Massage Guns: How They Work & How To Use Them

Training & Fitness

Massage guns have been increasing in popularity in recent years as more and more people are taking care of their overall health and performance. In order to keep performing, you need to recover. This can be done through various methods, with sleep, nutrition, workout intensity and blood flow all affecting how recovered your body will be after a workout. Regarding blood flow, this can be a key aspect to muscle recovery and performance, and can be very effective in getting rid of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: When your muscles are not sore the day following a workout, but then become sore 2 days after the workout was completed).

A study in the International Journal of Sports Physiology & Performance found that increased blood flow was positively correlated with performance and muscle recovery between sessions of high intensity exercise.

A tennis player using a Theragun massage gun.

What Do Massage Guns Do?

So what does this have to do with massage guns? Massage guns increase blood flow to the muscles and can get into your muscles much deeper than a traditional massage can. Reductions in blood flow and increased pain are all associated with tight muscles. The deep tissue massage that massage guns provide can help increase blood flow, reduce pain, and increase recovery.

How To Use A Massage Gun On Yourself

  1. Pick the appropriate head attachment for your massage gun and the muscle area you are working on.
  2. Identify the area you are going to massage (calf, chest, quads, arms etc.)
  3. Identify any specific areas of pain within that area
  4. On a low-medium setting, slowly roll the massage gun over the area and around the pain (this will loosen the surrounding muscle fibres meaning they are more malleable and won't pull the painful area as much).
  5. Work your way towards the area of pain where you can massage accross.
  6. Experiment with different angles, don't just push the massage guns vertically into the area. Tilt and rotate the massage gun so the head works at different angles.
  7. If there isn't a specific area of pain, work your way over the muscle slowly.
  8. Don't press the massage gun in too hard that it causes pain. It might feel strange but it should never be forced into the muscle.

How To Pick The Right Attachment


Best Use
Bullet Head Best for knots & trigger points
Flat Head Best for medium to large muscles
Spinal Head Best for indented areas e.g. Trapezius, Ankle etc.
Large Round Head Best for large muscle groups
Small Round Head Great For Full Body

When To Use A Massage Gun

Should you use a massage gun before or after a workout, or only on recovery days? It really can be done any time. With that said, sometimes after a workout or on rest days where your muscles are sore, this is when you will find yourself most needing to use a massage gun for recovery. If you think massaging the muscle will enhance the workout you are about to do or will add to the workout you’ve just completed, then absolutely get on the couch and use your massage gun.  

Massage Guns Features Comparison

 Model Price Weight Speed Settings Max RPM Battery Life
Theragun Pro £549 1.3kg 5 + Custom 2400 Up To 5 Hours
Theragun Elite £375 1.0kg 5 + Custom 2400 Up To 2 Hours
Pulseroll Percussion £224.99 1.1kg 4 3300 Up To 5 Hours
Pulseroll Ignite Pro £220.00 1.1kg 5 3100 Up To 5 Hours
Pulseroll Percussion Mini £129.99 0.6kg 4 3000 Up To 6 Hours
Pulseroll Ignite Mini £120 0.6kg 4 3000 Up To 6 Hours
UF Massage Gun £60 1.8kg 6 3100 Up To 3.5 Hours
UF Mini Massage Gun £56 0.96kg 5 3100 Up To 3 Hours

Which Massage Gun Should I Get?

If your deciding factors are on price, weight or speed settings then look no further than the table above! However, if you are looking for details such as the quietest massage guns for use at home, usually the mini versions will always be quieter. Cheaper massage guns can tend to be noisier as slightly cheaper materials can be used to make them.

If you are a serious runner or athlete, the Pro/Elite models are the best due to their custom settings and durability meaning you won’t have to replace them any time soon. For the average runner or gym goer, the mini models will certainly suffice.

Want to increase your recovery after intense runs or workout sessions? Regular massaging using any one of our massage guns is a great way to increase blood flow and help you perform at your best. Order yours online or come in to our Gordon Street sports store where our experts can help you find the perfect model for your activity level.


Borne R, Hausswirth C, Bieuzen F. Relationship Between Blood Flow and Performance Recovery: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2017 Feb;12(2):152-160. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2015-0779. Epub 2016 Aug 24. PMID: 27139812.

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