It’s All About Percussive Muscle Therapy
One of the latest discoveries in sports therapy, percussive muscle therapy works by applying rapid bursts of pressure to muscle tissue, whether in your quads, shoulders or back. This helps increase blood flow to the area, reducing soreness, tightness and pain. Massage guns have the ability to pound the area 22-40 times per second, making them your go-to for sports recovery and WFH-induced aches and pains.
Use One To Improve Flexibility
The repetitive vibrations of a massage gun will supercharge blood circulation, and better blood flow means faster travelling of oxygen and nutrients, enabling speedier recovery. If you are prone to DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and stiffness after a session, a massage gun will improve your range of motion over time, which can also help reduce your risk of injury.
Consider The Amplitude
If you’re looking to invest, one of the key factors to consider is a massage gun’s amplitude, i.e. its power and how deep it can get into your muscles. For example, the Theragun PRO offers a 16mm amplitude – one of the best on the market – while the Addsfit Massage Gun goes just 6mm deep. A smaller amplitude doesn’t render a gun ineffective; it just means it may be better suited to WFH aches and pains than workout-weary joints.
Weight & Battery Life Matter
As a rule of thumb, the stronger a massage gun, the heavier it’ll be. The Theragun PRO, for example, is pretty weighty, making it tricky to reach your own shoulders, but you’ll reap the benefits in vibrational power. Also consider battery life – some of the best guns run for up to six hours on a single charge.
Consider Its Versatility
Most massage guns come with a variety of attachments that make it easier to target smaller muscles such as your glutes and upper back. The most common are fork attachments (for neck and spine), large ball attachments (legs and core), and bullet add-ons, which are ideal for deep tissue and joint therapy.
Learn The Technique
The gun will do most of the hard work for you, but it pays to know the proper technique. Hover the gun over the muscle area you want to target; move slowly up and down the length of the muscle for around 30 seconds. If you find a sore spot, avoid the temptation to dig into the muscle; instead hover solely on that spot until the tension dissipates. Make sure to avoid running the machine over bones and joints – and if it hurts, decrease the pressure. Theragun recommends using a massage gun for at least 15 seconds and up to a maximum of two minutes per muscle group, with a full-body session not exceeding 15 minutes.
Use It To Bookend Your Workout
As well as providing a physio-approved form of rehab, massage guns can be incorporated into your warm-up and cool-down. To prep muscles, float the gun up and down your muscles for 15-30 seconds, moving back and forth, for around five minutes. To cool down, increase that time to 90-120 seconds. You can even use it mid-workout to revive flagging muscles – a quick roll between sets can flush the area, increase blood flow and decrease muscle tension.