So you just got a new pair of therapy balls, now what? If you’ve been rolling with foam rollers, lacrosse balls, softballs or another sport-specific ball, you have definitely made an upgrade towards investing in your health, but there are a few things you should know about Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model Method® therapy balls that I sell on my site.
These therapy balls are made of a natural rubber – which means they will develop an amazing amount of grip, grab and give, but will also lose these qualities if left exposed to the elements. The natural rubber is similar to any other rubber product in your home – if left in direct sunlight, they will dry out. Once the rubber has dried out, it will not be able to have its grippy texture restored. While I have had a student file the surface of her therapy ball with a nail file, the grippiness is not what it used to be and the pliability and give of the ball did not return.
I recommend storing your therapy balls in an opaque gym bag or closed container where they will not be exposed to direct sunlight or the elements. I use a simple nylon zippered bag to store my therapy balls and they have withstood the test of time (all the therapy balls are going on 2+ years.
Your brand new therapy balls will arrive slightly slippery and tough. You may want to wipe them off with a dry cloth to remove the sheen from the factory and then get to work rolling your feet. Pressure and your full body weight will help them to develop their soft, pliable texture quickly.
Get in the habit of switching between therapy balls every time use them – this will ensure that you don’t break one in and neglect the other! When you use two to roll up and down your spine, you don’t want one that is overly soft and one that is hard.
How often should you replace them? Totally up to you. Personally, I like my therapy balls extra soft and squishy – my favorite pair has been used daily for almost 2 years. For those who want a firmer texture, I would recommend replacing them every 6 – 12 months.
When it comes time to replace, DON’T THROW THEM AWAY!
Save your softest balls for sharing self-care with a newbie, if you are dealing with an injury and need more softness, or want a rolling session that is more relaxing. I will often gift my broken in therapy balls to friends and family, which is better for them because I’ve done all the work of breaking them in for them!
To keep your therapy balls clean, a damp towel with a super mild cleaning agent (tea tree oil or some Dr. Bronner’s) is great. To be honest, I do not clean my personal therapy balls often – I know where they’ve been and who they’ve touched. I do, however, have a separate pair that I use ONLY on my face for that concern. (Yes, you want a face ball, especially for the Jaw Pain Self-Care Guide)
Take care of your therapy balls and they will take care of you.
While it may seem like a big investment at first (how much for a rubber ball!?) I promise the payoff of less pain, improved posture, and better breathing is 100% worth it.
- March 26: T-Rex Hates Chaturanga (Glendale, CA)
- April 1-2: Artisanal LA Pop-Up Show (Los Angeles, CA)
- April 22: Bulletproof Shoulders (Santa Monica, CA)
- April 28-30: Treat While You Train (Vancouver, WA)
- May 5-6: YTU Hips Immersion (San Juan Capistrano, CA)
- July 21-23: YTU Integrated Embodied Anatomy (San Francisco, CA)