It works like a deep tissue massage to relieve tension from the deepest layers of body muscles and connective tissues. During the lockdown in 2020 many pro athletes reportedly took on the gun massager when all physical massage therapy sessions were impossible. It was the perfect time for fitness buffs to invest in a gun massager. However, many were not quite familiar with the product and how it worked. If you're new to gun massagers, this will tell you all you need to know.
Two companies that shot to the front of the gun massage race are Therabody (a.k.a. the owner of Theragun) and Vortix. Both brands have gone beyond just percussion gun massage and evolved into complete muscle recovery names with a full line of products from eye massagers to sauna blankets to pro-grade mini massagers.
How Do Massage Guns Work?These percussion therapy devices work by applying measured force to muscles and fascia to release the knots and encourage blood flow to tense and sore areas. The vibration massage can reach deep into soft tissue for maximum recovery. Vortix devices, for instance, can reach deeper into your muscles than most other gun massagers.
To get the maximum benefit from your gun massage, it's best you learn how to use it properly. Improper use will not be as effective and can even lead to muscle injury. Here are some useful pointers on using your massage gun.
Using a Massage Gun Before WorkoutsThe gun massager is not just the best method of recovering from a hard-hitting workout — but it's great for warming up, too. A pre-workout massage gun percussion session can assist in warming up by increasing blood flow to the muscles that'll engage during your workout. It can also maximize your range of motion before working out.
Dedicate 1 to 2 minutes massaging those muscle groups you plan to exercise directly. Additionally, do another 30 seconds on supporting muscle groups.
For example, when you're planning a leg workout, you should try this massage gun routine:
- 60 seconds on each quad
- 60 seconds on each hamstring
- 30 seconds on the lower back
- 30 seconds on each calf
Know Your Gun Massager HeadsBefore you start using your massage gun, get familiar with your massage heads - know what does what.
Big Round Head
This one is mainly used for large muscle groups like the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. It applies vibration over a larger surface area, making it possible to work on larger muscle groups all at once.
Small Round Head
This is great for use on both large and small muscle groups. This is the one you might use the most and is usually the go-to attachment for everyday muscle recovery.
The flat head is perfect for shoulder blades and IT bands. It's also ideal for full-body massage and relaxation.
This is used for targeted muscle treatment, hands, and feet. It’s great for trigger point massage but should be used in moderation and no longer than 15 seconds per muscle area.
This is most effective for trigger points and the lower back. You can apply it on either side of the spine, but avoid using it directly on bones.
This is generally used for muscle areas that are tender. This can be great for a full-body massage.
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