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How to Use a Massage Gun

 8/30/2021 10:22:31 PM GMT
Massage Guns (Percussive Therapy Devices) can provide relief
from muscle fatigue and pain when used correctly.

We explain how to use a massage gun for muscle recovery and therapy after a workout.  The do's and don'ts of Percussive Therapy Massage.

What is it?

A massage gun is a device that people use to give themselves a powerful massages just about anywhere on a moments notice. Obviously, the devices get their name from the fact that they look like a handgun; fortunately, the results are positive when you use it on yourself correctly.

In a nutshell, massage guns provide rapid, pulsating or vibrating force into the targeted muscle groups to encourage blood flow and reduce lactic acid build-up that causes muscle fatigue and pain. Pulsating therapy provides a deep tissue massage, often penetrating tissue up to 16mm; while vibrating therapy is less forceful, typically penetrating eight to 10 millimeters into the soft tissue.

With tons of these devices on the market, separating the good from the bad is a chore. The good news is we've already spent the time doing the research for you in our reviews of the best massage guns available today.

How to Use a Massage Gun Correctly.

Massage guns can be used before or after workouts, and similar strategies are employed regardless of when you are using your device. Using your massage gun properly will ensure you derive the maximum health benefits, and help you avoid injury or ineffective massage therapy sessions.

You can use your massage gun before a workout as part of your warm-up routine to increase blood flow to the muscle groups you'll be using during your workout, and improve your range of motion.

Therapists and trainers recommend spending 1 to 2 minutes massaging the major muscle groups involved in your planned workout, plus 30 seconds on each group of secondary muscles. You should only consider your pre-workout massage therapy as a single component of your overall warm-up routine, so don't skip other important warm-up elements like stretching and light cardio.

You can use your massage gun after a workout as part of your cool-down routine to help relax your nervous system, increase blood flow, and reduce lactic acid build-up to reduce the onset of soreness or pain.

Routine percussive therapy after a workout helps circulation, which means elevated levels of oxygen and nutrients for fatigued muscles. There is also evidence that percussive therapy helps reduce muscle inflammation to further reduce post-workout muscle soreness. You should use the same routine for post-workout therapy as you used for pre-workout therapy.

You can use your massage gun for delayed onset of muscle soreness, but should do so only at lower settings. It's important that your device intensity does not cause additional pain (and potential injury) during your massage session, so adjust your device's speed and depth settings to a level where you don't experience any increased pain in the targeted muscle groups during your session.

As with pre-workout and post-workout routines, spend 1 to 2 minutes on each targeted muscle group, and 30 seconds or so for secondary muscle groups.

What you Shouldn't do with your Massage Gun.

Although generally safe, it's important that you use your massage gun in a responsible manner.

Don't use a massage gun:
  • On bruises or open wounds
  • On bony areas
  • On areas suffering from strains or sprains
  • If you have severe or unexplained pain

You should also talk to your doctor before using a massage gun if you have any musculoskeletal condition, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or osteoporosis.

Frequency of Use & Safety.

You can safely use your massage gun daily if you follow the manufacturer's recommendations on the proper techniques and durations of use. Using a massage gun for too long on a single muscle or muscle group can lead to increased sensitivity or pain, so never exceed the recommended durations.

The percussive therapy your massage gun provides can be extremely beneficial in your exercise and recovery routines. Safe and responsible use will make sure you get your greatest health benefits out of your therapy sessions. Make sure you talk to your doctor if you're unsure if a massage gun is right for you.