Massage Guns 101: The Beginner’s Guide

Massage guns expert guide

If you can feel a bunch of knots in your muscles or just feel like you’re just not getting enough sleep and need to get rid of tension and stress, a massage might be the right thing for you. However, booking a massage with a therapist can be expensive and time-consuming, especially if you need it often. Luckily, there’s one thing that can save you—massage guns.

These hand-held, rechargeable devices deliver strikes to your muscles up to 2,500 times a minute for as long as you want. Usually, in just a few minutes of pounding, you can go over every muscle group and loosen tissue, boost blood flow and reduce pain and tension. All that without having to tip it in the end!

If you’ve never used such a tool before, you probably have questions, but don’t worry—you’ll find out everything you need to know in this beginner’s guide to massage guns.

What are massage guns?

Percussion massagers or massage guns (named after their shape) provide users with vibration and percussive therapy that can bring you many benefits without having to visit a therapist or change your diet. This tool is shaped similarly to a power drill and works basically the same way. It delivers a variety of quick strikes and blows to any area you point it to, and is mainly used for soft tissue and muscles. These blows can boost circulation and provide fresh blood to stiff muscles, which improve the range of motion of the muscle.

Massage guns the beginner's guide

Massage guns the beginner’s guide

How do they work?

According to research, massage guns stimulate the GTO (Golgi tendon organ), a structure in muscles that is dedicated to contractions. Do you know how you stroke the affected area after you hit it somewhere? Well, this tool can offer the same feeling of pain relief.

A massage gun uses a similar technique massage therapists use for soft tissue massage. It applies rapid “hits” and vibrations to your affected areas (quads, shoulders, hamstrings, feet, neck, hands, and others) to relieve soreness and stiffness. Massage guns also train your brain to recognize tightness in the soft tissue, no matter if it’s a muscle, tendon, or fascia. The brain focuses attention on this tightness, recognizes the feeling, letting it go, and bringing relaxation.

How to use your massage gun?

The important use of your massage tool is crucial for the right results, and handling it wrong can achieve the opposite effects or just be a waste of money. To get the most out of your massage gun, you need to invest in a quality product designed to satisfy every individual. If you’re an athlete, get a product that is marketed towards your group. Here’s how you might use your massage gun for your training:

Before you hit the weights or the treadmill, you can use your massage gun to boost the blood flow to the muscles, especially those you’ll be targeting during your workout session. This practice can also

increase your range of motion, which is useful for many sports. To use a massage gun during a pre-workout routine, use it for one to two minutes to massage every muscle group you’re planning to exercise and about 30 seconds on supporting muscles.

You can use your massage gun after a workout, as a part of your cool-down routine, to bring your body from a heightened state back down to a resting state. Your massage tool will relax your nervous system by blocking pain signals that can reach the brain after an especially hard workout. Also, you will retain strong blood circulation after a workout and replenish your tired muscles with new oxygen. Finally, post-workout massage can help reduce inflammation and minimize post-workout muscle soreness.

Massage guide

Massage guide

How to relieve muscle soreness with a massage gun?

In case you develop soreness after building muscles, you can use your massage gun to reduce the pain of DOMS. It won’t completely eliminate the pain, but you will feel temporary relief. When using your massage gun for this issue, make sure to adjust the depth and speed of the gun—you don’t need to feel pain. Sore muscles are already sensitive, so you’ll probably need to go all the way down to the lowest settings. Once your tool is in place, use it for one to two minutes on every sore area. If you’re not an athlete, yet feel muscle pain and tension, use your gun to relieve it the same way.

What not to do?

Generally, massage guns are used for muscle soreness and for improving fitness and wellness, but there are ways you can use them to actually harm your body. Don’t use your massager on bony areas or any areas that went through a skeletal injury like a sprain or strain. Also, avoid open wounds and bruises. Stop the use if you feel any unexpected or severe pain. In case you suffer from osteoporosis, arthritis, or any other musculoskeletal condition, consult your doctor before use.

Massage guns are a great investment for all people who want to put a stop to their muscle pain. No matter if you’re an athlete, trying to get fit, or just using your muscles on a daily basis, your massage gun can help with pain greatly.


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Franck Wang
Franck Wang

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