Kindal holding all of the different massage balls we reviewed in this post.

Best Massage Balls For Muscle Recovery And Mobility

She was about to to go see a back surgeon because her general doctor didn't know what to do.

I had another client who had an appointment with the shoulder surgeon booked and ready to go.

These are some of my extreme examples...

Both of these two "extreme" cases had their back issue and shoulder issue 100% solved by working the right muscle tissue with a massage ball... plus adding in mobility training .

But massage balls or trigger balls have helped countless of my clients over the last decade.

I'm going to show you my favorite massage balls.

You'll probably end up adding all of these to your collection.

All the links in this post are affiliate links, but as you can see from the pictures, we own all of these massage balls ourself.

We use what we preach!

Let's get into this.

Isn't a Tennis Ball Good Enough?

I wouldn't say it's good enough.

There's no question... a tennis ball is better than nothing.

The problem with a tennis ball is how the rubber indents when you press hard into the ball.

On a tennis ball, when you press hard, you get to the point where a large section of the ball caves in like this...

This prevents you from really smashing muscle tissue hard.

On some of the trigger balls I'm going to show you... they smoosh (technical term) in consistently. I'll explain this more and why It's so helpful in just a minute.

Let's get into the best massage balls.

And stick around to the end and I'll show you the massage balls to avoid and why.

Kindal smiling as she sits on a box after a tough workout
A Big Idea

There are really three ways to roll your muscles.

Ride The Muscle Lines

[show muscle fibers]

Your muscles have fibers which are string like and run in one direction. You can roll into your muscle following these lines.

Cross-Section the Muscle Lines

[show muscle fibers]

You can roll into the muscle but go across (or perpendicular) to your muscle lines.

#### Smash

You can find a trigger spot (a fascia adhesion or knot) and press into it really hard and not move the ball at all.

When I smash I like to hold the smash for at least 1 minute.

You'll use all of these methods and the one that helps the most depend on how the muscle is feeling.

I will say I smash more than anything. It's great after a workout, after sitting at my computer for an hour, and before bed.

The Best Massage Balls On The Market Right Now

These are ranked from my favorite to least favorite.

Jill Miller Alpha Ball

You're going to see a lot of Jill Miller massage balls in the beginning part of this list.

The Alpha Ball is my most used trigger ball. Whenever I sit for long periods of time... I have my Alpha ball behind me in the chair helping me sit up straight.

It's always around me when I take a break from sitting or standing.

Size

It's about the size of a softball.

Texture

It's grippy. It's not sticky... just grippy.

This is great for peeling. Peeling is when you smash into some muscle tissue and you slowly roll the ball trying to stretch or peel your muscle tissue.

The Alpha ball is also soft, but not too soft.

The softness is it's advantage.

You can press into muscles aggressively without having to worry you'll hurt yourself or bruising a muscle.

Best Use Cases

The Alpha ball is best used for bigger muscles and joints.

I use it regularly on:

  • Shoulder (deltes)
  • Shoulder blade (suprspinitus)
  • In-between shoulder blades (traps and rhomboids)
  • Along my spine... but not on my spine (errector muscles)
  • In your sides on the back (QL)
  • Butt and hips (glutes and TFL)
  • Calves (fibularus longous)

These are my big spots. Here are some pictures of some of these. I'm going to write a separate post to show you how to use massage balls for each area of the body.

Here, I'm smashing right on my shoulder blade. Getting the Infraspinatus muscle and the posterior head of the delt. You'll always find knots here!

Price

Only $14.99.

It's not expensive all at for the benefit it will bring to your body.

The ball will not last forever though. The more you use it... it will wear out.

It takes about 5 to 6 months before you have to replace it.

Again, it's worth to add to your collection.

Click here and get yourself an Alpha Ball.

Final Grade

A+

This is my favorite trigger ball. I use it all the time... you'll use it all the time.

Remeber... below I'll show you some of these major spots to hit so you have a better idea of how to use your massage ball correctly.

Jill Miller Blue PLUS Ball Tote

I told you there were going to be a lot of Jill Miller massage balls in this post.

