How To Use Your Massage Gun: The Ultimate Guide To Percussive Therapy
By Linus T.
Updated Feb 2024
So you finally decided to purchase a massage gun but don't know what to do with it, or maybe you're thinking of getting one but don't know if it'll actually be useful to you. With different attachments and multiple speed settings, its easy to feel like you're not getting the most out of your massage gun. So whether you're a new user or a hesitant buyer, we've put together a comprehensive guide on how to best use a massage gun and all its many features to achieve your desired results!
Admittedly, most users experience a learning curve when it comes to the proper use of massage guns. Most massage guns like Theragun provide relief through percussive therapy which is the stimulation of blood flow to a target muscle area with the aim of reducing inflammation and muscle knots. Due to the high speed vigorous nature of these guns, inexperienced users are often at risk of experiencing bruising or even further muscle damage. To spare you the pain, we've listed a few mistakes that newbies often make when using a massage gun and how to avoid them down below.
Mistake 1: Placing It On Your Body Before Turning It On
Doing this will shock your muscles and could potentially result in additional soreness and bruising. Instead, turn on your massage gun before placing it on your body..
Mistake 2: Pounding Your Muscles On The Highest Speed
When you crank the speed up from the get-go, there is a sudden spike in blood flow to the target area, this could be painful and increase muscle inflammation and micro tears. When it comes to percussive therapy, sometimes less is more. Start slow and give your muscles a chance to warm up before gradually turning the speed.
Mistake 3: Flexing Your Muscles
Tensing up when using a massage gun is akin to punching a brick wall, not only will you bruise, you definitely won't feel relaxed or reap the full benefits of percussive therapy. Take it easy and relax your body, you deserve it!
Mistake 4: Not Giving Your Muscles Enough Time To Recover
Reaching for your massage gun right after your workout is an ultimate no no, as it may worsen delayed-onset muscle soreness. Wait a few hours before taking the gun to your muscles to allow for ample cool down time. Additionally, your muscle gun should not be used on muscle sprains, strains, inflammation-related injuries or broken bones without first consulting a doctor.
Mistake 5: Focusing On One Area For Too Long
Continuous static pressure from the massage gun can cause your muscles to be sore and tender. The ideal way to use a massage gun is to "float" it and gently glide it over your muscles.
Now that you've got the basics down, we can move on to the more nitty gritty intricacies of choosing the right attachments for the right treatments. Most massage guns come with a set of different attachments, each with a unique shape and firmness to target specific areas of your body.
For example, the Theragun comes with 6 different attachments made of a non-porous material that is designed to glide effortlessly over skin. The attachments do not absorb sweat and oil from your body, making the clean up simple and hassle-free. We've outlined the recommended uses for each attachment as well as common massage gun treatments you can try out at home!
Using Your Massage Gun For Post Work Out Recovery
Recommended attachment: Wedge or Supersoft
The wedge attachment is perfect for post work out recovery as it can be used to scrape and flush your tense shoulder blades and IT bands. It helps decrease the amount of lactic acid in your muscles which helps alleviate muscle fatigue. Simply float the muscle gun over your sore muscles 1 to 2 hours after your work out for 2 to 3 minutes at a time.
Using Your Massage Gun For Better Sleep
Recommended attachment: Standard Ball
Use your massage gun on your arms, glutes and legs for 2 minutes each can help you feel more calm and relaxed after a long workday. This improves sleep quality through the down-regulation of the nervous system where your nervous system is stimulated and then relaxed, bringing your body back to balance.
Using Your Massage Gun For General Tension Relief
Recommended attachment: Dampener
To break up tight knots in your muscles, work your massage gun with the dampener attachment on the area surrounding the muscle knot rather than directly targeting the knot itself.
Using Your Massage Gun For Pre Work Out Muscle Activation
Recommended attachment: Standard Ball
Using your massage gun before a workout can activate your muscles and increase your range of motion. By stimulating blood flow to your muscles, it reduces your risk of injury and enhances the overall quality of your work out. Prior to exercising, place your muscle gun on all major muscle groups for 30 second each to increase circulation and activate your muscles, stifling the effects of muscle fatigue!
Using Your Massage Gun For Treating Cellulite
Recommended attachment: Wedge
While using a percussive therapy cannot "cure" cellulite, it can certainly reduce its appearance by draining excess body fluid and improving circulation. Gently pinch your skin and apply firm pressure using your massage gun. Continue going over the target area using the massage gun to help smooth out the skin and release excess fluid that may have accumulated in the area. Doing so regularly will help restore some tightness and firmness of the skin.
At the end of the day, what your massage gun can do for you ultimately depends on what you do with your massage gun. With the right knowledge and a regular routine, we're certain that you'll achieve your desired results and reap many tangible benefits from using your massage gun.
Learn more about massage guns or check out the full collection for Theragun Singapore.
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