Massage gun: How do you use this fitness accessory?
The muscle massage gun has become the latest viral body care tool. We resort to an expert to analyze its benefits and the correct way to use it and choose the best one.
From an unknown object, outside the elite sports environment, to a viral tool in just a few months. The muscle massage gun, while not a newly created product—Therabody started selling it in 2016—has achieved one of the most meteoric heights in living memory. But what more and more friends, family and acquaintances tell us about its benefits, does not mean that the method of use and benefits still raise certain doubts. Physiotherapist Ana Maria Manso Sanchez answers some of the most frequently asked questions about massage guns.
What is percussion therapy?
In short, this is the work that this tool performs on the muscles. “The massage guns work through the rhythm or vibration that the device generates in our body. We will generate pressure in the work area and the device will create an oscillating movement in the muscle area,” explains the physiotherapist.
“Thanks to the rhythm and vibration, it results in bursts of pressure in the muscle area, and by doing so we can reduce the painful sensation of myofascial trigger points, in addition to increasing blood flow, which helps us improve blood circulation, and if there is pain or muscle load contributes to its relief,” Manso explains; At the same time, he warns of the importance of knowing the parts of the body in which it can be applied, as well as the cases in which it is recommended to use it.
When should you use a muscle massage gun?
The first thing that must be clarified before resorting to this tool is that it is a complement to physical therapy, but it can never be replaced. Precisely for this reason, in cases where there is a previous disease, it is essential to consult a physiotherapist before using it. The cases in which it is not allowed to be used, according to the expert, are “fractures or fissures, fibrous ruptures, soft tissue injuries in an acute process (tendinitis, bursitis, periostitis …) and sprains.”
“Here we have to be serious,” says Manso. “The gun can’t be used for as long
We want and where we want. We have talked about the system of percussion and the deep vibration that it generates in sensitive areas, such as the back (lumbar or cervical region), but it is not usually recommended if there is a previous disease (herniated discs, osteoporosis …). We must be careful to stimulate at the bone level, both in the vertebrae and in the ribs, so the use of a gun is not recommended if an injury occurs in these areas.
One area where muscle massage guns can get better performance is sports practice. “If we use them before training, they can help us warm up at the beginning, and if they are for after training, they will help us get rid of lactic acid,” explains the physiotherapist. He reveals, referring to its application as a fitness tool: “Recent studies show that if you want to train a specific muscle group, working with the gun before working that muscle group makes activating it more specific and effective.”
Frequency and intensity is another important point, which will depend on the goal, as this tool can be used in different ways, Manso emphasizes. For example, “If it focuses on training (before and after recovery) it can be used every other day and alternate days for exercise (rest days)”.
What are the benefits of a massage gun?
- Preventing pregnancy injuries after daily training sessions, whether in the case of professional or amateur athletes.
- It improves blood circulation, especially in the case of sedentary people who spend a long time sitting or standing for a long time.
- Improve joint range for workouts.
- Soothes tired legs
- Trigger point therapy, helps reduce the sensation of pain
- build up.
- Relieves fatigue and stiffness.
- Legs and arms discharge, as long as there is no kind of previous disease.
- Relieves cervical and shoulder load. For example, in the case of people who work daily with a computer.
The best value
The growing popularity of massage guns has led to an increase in the number of models and options available, with prices ranging from €40 to over €500. The Mebak brand’s design is one of the most popular on Amazon, with over 8,600 reviews on the platform and an average score of 4.8 out of 5. Much of its success is due to the fact that it’s quite a model. Complete (it allows you to choose between five speeds, has a small screen, and seven different heads) is available at a very competitive price.
Therabody, one of the leading brands in the development of percussive therapy devices, marks one of the most popular muscle massage guns today. Called Theragun Elite, it operates at 2,400 percuss per minute and is notable for, in addition to being ideal for deep muscle therapy, being designed to be very silent.
The best budget model on Amazon costs €65.90 and is designed to be portable (weighs 370 grams). It includes four different heads, four levels of tempo and a battery with up to 8 hours of autonomy per charge. your score? A 5 out of 5.
Among other massage guns, in this mid-range case, that has excellent ratings from users who have tried them, this Renpho model has an unusual design. The reason for this shape, which differs from other tools of this type, because it includes an adjustable arm, is that it is easier to hold while applying this treatment to the arms and wrists.
Theragun technology but in a compact size. This muscle massage gun has an autonomy of up to 150 minutes, three rhythmic speeds and a weight of only 650 grams. It is available in three different colours: white, red and black.
With information from Vogue.