If you’re an athlete or you’re into sports in any way, you’re probably looking for more ways to make sure your physical health is as good as it can possibly be. Sports themselves have a beneficial impact on health, but that impact is lost if you don’t make sure you look after yourself during and after each game. It is for this reason that sportspeople and athletes are always looking to improve and maintain their health.
One way you can do that is with massage guns. Put simply, massage guns are a great homespun way to keep yourself physically healthy after a particularly grueling workout or marathon game. If you’ve heard of massage guns, they may seem too good to be true; after all, they’re readily available to anyone and have been said to have many health benefits. The fact is that massage guns work, and here’s why.
What is a massage gun?
First, let’s talk a little about exactly what a massage gun is, and what it does. A massage gun works through what’s called “percussion therapy”, so named because it works by gently applying rapid pressure to your muscles. By “hammering” away at an affected muscle, the massage gun relieves pressure and pain, helping you to recover from workout-related muscle soreness more quickly.
There are various different kinds of massage gun models available, all of which fulfil different niches. You’ll find smaller and more portable models, larger and more powerful ones, and those dedicated to pressing deeper into muscle tissue, among other models. It’s important to get the one that’s right for you, because they can sometimes be expensive, so making the correct purchase is critical.
How do massage guns work?
Studies have been conducted as to whether massage guns work in a scientific capacity, and if they do, just what’s going on when you apply the tip of the gun to your muscles. The good news is that there’s evidence to suggest massage guns are effective in reducing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after a workout, and that they’re good at decreasing lactic acid levels, leading to less pain.
Here’s how it works. By vibrating fast against the muscle you’re applying the gun to, massage guns ease tightness in the muscle and get it moving again, thus increasing circulation. There’s a reason you should cool down after workouts; if you just stop using muscles after you’ve finished working out, they’re more likely to cause you pain. Massage guns help to alleviate this pain by circulating blood around your muscles and getting rid of lactic acid buildup.
What don’t massage guns do?
It’s important to remember that massage guns aren’t a perfect solution to every problem you’ll encounter after a workout. They won’t fix a muscle strain or a tear once it’s happened, so it’s important to follow the regular medical procedures after an injury has occurred. Massage guns are good for preventing injuries, but they’re not a substitute for sound medical advice.
In addition, while massage is a great augmentation for a workout to help you recover, it won’t actually assist in building muscle mass. Don’t expect liberal use of a massage gun to augment your gains in any way; see it more as a therapeutic tool than a workout aid and you’ll be fine. Remember that a massage gun is not a magic bullet, no matter what the name might suggest.
How do you use a massage gun?
Using a massage gun really is as simple as switching on the gun, applying it to the affected muscle, and waiting while the device does its work. However, there are several things to be aware of while you’re using the massage gun. Here are some of our top tips to help you with correct massage gun usage.
- Don’t use it for too long. You might be tempted to keep hammering away at the affected area in the belief that more is better, but this isn’t the case. When a human being massages you, they’re using knowledge and varying degrees of pressure to pinpoint exactly what you need. A massage gun can’t do this, and if you’re not a trained masseur or masseuse, just a few minutes at a time is enough.
- Start off slowly, but keep it going. The last thing you should do is switch on the gun and just go hell for leather at whatever muscle is giving you trouble. That’s a surefire way to increase soreness and make you never want to use the gun again. Start off slowly and gently, then increase pressure if and when you feel you need to. Don’t linger in a single spot, either; keep the gun moving around the affected area for optimal results.
- Don’t hit bone. It sounds wince-inducing just to say it, but make sure you’re not using the massage gun on areas of your body where bone is closer to the skin, like your shins or your wrists. Make sure you’re applying it to areas of densely-packed muscle, because that’s where it does its best work. Eventually, you can carefully start to use the massage gun around bony areas, but don’t do this until you’re confident you won’t make a mistake.
Which massage gun should I buy?
Unfortunately, we can’t tell you exactly which massage gun you should opt for. Each model excels in its own particular way, and there’s no sure-fire way to tell which one is going to be best for you. Think about your own needs and how best to fulfil them. Don’t buy a large massage gun if you’re going to need to take it around with you, and don’t break the bank if your budget doesn’t allow for it. Use common sense and make sure to research the brand before you buy and you should be fine! That being said we have created a list of the top 10 massage guns that can be viewed here, if you have any questions contact us at any time!