Self-Massage: Legs

Why do we want to massage our legs? We use our legs every day, whether it be from walking, running, standing or even sitting, they deserve to be massaged.


How to massage the posterior thigh.

Non-lotion

  • With knee bent, roll a rolling pin against the hamstrings
  • Stop and compress when there is a tender point, stretch hamstrings by extending the knee

Pressure: Light

Time: 2-5 minutes

Area: Hamstrings

Equipment: Rolling pin, foam roller


Lotion

  • Apply lotion to the posterior thigh
  • Glide your fingers down towards the posterior knee and then back up towards the ischial tuberosity ( the sit bones)
  • Gradually apply more pressure
  • Continue with finger tip kneading or palmar kneading down the muscle group, stopping and compressing to work on areas of tenderness

Pressure: Medium – deep

Time: 5 minutes

Area: Hamstrings


How to massage the anterior thigh.

Non-lotion

  • Compress any tender points with fingers until the pain dissipates
  • Glide your fingers from the area of tenderness down, while your other fingers pin down the area of tenderness to do a pin and stretch technique.
  • Stretch your quadriceps by flexing your knee, while compressing the area of tenderness

Pressure: Light

Time: 2-5 minutes

Area: Quadriceps


Lotion

  • Apply lotion to the anterior thigh and glide your fingertips down, towards your knee
  • Glide your fingers back up and laterally towards the heart
  • Using knuckles, apply deeper pressure and continue to work towards the knee and then back towards the heart
  • Knead with fingertips or palm down the muscles along any tender points

Pressure: Medium- deep

Time: 5 minutes

Area: Quadriceps


Neuromuscular Work

  • Apply lotion to the medial and lateral parts of the knee
  • Knead along the medial and lateral joint lines of the knee
  • Work down and across the MCL and LCL with fingertip kneading
  • Continue the same techniques along the quadriceps tendon

Pressure: Light to medium

Time: 2 – 5 minutes

Area: Anterior knee


How to self-massage the TFL muscle.

Non-lotion

  • Lie on your back and rest your leg on the seat of a chair
  • Find the ASIS, or the bony part of your hip and place your thumb underneath it and move laterally slightly
  • With constant pressure in that area, bring your knee in towards your chest and back out

Pressure: Medium – deep

Time: 1 – 2 Minutes

Area: TFL


How to massage the lateral thigh.

Non-lotion

  • Pin down an area of tenderness along the IT Band and glide your other fingers away from the tender point, creating a pin and stretch technique
  • Pull the IT Band off of your leg and squeeze it, working down the lateral thigh

Pressure: Light

Time: 2 – 5 minutes

Area: IT band


How to massage the medial thigh.

Non-lotion

  • Pin down an area of tenderness, and with your other hand glide your fingers down towards your knee
  • Knead down towards the knee with fingertips or palm
  • Knead around the adductor tubercle

Pressure: Light

Time: 2 – 5 minutes

Area: Adductors


Lotion

  • Apply lotion to the medial thigh and glide your fingers down towards your knee
  • Fingertip knead towards the knee
  • Use your knuckles and move them in a circular motion down the medial thigh towards the knee

Pressure: Medium- deep

Time: 5 Minutes

Area: Adductors


How to massage the anterior and lateral leg compartment.

Non-lotion

  • Pin down an area of tenderness along the tibia bone and hold constant pressure until pain dissipates
  • Continue holding down the area of tenderness and with your other hand, glide those fingers away from the area. Recreating a pin and stretch technique.
  • While doing a pin and stretch, stretch your tibialis anterior but first moving the ankle into dorsiflexion, followed by plantar flexion
  • Knead your fingers down along the tibia

Pressure: Light

Time: 2 – 5 Minutes

Area: Tibialis anterior


Lotion

  • Apply lotion along the anterior portion of your leg, near the tibia
  • Glide your fingers down towards your ankles along the tibia and work your way back up towards the knee
  • Continue gliding fingers down leg, gradually moving lateral to massage the fibularis muscles
  • Continue kneading along the anterior and lateral parts of the leg
  • C-Scoop along the ankle joint
  • Massage across the tibia, gradually working your way down the leg and then stroke back up towards the knee

Pressure: Light – medium

Time: 5 Minutes

Area: Tibialis anterior, fibularis muscles


How to massage the posterior leg compartment.

Non-lotion

  • Squeeze your gastrocs with the web between your thumb and pointer finger
  • While squeezing, shake the muscle
  • Pin and stretch areas of tenderness by compressing down a tender spot and dorsiflexing the ankle

Pressure: Light – medium

Time: 2 – 5 Minutes

Areas: Gastrocs


Lotion

  • Apply lotion to the gastrocs, glide your fingers or knuckles down towards the Achilles tendon
  • Knead your finger down and stop and compress an area to work on a tender spot

Pressure: Medium – deep

Time: 5 minutes

Areas: Gastrocs


Disclaimer: These self-massage tips are for educational purposes only. If you feel safe and comfortable to try them on yourself, go ahead. If you are experiencing any pain that you would rate a 6/10 on a pain scale while self-massaging, please stop and seek advice. My email is listed on the home page if you have any questions or concerns.

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