A massage gun is a terrific complement to your training programme, but to obtain the greatest results, do some research before digging in.
Massage guns (also known as percussive massagers) are hand-held devices that resemble an electric power drill in form and size. But don’t let that put you off – they’re completely safe to use and provide a soft tissue massage that may be as light or forceful as you prefer.
The pulsing movement breaks up adhesions, promotes blood flow, and aids in the removal of lactic acid that accumulates after exercise.
If you purchase a massage gun, it generally comes with a number of adjustable massage heads that are tailored for various muscle areas. These twist or shove into a socket on one end and are powered by a motor within the handle, causing them to pulse up and down.
Consumer massage guns are powered by a rechargeable battery that normally provides one to two hours of operation on a full charge. They come in a variety of sizes, but if you want one that’s easy to transport to the gym, sports club, or workplace, go for a tiny one like the Power Plate Mini+ or Renpho R3 Mini Massage Gun.
First and foremost, safety.
First and foremost, a word on safety. Use your massage pistol on muscles alone – never on bony or joint regions. It should also not be used to treat injuries — a muscle that is a bit tight after a hard workout is OK, but not a strain or sprain. It should also not be used on damaged skin.
To minimise bruising, don’t keep the massage gun in one spot for more than a few seconds at a time, and stop immediately if it seems painful. It should never be uncomfortable to operate the gadget, and there’s no need to utilise the maximum levels if you find them too much.
If you have a medical problem such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or fibromyalgia, see your doctor before using a massage gun or beginning a new exercise regimen.
When should you utilise it?
The most apparent moment to use your massage gun is after a workout, but it’s not the only time it might be useful. TechRadar chatted with Scott Hopson, Power Plate Master Trainer and Advisory Board member, on how to get the most out of your massage pistol.
“Massage guns deliver rhythmical pressure currents to our body’s tissues, improving tissue quality, fluid flow, and mentality,” Hopson said.
He recommends utilising a massage gun to prepare before training, practising, or competing “because it improves tissues and prepares them ready to move with better quality.” You may take it again after your exercise “to kick-start the recuperation process as soon as possible Flush toxins, reduce pain, and encourage relaxation”, and between sessions “to ensure we’re ‘feeing’ our tissues from the pressures of everyday life, shutting, and postures that cause difficulties.””
Karen Brown, Head of Product Design and Development EMEA at HoMedics (another major manufacturer of massage guns), also provided some tips on when to use your equipment.
“HoMedics massage guns are perfect for use before and after workouts to aid alleviate any stress and stiffness,” Brown explained. “They are convenient to bring to the gym and may even be used mid-workout if you are feeling tense.
“HoMedics massage guns are also excellent for unwinding after a long day at work by re-energizing and awakening regions of the body that may have been seated in the same posture for some time!
“By providing a choice of power levels and replaceable massage heads, each treatment can be adjusted to your unique requirements, targeting various parts of the body for both quick results and maximum efficacy.”
How to Use It
Once you’re ready to use your therapy pistol, turn it on before putting it against your skin (turning it on while it’s on your body might be startling) and slide it over the muscle you’re working on.
In front of a workout, you may use your massage gun to warm up the primary muscle areas you’ll be focusing on.
If you’re getting ready for a bike ride, you may use it on your quadriceps (the muscles at the front and sides of your legs), hamstrings (the muscles at the rear of your thighs), calves, and lower back. Keep the gun’s head moving, and after a minute or two, go on to the next muscle group.
It is indeed the same after a workout; concentrate on the muscles you’ve been working on and glide the massage gun over each group for up to two minutes before moving on to the next.
If your shoulders are tense throughout the day, you may target the trapezius muscle with your massage gun. Keep the device’s head away from your spine and avoid placing it squarely on your shoulder blade.
If you’re having difficulty reaching, one of the benefits of a massage gun is that someone else can assist you, even if they don’t have any expertise. Ask them to softly touch it on your skin and let the machine do the rest; there’s no need to press down. If you feel a ‘knot,’ keep the gun in place for around 20 seconds to assist relax the tissues.
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