Everything You Need to Know About Massage Guns
Massage guns are more popular than ever. Celebrities, professional athletes and fitness influencers alike rave about their benefits. Can they help up your fitness game, too?
Here’s everything you need to know about when they help, who they might benefit, and how to use one if you decide to try it out.
What Is a Massage Gun and Why Use One?
Massage guns (sometimes called “percussive massage treatment” or “vibration therapy,” too) are portable, handheld devices that look like a power drill and in some cases, sound like one. They’re almost always wireless — most use a rechargeable battery — and they come with interchangeable attachments.
When the gun is placed on your muscles and turned on, the attachments vibrate or “percuss” at a high frequency and low amplitude of movement, which advocates claim promote recovery from workouts and improve overall performance while reducing soreness.
You can use a massage gun whenever you’re looking to relieve some muscle tension, but it may be especially beneficial to use after a workout to promote recovery with reduced muscle soreness.
How Do I Use a Massage Gun?
It's the definition of simple. Just point the gun at your fleshy target – around an inch away from your skin over whichever muscle you’re trying to loosen or warm up – and hit the trigger for instant relief.
Move slowly up and down the length of the muscle for around 30 seconds – if you find a particularly sore spot (or 'trigger point'), spend a little more time on it, but there's no need to apply more pressure. Try not to wince.
Keep your gun away from your neck (decapitation ain't the aim here lads) and avoid bone and any sprains. Start on the lowest setting and build up once you get the hang of it. Don't overdo it – a few minutes at a time is plenty – or your muscles may end up sorer.
What Should I Look for in a Massage Gun?
When you're browsing the best massage guns, ideally your purchasing priorities should centre on noise, battery life and quality.
Generally, a higher price tag will indicate a more reliable product and, when fully charged, a decent massage gun should go for a few days to a week without a charge, based on around 15 minutes' use per day.