Ever noticed those spiky balls in the basket at the studio? We have them out for you to use as you wait for class to start.

We love the benefits of roll and release for blood supply, muscle release, improved mobility and recovery post exercise. Nothing beats rolling out a sore muscle from barre class the day before!

There are two techniques for roll and release – the first to roll over the sorest tightest spot, working out the tension. The other is to stay on the sore spot, breathing into the discomfort, until it “gives up”. Try both and see which works best for you, or alternate. If one spot is so tight and painful that pressure is too much (hey, it happens!) then work on pressing into the areas around it to help ease the tension.

You might find one side of your body feels worse than the other, but make sure to always release both sides at the same time for the best results. So if you release one hip, make sure to release the other, for example!

Importantly – never roll against the spine.

Want some ideas of the best places to release before/after class? We’ve rounded up our favourite quick release options.

  1. Sole of the foot
    The simplest roll and release but it gives you a wonderful feeling almost immediately. Pop the ball under your (socked!) foot and roll into the arch, working out the sorest spots. You will need quite a firm ball for this exercise, and really put the weight into it. For a little extra pain – uh we mean, release – then try a golf ball!
  2. Calf
    Yikes, we hold some tension in our calves! Get down on the floor and place the ball into the fleshy strip along the back of your lower leg and roll along it, working out the tension. If you need more pressure, crossing your other leg over the top can help!
  3. Glutes
    Excuse the bottom close up! But getting into the fleshy parts of your bottom is a great way to get the blood flowing before class. Work all the fleshy parts of the buttocks and around to the side hips. You can also work down the back of the hamstring. Sit or lay on the ball, and push against the ball. Try not to wince too much!

Pro tip: Try to breathe and relax into the discomfort rather than tense against it. The more you tense up, the less benefit it will do.