Tag Archives: back

Two Balls and a Sock – It Ain’t Nothin’ But a Peanut

If you haven’t already been to Kelly Starrett’s MobilityWOD video blog, do your body a tremendous favor and check it out (Travis – Thanks again for turning me on to Kelly’s work).  Watch the vids and experiment with the mobility work that Kelly (K-Star) puts up nearly every day.  Here is an example:

Enter The Peanut

At the 1m 35s mark Kelly goes over some back work and for this, he uses a “peanut” to help.  Turns out this is a massage peanut, which I could order from Amazon, except there’s is all spiky and scary looking.  Also, it could take weeks to get to me here in Korea.

The Tools At Hand

If I still wanted to try this mobility work (I did), then I had to come up with my own solution.  Here’s what I had and here’s what I came up with:

1  Dress Sock + 2 Tennis Balls = DIY Peanut

Directions: Stuff tennis balls into dress sock.  Tie off dress sock with a knot.

Note: I tried using a zip tie first, but the sock slipped and loosened up.  So far, the knot is holding fast.  I’ve been hesitant about trimming the excess, because I may need it at some point to retie the knot.  But, if you want to make it look pretty, by all means trim away.

Peanut Enhancement

In this early episode, Kelly briefly mentions duct taping two lacrosse balls together to create a peanut.  I figure with a more durable athletic sock and two rubber coated practice baseballs (plenty of baseball stuff available in Korea, not so much lacrosse stuff), I can get something similar.

The Peanut In Action

Check it out – A short vid of me rolling with the peanut.



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STRETCH: Back and Neck Bridge

bridge*Done regularly, bridges will help you eliminate back and neck pain.

*Experiment carefully with these stretches.  Do not overdo it.  Heed any doubts or concerns you have about doing these safely.  You are responsible for protecting yourself at all times.

*Back Bridge.  Just like when you were a little kid.  Flip your arms up and back, palms down, hands by your ears fingers pointing to your feet.  Now, press down through your arms to your palms and raise your butt off the deck.  Arch your body as much as you can and move your gaze to the floor.  Hold this position.  Initially, hold it for 15s (as you get more comfortable with the stretch, move up to 30s).  Relax, lower your body back to the starting position.  Rest.  Now do the stretch again.

*Neck Bridge.  Once you are comfortable with the back bridge, you are ready to take it to the next level.  The neck bridge will strech and strengthen your neck muscles.  Again, exercise caution, this is your neck we are talking about.  Start out with a back bridge.  Lower your head to the ground.  Keep the weight off of your head and neck with your arms.  Rest your head at the hairline on your mat (naturally, some weight will be transferred to this new point of contact).  Keep your hands in place on the ground.  Slowly roll your head back.  Your goal is to have your nose touch the mat (this will take time, go slowly with this stretch).  You can gently rock back and forth moving your nose closer and closer to the mat.  This will stretch and strengthen your neck muscles.  Again, start off doing this stretch in 15s intervals, then as you get more comfortable with it and as your neck gets stronger, move up to 30s intervals.  When you can touch your nose to the mat and you want to add more muscle to your neck, start working on taking some of the weight off of your arms and adding it to your neck.  With enough neck strength, you can rest all of the weight on your neck, lift your hands off of the ground, and cross them on your chest.

*Results from experimenting with these stretches have been better than expected.  Today, these stretches are part of my regular routine.  I prefer to do them at the end of the day, usually at the end of a work out.