Massage guns have grown in popularity and are one of the fitness industry’s trendiest tools. Fitness enthusiasts and athletes use massage guns before and after working out, on rest days, and whenever they feel muscle pain.
But how effective are massage guns, really?
Research shows that vibration therapy is likely as effective as massage therapy at reducing muscle soreness, impressive considering there is ample evidence supporting massage therapy for muscle recovery.
Whether you are an athlete, recovering after an injury, or just someone who is just trying to work out some aches and pains, here’s what you need to know about massage guns.
Benefits of Massage Guns
One of the most important benefits of massage guns is the ability to promote recovery after injury or intense activity by improving blood flow to the area. Targeting small and large muscles with deep percussive pressure provides:
- A decrease in muscle pain and tension
- A reduction in the lactic acid buildup that causes muscle soreness
- An improvement in flexibility
- An improvement in lymphatic flow, which helps to rid your body of toxins and support your immune system
- An improvement in body awareness by promoting mind-muscle connections that may improve athletic performance
- An increase in blood flow which increases circulation
You can use a massage gun for a number of things, from posture-related pain to stress relief. Most people primarily use their massage gun for workout-related soreness and stiffness, particularly for delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). However, more important, is how and when you use the massage gun.
How to Properly Use a Massage Gun
Massage guns can provide benefits when used on virtually all muscle groups, including quadriceps, hamstring, glute, back, biceps, tricep, calf, and shoulder muscles. They can be used in different ways at different times.
Warm up before a workout
When combined with other warm-up exercises such as stretching and cardio, using a massage gun for 30 seconds to one minute on each area you plan to target during your workout can prepare muscles by increasing blood flow and improving mobility. Using a massage gun as part of your warmup can reduce your perception of muscular fatigue during workouts. Scientists are not sure if this actually reduces fatigue but the placebo effect can be a very powerful thing. Research has shown vibration therapy to increase range of motion which can help you access deeper positions when working out, for example, an increase in range of motion in the ankles helps you reach a deeper squat position.
Cool down after a workout
Using a massage gun for up to one minute on each muscle group you targeted during your workout helps to maintain blood flow, which brings recovery-boosting oxygen and nutrients, reduces inflammation, and promotes relaxation.
Relieve muscle soreness
Using a massage gun for 1-2 minutes can help to relieve tight muscles after sleeping, sitting, or performing everyday tasks. If you are trying to decrease muscle soreness after exercise, it’s best to use your massage gun immediately after your workout to reduce lactic acid and toxin buildup in your muscles. A quick application again the next day will increase blood flow, bringing oxygen to your muscles.
Manage delayed-onset muscle soreness
Using a lower setting for up to two minutes on sore muscles can provide temporary relief of DOMS.
It is generally safe to use a massage gun daily on targeted muscle groups but to get maximum benefits follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how long and often you should use your massage gun.
Just like exercise, you will only reap the benefits of a massage gun if you use it consistently. For the best results keep your massage gun near your home workout equipment or add it to your gym bag checklist so you remember to use it during your cooldown.
From my experience, Renpho offers excellent massage guns at reasonable prices. Use code FITTHUT15 for a 15% discount.
- Powerful muscle massage gun to relieve tension
- 2500mAh battery capacity with portable design
- 6 massage heads and 20 adjustable speeds
- Quiet and rechargeable
- Easy to carry
- Ultra-portable and silent
- 5 massage heads and 5 speeds with up to 3200rpm
- 2500mAh long battery life and 10 minutes auto-off protection
- Convenient USB charging
- Ergonomic grip
- Adjustable arm
- 6 massage heads and 4 speeds up to 3200rpm
- Ultra-compact and powerful
- Simple operation
- Portable and light
- Noise reduction technology
- 4 massage heads and 5 speeds up to 3200rpm