwards direction along the length of your calves,” says Oh. “Feel for ‘knots’, especially in the meaty parts of your calf on the inside and outside (gastrocs) and work into those.”

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