Massage guns have risen in popularity recently as a tool to help sore muscles recover, but is it worth the hype? Do massage guns really work? What are their benefits? If you’re wondering any of these questions, this is the right article for you.
What are massage guns
Before jumping into the benefits of massage guns, let’s start with a quick review of what they are. Massage guns are handheld devices that look a little bit like power drills. They are portable, easy to use, and typically run on rechargeable batteries.
The massage gun was invented in 2008 as a way to massage sore muscles and help them heal and relax. It uses percussive and vibration therapy, and it’s known for giving you the same results as getting a deep tissue, or Swedish massage.
7 Benefits of Massage Guns
1- Pre-workout warm-up
A massage gun can help wake up tired muscles, and get the blood flowing and get you ready for exercise.
2- Post-workout cooldown
Massage guns can help you relax and your muscles come to a restful state after a workout. They also help can help reduce any muscle inflammation from the workout.
3- Muscle soreness
A huge benefit of the massage gun is the solace the gun can offer to sore muscles. If your muscles are sore after a workout, (or even if you didn’t work out, and they are sore,) the massage gun can give them relief by moving the lactic acid along in your system.
4- The comfort of your own home
Massages feel so nice, especially when you have sore muscles. (Massages have many health benefits as well.) But, they cost a lot of money, and that can get pretty pricey after a few appointments. Apart from the initial investment, a massage from your massage gun is free and in the comfort of your own house.
5- Sports performance
Massage guns can help increase power and performance, increase range of motion, and are a good way to relieve stress. They are a great addition to a workout routine and can help muscles be efficient and more flexible.
6- Faster recovery
The massage gun helps with muscle contraction, and relaxing muscles, and relieving tension. It will help strengthen muscles and help prevent injury as well as quicken muscle recovery time.
7- Increases blood flow
Providing the deep tissue massage, a massage gun stimulates the nerve receptors and gets the blood flowing. That in turn removes toxins from the body and improves circulation within the lymphatic system.
Purchasing a Massage gun
Massage guns range from $50- $500 or more. Some more expensive ones can be a bit pricey for the same results as a cheaper one, but with massage guns, a bigger investment is typically a good one in the end, since you don’t want it to be a waste of money. Steer clear of massage guns that are less than $100, as a lot of reviews on those guns say they don’t work as well. Choosing one in the middle is a good way to go.
Pay attention to the features that come with each massage gun. Many come with multiple attachments, adjusted speed controls, or an app that controls them.
(Purchasing a massage gun is a great option, especially because it limits or gets rid of the need to go somewhere to get a massage. However, licensed massage or physical therapists have gone to years of school and have a degree and knowledge in what they are doing, while anyone can buy a massage gun.
There are still many benefits to buying a massage gun, and not having to go to a professional all the time is nice, but if you have unusually sore muscles, or feel like professional help is necessary, don’t ignore licensed professionals.)
How NOT to use a massage gun
When using a massage gun do not:
- Use it on bony areas. (The massage gun is for your muscles.)
- Use it on injuries, open wounds or cuts, and bruises.
- Keep using it if you feel any pain.
- Let someone else hold the gun*
- Use it for too long or short on a specific muscle.*
*It is strongly advised to not let someone else give you the massage with the massage gun, just because they won’t be able to tell if they are applying too much pressure. The massage gun is nice because you can control the settings and amount of pressure you receive. Unless you trust the person, the best policy is you have total control of the massage gun.
*Holding the gun at a specific muscle for too long of a time can result in pain, bruising, or red skin. The other end of the spectrum is not keeping the gun at the desired muscle long enough to get the desired results. There is a happy medium you want to stay at.
Typically you want to use a massage gun for 1-2 minutes on each muscle group, however, that is a general time slot and each device will have instructions that may be more specific. Follow the instructions that come with your massage gun and lessen the time spent on a particular muscle if bruising occurs or your skin turns red.
A massage gun should not be painful. If it is painful stop what you are doing. You may be using it wrong or there may be another underlining problem. Talk to your doctor if you feel pain while using a massage gun, or if you have a medical condition or diagnosis where a massage gun could potentially be harmful.
Do they Work?
What’s the final verdict? Are massage guns worth all the hype?
The basics are very important for sore muscles, like drinking enough water, stretching, rest, etc, and you should make sure you are doing the basics. After doing the basics, a massage gun offers many pre-workout and post-workout benefits and makes a great addition to your home gym.
Make sure to use it safely and follow the directions that come with your device for the best results.