If you’re an avid participant in the fitness world, then you’re probably familiar with massage gun therapy. Massage guns or percussion therapy have recently taken the world by storm for their ability to reduce muscle soreness, treat acute pain, and increase flexibility and range of motion. But just how much does this recovery tool help with overall fitness? Here’s everything you need to know about massage guns, their benefits and when to use one the next time you’re looking for rapid relief and muscle recovery.

What is a Massage Gun? 

Massage guns are portable, handheld devices used to induce percussion therapy. When placed on your muscles and turned on, the attachments vibrate or “percuss” at a high frequency and low movement amplitude, providing complete relief to both superficial and deep muscle fibers throughout the body. 

Benefits of Massage Gun Therapy 

Massage gun therapy helps move lactic acid out of fatigued muscles, making it ideal for pre and post-workout recovery. Massage gun therapy helps to: 

  • Relieve stress and promote relaxation by releasing tension and fluid in the muscles. 
  • Increase blood flow and circulation, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach the muscle fibers. 
  • Encourage healing of atrophied muscles by “waking them up,” allowing for faster recovery and increased flexibility.
  • Stimulates nerve receptors to improve mobility. 
  • Break up scar tissue by deeply massaging collagen fibers to alleviate pain and enhance range of motion. 

Massage Gun Therapy vs. Traditional Recovery Methods 

Unlike traditional recovery methods like foam rolling and stretching, massage guns can access hard-to-reach muscles and provide relief in a shorter amount of time. However, each recovery method has their advantages. Here are the benefits of each: 

Massage Gun Therapy – Massage gun therapy can easily target specific areas of the body, especially those that are hard to reach, such as the pectoral muscles in your chest, biceps, shoulders and feet. In addition, the vibration, speed and multiple attachment options help to loosen tight muscles and reduce soreness at a faster rate. 

Foam Rolling – Foam rolling uses myofascial release to decrease muscle tension. It can help relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation and increase the overall range of motion. Foam rolling is an effective tool to add to your warm-up or cooldown before and after exercise.

Stretching – Static stretching is a slow controlled movement emphasizing postural awareness and body alignment through sustained stretches on one muscle at a time to promote relaxation and reduce tightness. In addition, static stretching has been proven to increase range of motion, decrease musculotendinous stiffness, and reduce the risk of acute muscle strain. 

When to Use a Massage Gun? 

Interested in rapid recovery and pain relief? Here are the best times to utilize massage gun therapy! 

  • Before a workout: Contrary to popular belief, massage gun therapy is as beneficial before a workout as it is after. By activating the muscle fibers and promoting blood flow, you’re helping prepare your muscles for the exercise ahead. 
  • During your workout session: Did you know you can use a massage gun between sets? If you feel tension within the muscle group during your workout, reach for the massage gun! The suggested amount of time to use between sets is 15 seconds – just enough to excite the muscle. 
  • After a workout session: This may be obvious, but the most optimal time to practice massage gun therapy is after a workout session! Target the tensed muscles and massage for about 1-2 minutes to beat soreness before it sets in. 

Bayshore Fit Provides the Ultimate Recovery Experience 

When it comes to workout recovery, sometimes our body needs help to bounce back. Thankfully, Bayshore Fit has various tools to help you recover from a rigorous workout. Our state-of-the-art recovery room provides the perfect place to relax and recover faster with Hypervolt massage guns, Normatec pants and more, so you’ll feel better in no time! View our membership options and join the Bayshore Fit community today!