Massage Guns: When & How To Use Them

You can find massage guns almost anywhere these days. Wellness and sporting goods stores – online or otherwise sell them. They are endorsed by celebrities, fitness gurus and athletes – but don’t let the type fool you. They’re certainly more than just a trend.  

There is a pretty good reason behind this immense popularity. Massage guns DO work – IF you use them properly.

Massage guns – what are they?

Massage guns are devices that enable users to enjoy the benefits of powerful and quick deep tissue massages anywhere and anytime they need it.

It’s not difficult to understand why they’re called that, devices typically resemble a handgun and their primary purpose is to allow users to do self-massages. 

There are a lot of massage guns available these days, which makes it a bit of a challenge to choose the best quality gun from the rest. In other words, good quality massage guns provide quick bursts of percussive force into your muscles, relieving muscle tightness and soreness. 

How does a massage gun work?

A massage gun uses vibration or percussive therapy, or sometimes both at the same time or vibration therapy, sometimes both simultaneously. Although vibration and percussion therapy provide the same benefits, they have certain differences. 

Percussive therapy – what is it?

Percussive therapy is the use of rapid “punches” onto muscle tissue and connective tissue (fascia) to improve the flow of blood and break up scar tissue on the sore muscle areas. 

Percussive massage guns drive percussive force deep into muscle tissue to maximize results. The Hydragun massage gun for example can drive as much as 12mm into your muscles – giving just the right amount of deep tissue massage. 

How to use massage guns properly

If you want to get the most benefits from your massage gun, you need to know how to use it correctly. Otherwise, you may end up causing injury to yourself and wasting money. Here are some tips on when and how to use these massage guns: 

Before a workout

A quick go with your massage gun prior to working out helps in your warm up routine. By increasing the flow of blood in the muscles you will use during exercise, you improve your flexibility and range of motion and lower the risk of injuries.

Before you start your workout, use the massage gun for up to 2 minutes on each muscle group you will use. For supporting muscle groups, you can use the massage gun for 30 seconds per muscle group.. 

For instance, if you’re up for a leg day, here’s an example of using a massage gun for your warm up: 

For the main muscles you will work out:

1 minute on each of your quad muscles 

1 minute each on your hamstrings 

For the supporting muscles:

30 seconds on your calves

30 seconds on your lower back

After a workout 

Massage guns can be used as part of your post-workout cool downs, too. After an intense workout, percussive massage helps your body to . Post-workout percussive therapy can help bring your body back to its resting state.

Using a massage gun helps keep a healthy blood flow after your workout, and brings essential nutrients and oxygen back to your tired muscles. Additionally, using a massage gun after a workout can also reduce muscle inflammation and cut down on post workout muscle soreness.  

How often can you use massage guns?

It’s safe to use massage guns every day as long as you use them properly and you don’t exceed the manufacturer’s recommended usage.  

Summing it up

A massage gun is a helpful and healthy part of your recovery and wellness routine. But make sure that you do not use them directly on painful muscles or any swollen part of your body. If you want to use a massage gun for recovery, consult with your doctor on how to best use these powerful devices.