Her company did not pay for this either. I use these trigger balls daily and I keep coming back to them.

I did a podcast with Jill Miller a little while ago. I have a new one coming in the next few months as well.

Size

This is a pair of trigger balls. Each one is about the size of tennis ball.

But unlike a tennis ball these will smoosh evenly and help you get into your smaller muscles.

Plus these come with this great tote.

Texture

You get the same grippy feeling as with the Alpha ball. This is the texture for almost all Jill Miller massage balls.

The grippy feeling really helps here because you can get into small spots and be aggressive. I'll show you in a minute.

These are softner than the Alpha ball.

They are meant for smaller muscles and smaller spaces in the body. This is why they are a little softer.

Best Use Cases

I don't use these as often as the Alpha ball, but I still use them quite a lot.

  • Neck (this is amazing)
  • In-between shoulder blades (traps, rhomboids, and subscapularius)
  • Along the spine (errectors)
  • Rotator cuff (Teres major and minor)
  • Top of shoulder (traps)
  • Calf smash (this is great one)
  • Chest (pec muscles)
  • Arms (biceps, triceps, forearms)

You can use the Alpha ball in many of these same places... but the PLUS balls can get into many of these muscles with more accuracy.

It's strange to say accuracy, but that's what it is... you can feel it too.

Use a yoga block and smash your neck. It feels incredible.

This is the top of pec smash. It's great if your are at a computer a lot or on your phone a lot. It will help you open up your chest again!

Price

These are only $15.95 on Jill Millers website.

Not expensive at all.

Like all Jill Miller Therapy balls... they will wear down over time and need to be replaced. But again... I only need to replace these one to maybe two times per year.

Once you have the Alpha ball... go with these next!

Final Grade

A

I only took the A+ away because I have the Alpha ball ranked number one.

These are a A+ as well. And at the price point... I think they are a must purchase.

Click here and get a set for yourself.

Supernova

Finally our first non Jill Miller massage ball.

The Supernove was "designed" by Kelly Starrett. I put designed in quotes because it's not too dificult to make a hard ball.

I'd say Jill Miller's Teraphy ball took more design to find their softness level.

Anyway... I call the Supernova the Cadallac of massage balls.

It's made by Rogue Fitness. I love Rogue. They have high quality production and products.

All of our kettlebells are through Rogue and we love them.

Size

It's pretty big.

Bigger than the Alpha ball and maybe slightly bigger than a softball. This trigger ball is not as easy to carry around.

Texture

It's hard. Normally I'm not a fan of hard trigger balls, but this is an exception... I'll tell you why in a minute.

The rubber coating has a patterns and grooves. There's nothing special about the pattern itself... the purpose is to help with gripping mucles when you're digging in.

Compared to the Alpha Ball, the grip is different. It's works best with smashing and twisting the ball into the muscle tissue.

Best Use Cases

This is similar to the Alpha ball in that you want to smash and roll your bigger muscles.

I like to pair the Supernova with a foam roller. The foam roller helps identify tight spots and knots... the Supernova goes in and works them out.

It's an intense trigger ball because of how hard it is and the fact that it's pretty big.

But the hard rubber case allows you to really smash trigger points hard and you can feel it.

I think the size of the ball helps to prevent any muscle bruising which is possible with smaller balls like a lacrosse ball.

Use the Supernova on:

  • Shoulder (deltes)
  • Shoulder blade (suprspinitus)
  • In-between shoulder blades (traps and rhomboids)
  • Along my spine... but not on my spine (errector muscles)
  • In your sides on the back (QL)
  • Butt and hips (glutes and TFL)
  • Calves (fibularus longous)

The last thing I love about the Supernova is you don't need a wall or the ground to roll on. Because it's hard... you can use your other hand to press into your muscle tissue and it's works.

I use the Supernova a lot when I'm sitting at the computer.

Kindal pushing really hard in a pushup
Intensity Tip

Be careful with the Supernova!!

Once you get into using massage balls for your muscles... you'll start to press hard.

I was smashing my glute medius one day on the wall in the office. I got carried away and put a huge indention and cracked the drywall.

