When massaging the hip, your primary focus should be not only on the muscles that attach to the hip but also on the muscles adjacent to the hip. As Kelly Starrett (author of Supple Leopard) calls it “upstream” and “downstream”. You can use any massage head that you find effective. See the guide below. Always start at the lowest variable speed and work your way up.
Some of the hip muscles are very deep and under other muscles. Therefore, they are hard to get at.
But overall, we want to massage the hip flexors, hip extensors, hip external rotators, hip internal rotators, hip adductors, and hip abductors.
1. You do not need to massage any muscle that is not sore or tight.
2. Avoid pulse and lymph nodes.
3. Go against the grain (fibers) and with the grain.
4. Stay until you make a change - hopefully no longer painful.
5. Use the correct head.
Head attachment choices can be based on the following:
a. Big Round Head Attachment: Good for larger muscle groups like the glutes, quadriceps, or hamstrings. Allows you to cover more surface area. Moderate in aggressiveness.
b. Small Round Head Attachment: Less aggressive to moderate. Great for tendonitis if used sideways. (Big & Small Round Head)
c. Air-filled (Pneumatic) Attachment: Probably the least aggressive head. Great for use around bony surfaces and sensitive muscle groups. Good for relaxation.
d. Bullet Head Attachment: Aggressive. We have found it to be helpful with treating trigger points or knots.
e. Plastic Flat Head: Moderate. Good on the IT band, pectoralis major (with ribs underneath), or plantar fascia (bottom of the foot). Great for tendonitis if used sideways.
f. Steel Flat Head: (Can be heated up or cooled down prior to use). Moderate to Aggressive.
g. Knobby Attachments: Generally, for larger muscles. More aggressive.
h. Field Goal: Can be used along both sides of the spine. Also, some have recommended its use on the Achilles tendon.
This article and video are part of a series of videos on how to treat your pain with self-massage. Check the full series of videos along with the downloadable guide sheets for each video on our website here: https://www.bobandbrad.com/massage/
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