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Maybe you want to spice things up with your fiancé, or simply figure out how to soothe his aching muscles after his upcoming triathlon, either way, here's how to give him a terrific massage:
1. Invest in the right product: Bare hands and dry skin? Sorry, this just won't due. Just like a massage therapist wouldn't attempt this at the spa, you're going to need a bottle of good lotion, but preferably an unscented massage oil (trust us, it's likely anything too scented or floral might turn him off). You won't need a ton, but the secret to a great massage is lubrication, so keep the bottle handy. And if it's lotion you're using, don't squeeze it right on his back from the bottle (brrrr!). Warm it up in your hands first, then apply.
2. Go slow: Have your guy lie on his stomach first and use light, even pressure at first. You can always up the pressure as you go (just ask him first), but a great massage is a little like a great meal: Let it unfold over time and start with an appetizer, not the white chocolate ganache wedding cake you sampled at the bakery the other day!
3. Focus on his shoulders, avoid his bones: Most people (men included) carry their tension in the shoulders, so permission to start here and stay for a while. But, be sure to avoid applying too much pressure on bones and joints (especially in the shoulders and spine areas). Massage therapists say these are no-no zones that might just produce an "ouch" instead of an "ahhhh."
4. Get creative with technique: If your fingers are tiring out, use the lower portion of your hands (your palms, and the meaty area beneath your thumbs). You can also try this tried-and-true massage therapist trick: Use your arms! The inside of your forearms make great massage tools. And, it's surprising, but a tennis ball can work wonders too, and it's a great way to change things up. Just roll it on his muscles with a little firm pressure to unlock tension.
5. Focus on his neck: While you can massage his neck while he's lying on his stomach, a better way is to ask him to flip over on his back. Then, make a "bowl" with your hands and have him place his head inside of your hands. This way, you're sort of cradling his head (which is loving in and of itself!), but you're also creating a great position to gently move your hands up and down along his neck and into his scalp (a favorite among men).
6. Don't forget his hands and feet: He may not ask for it, but believe us, he's hoping you won't ignore his feet and hands, and it's a great way to complete your rub down. To start, weave your hand in his, and use your thumbs to knead the back of his palm and then stroke each finger with enough pressure so the muscles in his fingers get plenty of love. You can show his arms some love from here, and then finish with his feet. Just a few minutes is all you'll need to spend here, but even that will make him feel completely relaxed.