Make sure you choose the right walls to use when rolling and smashing.

I'm telling you hard massage balls can be dangerous.

Price

It's expensive for a trigger ball at... $50.

I think that is a lot for a little plasic and rubber. BUT... whenever I have my Supernova around, I'm never sad.

It is worth it. It does last a long time.

And you will get use to the hardness to the point where you may end up preferring the hard massage balls over the softer ones.

Final Grade

A-

Mainly because of the price.

It's hard to spend $50 on a ball. But if you sit a lot during the day or workout consistently... shoot if you live life... trigger balls will help you so much.

Try this one out and let me know what you think.

Click here and get a Supernova.

Jill Miller Green Ball Tote

The last massage balls I will review through real experience.

Jill Miller is back with her normal... therapy massage balls.

These have two purposes that no other trigger ball as been able to compete with. Let's get into the breakdown.

Size

Small. Each of these massage balls is about the size of a lacrosse ball.

Texture

They are the softest of the Jill Miller's trigger balls. This limits what they are good for... but at the same time... this is the reason they are so good for a select number of spots on your body.

They do have the same grippy texture as the Alpha Ball and PLUS balls.

Best Use Cases

Two main spots I use my pair on all the time.

Feet

These are perfect for rolling and smashing feet.

You can be aggressive and really work into the fascia of your feet. If you do this daily... I promise you will feel incredible. Your feet are very important to overall mobility.

I'll step on them while I'm cooking in the kitchen. Dan brings his pair to work and steps on them under the desk.

It's really easy to do and the payoff for your feet is HUGE!

Upper Traps

I'll show you this smash in detail. It's that good.

Step 1:

Lay on the ground with your knees bent.

Step 2:

Tuck the two small trigger balls just under your traps... just outside your neck.

You can actually move them wider or closer together based on what you find.

Step 3:

Press into your heels and life your hips up as you press back into the trigger balls.

WOW. Are you going to feel... probably a lot of pain... but good pain.

The more you do this, the pain will go away and you won't feel anything. Your neck and shoulders will feel a lot better too.

Final Grade

B+

I gave these a lower grade because I barely use them except for the two main use cases I pointed out above.

Otherwise these would be an A as well.

Click here and get your pair.

Kindal smiling as she sits on a box after a tough workout
A Big Idea

One cool thing you should do is get the package deal from Jill Miller's website.

You get:

  • One Alpha ball
  • One pair of Plus balls
  • One pair of small massage balls
  • One corgious ball

All for $59 or so. It's a really great deal... especially when you think about the face the Supernova is over $50 on it's own.

Click here and go get the full pack.

It's totally worth it.

Trigger Balls I Don't Really Recommend

Let me finish this with some massage and trigger balls I don't recommend.

Or I don't like enough to recommend them.

Any Massage Balls With Spikes

If you shop on Amazon (which you shouldn't)... you're going to get all sorts of junky massage balls from all over the place. Amazon is like the junk yard of products.

Any trigger ball that has the needle like spikes on it is not worth it at all.

The spikes don't do anything.

Because of the spikes, the surface area of the ball touching your skin goes way down.

This means you won't get the same smash factor in your muscle tissue.

Ignore these massage balls.

The Massage Guns

I have a full review for the massage guns here.

I wanted to comment on them becuase these are strange.

Yes, they are helpful, but not really for trigger point therapy.

When you're trying to break up a knot or mobility a muscle through massage... you need HARD, CONSISTENT pressure.

These guns don't really deliver either.

They pulse so fast you can't get that hard, consistent pressure you need.

However...

They are pretty great for a quick warmup... or if you need something to loosen you up fast.

Get Some Massage Balls And Use Them Daily

Massage and trigger ball therapy will change your life.

You don't really need a chiropractor to adjust you when you can do this yourself.

You still need a massage therapist though... they are worth it for those detailed, ultra deep massages.

Make sure you checkout my series on how to use trigger balls. I'll have posts breaking down each major part of the body and where you should role.

If you have any quesitons, let mee know on social... that is usually the easiest way to talk to me outside of our contact form .

Thanks for reading and I hope this post helped you.

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