Massage guns are getting more popular with runners, athletes and bodybuilders. Massage gun devices are technical massagers, providing percussive and vibration therapy. Using these great massage tools at home is so helpful to provide deep tissue massage with a more circular motion. Having access to these at home massage devices is very efficient and easy to use. With busy life schedules, to have access to a device to provide us with deep tissue massages and intense muscle release is incredible.
The massage gun is a handheld device shaped and like a nail gun, and similar as well, as the massage tool pushes outward.
How the Massage Gun Works
- Uses depth, speed and force to hit muscles that deep tissue massage would with less pain.
- Allows to work in deeper muscle release than with a foam roller.
- The force repeats provide vibration therapy.
- Can be used in all areas of the body, small or larger areas.
Benefits of Massage Guns
- Reduces muscle soreness
- Muscle relaxation as a result of the deep vibration.
- Increases relaxation which promotes better sleep.
- Increases blood flow in the areas that are massaged, which helps with muscle recovery.
- Improves muscle flexibility.
- Shuts down pain signals to the brain.
- Progressively increases muscle strength.
When to Use a Massage Gun Device
- To use a massage gun after some stretching or even foam rolling, can be even more efficient with the muscle tension and pain release. To use it before bedtime will be even more helpful, as the muscles will get some rest and recovery during sleep time. Also, the massage gun will relax the body and brain to improve the sleep pattern.
- Another option, is to use massage gun devices during Ultra races if you have some support at checkpoints. For runners who are predicting to have some muscle tightness or soreness during long-distance races, to use these massage guns will be so helpful to reduce the muscle tightness and soreness, and also activate some tired muscles.
- Massage guns can also be used before a run, for runners having some muscle issues, it can help loosen up some tight muscles and activate some weak muscles to get ready for a more comfortable run.
How to Use a Massage Gun Device
For a nice deep tissue massage, first we need to relax. If we are tense due to some areas that are tender, it can make it harder for the device to work if we are more stressed, and it might hurt a bit more. When using the massage gun in very tender areas, start with a light pressure and progress gradually.
- Start with the lowest speed and increase as needed.
- Use a light touch to allow the vibration to help release tight knots.
- Hold it on a specific area for 10 secs, and continue to move slowly moving it around.
- Do not use it on injured areas, strains or sprains.
- For an intense massage session version, you can use it twice a day, but with a few hours in between to allow the muscles to rest.
How Long to Use the Massage Gun for Each Type of Treatment
- Muscle Activation- 30 seconds: To use the massage gun for pre-run or pre-workout, it can be used to activate important muscles like glutes and quads.
- Muscle Reactivation- 15 seconds: The device can be used during some training sessions, or workouts when you start to feel some muscle fatigue. The massage gun vibration creates the muscle distraction to lower pain signals. This is more common in strength training sessions.
- Relaxation- 2 minutes: Once your body is fully cooled down from a run or training session or before bedtime, you can use the massage gun in different areas for up to 2 minutes, moving the device around consistently. It will promote relaxation and will work in those tight areas to release fascia.
How to Use the Massage Gun Heads
- Large Soft Ball– This is the softer foam, so it can be used anywhere on the body as it is less intense. It can be used with more intense tightness. This supersoft ball can be used on bone areas.
- Medium Ball– This foam ball is a bit more firm, it can also be used on most of the body areas and it provides more intense muscle work than the large foam ball.
- Bullet– The smaller ball is a more intense tool designed for specific trigger points. It is often used on the sole of the feet, around the joints and the hip flexors. Just make sure you avoid any impact on the bones.
- Fork: This ball allows to target areas such as hands, feet (Achilles), neck or spine. But not the bones.
- Cone: This ball is mostly used to pinpoint muscle treatment, including hands and feet, but not the bones.
Most Popular Massage Gun Brands
Theragun by Therabody is the most popular massage gun device, which recently released new models we should have access to shortly.
Theragun Pro: The most powerful device, includes a rotating arm, 55% less noise, 300 minutes of battery life and a software component to connect to an App, 6 massage attachments, and 5 different speeds.
Theragun Elite: The Elite is the quietest gun, 120 minutes of battery life, software component, 5 massage attachments and 5 different speeds.
Theragun Prime: The Prime is the leaner device with 120 minutes of battery life, software component, 4 massage attachments and 5 different speeds.
Theragun Mini: The Mini device can be used during travelling trips, and can be carried in backpacks to use at the gym, with 150 minutes of battery life and 3 different speeds. This device is very useful to use anywhere.
Other popular brands:
ELEELS, Hypervolt and Polaryak Wave
Deep Massage, Muscle Release, Nice Run!