Massage guns are becoming an increasingly common feature of workout gear for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Also known as percussion massagers, these handheld devices aid muscle recovery. They relieve soreness and tension in the muscles.
Read on to learn how massage guns work, their benefits, and some tips for buying one.
How Massage Guns Work
Massage guns deliver percussion or vibration therapy by applying deep pressure to your muscles in quick bursts of up to 2,400 RPMs. The rapid back and forth movement of the massage gun’s head produce a rippling sensation in your muscles.
Most massage guns come with several head attachments that deliver different types of pressure. Keep in mind that the name and type of the head attachment component vary from one brand to another; examples include bullet, fork, cushion, flathead, and foam ball.
Benefits of Massage Guns
Massage guns benefit athletes and fitness enthusiasts in several
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) occurs after a workout or intense physical activity. It may be accompanied by tenderness, stiffness, or swelling. These symptoms occur 24–24 hours after a workout and may last for 24–72 hours. Any form of exercise can cause DOMS, but it commonly happens after weight training or running downhill.
Using a massage gun to warm up may aid muscle recovery. One study found that doing so may improve muscle flexibility without diminishing strength. The vibrations also enhance circulation, which helps prepare muscles for a demanding workout and reduces the risk of injury.
Targets Specific Muscle Groups
Alternatives such as the foam roller, while inexpensive, may be ineffective in targeting specific muscle groups. A massage gun can target areas such as upper back muscles to provide much-needed relief. Moreover, repeatedly applying the optimal pressure with a foam roller can be tricky, whereas doing so with a massage gun is intuitive.
Appointments with a massage therapist can be expensive, ranging from $65–$115 for a one-hour session. In contrast, massage guns cost $50–$500. A $200–$300 massage should be suitable for most fitness enthusiasts. Pricey as massage guns may seem at first glance, they’re much less costly than massage therapists in the medium to long term.
Massage guns feel amazing. Granted, they may take a bit of getting used to. But if you start with the lowest setting and adjust upwards, you should find a sweet spot that makes using the device a treat. They’re especially soothing after intense activity such as a marathon run or a lower body superset workout.
Tips for Buying and Using a Massage Gun
Keep the following in mind when buying a massage gun.
- Compare the specifications for different brands and models.
- Read reviews.
- Review the manufacturer’s instructional text or videos.
- Start with the lowest speed and work upwards.
- Work on one large muscle group at a time.
- Don’t overuse it.
The Final Word About Massage Guns
Massage guns are popular these days, and rightfully so. They’re an excellent addition to your workout gear. Even though alternatives such as foam rollers may offer similar benefits, many fitness enthusiasts prefer massage guns because they’re more compact and automatic. If working out is an essential part of your lifestyle, you stand to benefit a lot from a massage gun.