Massage Guns: How They Work & How To Use Them

Recovery
Running
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 across.
  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 so that it causes pain. It might feel strange but it should never be forced into the muscle.

How To Pick The Right Attachment

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

You can use a massage gun before or after a workout, or specifically on recovery days. A massage gun can help loosen and prepare a muscle for a workout, and can similarly help to break down tense build up after a workout. 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.

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.

At Greaves, we stock massage guns from some of the biggest and best manufacturers, including Pulseroll and Urban Fitness

Pick Up Your Massage Gun at Greaves Sports

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.

Shop our range of massage guns at Greaves online or at your local sports shop in Glasgow.

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