What are Massage Guns?

Various Colours of Massage Guns

Massage guns, also called percussion massagers, are all the rage these days for dealing with tight muscles and knots. They are handheld devices that use vibration and deep oscillation to massage sore muscles.

Why does a massage gun work?
Muscle knots are essentially small bundles of muscle fibers that are stuck in a contracted state. It can happen after a hard workout or by simply sitting too long all day at your desk. These muscle knots not getting the chemical input that usually tells them to relax, so these fibers become stuck together. When this happens, the nerves bundled within the knotted muscle get confused and the result is usually pain. A massage gun helps work out these painful knots by applying a mechanical stimulus that helps spread the muscle fibers out, forcing them back into an elongated state. Instead of the hands of a massage therapist you are using pulsing oscillations from the massage gun.

Are massage guns worth it?
Like everything it really depends on what you are going to do with it. Now that they are widely available, massage guns aren't just for athletes anymore. A recent study has shown that percussive massagers can provide the same benefit as a 15-minute massage in as little as two minutes. They are highly portable and allow you to work on muscles really anywhere at any time.
Pricing can vary a lot by brand but the important thing is that the motor is brushless. Check also that it comes with various head attachment options and that it has a rechargeable battery. Different speeds of oscillation are also important.
Our Massage Guns all have brushless motors so they don’t stop when you apply more pressure, they are all rechargeable and they all have numerous attachment heads.

When should you use a massage gun?
Massage guns are best for reducing the tightness and irritating knots that sometimes form in your muscles after intense exercise. Especially beneficial for people who work out a lot or at a very intense level. There is also early evidence that percussive guns may help reduce soreness after a hard workout. They aren’t really recommended to use as a preventive tool, rather massage guns are best for when you are feeling discomfort. Massage guns are good at targeting a specific area that's tight, and while there are studies showing that range of motion improves immediately following massage gun use, it's still worth stretching and seeing a proper massage therapist every so often.
Also, it’s important to note that Massage Guns work well for light muscle pain not injuries or serious pain that requires a physio or physical therapist.

Can massage guns replace foam rolling?
If you've ever had muscle knots and soreness, then you have probably used a foam roller which is an incredibly effective tool. The benefit of a Massage gun over a foam roller is that you can be less intense with the gun, and you can more effectively target specific areas of muscles. Foam rolling can be very painful! That said, they are both something that every athlete should have in their recovery arsenal.

Which massage gun attachment should you use?
It depends a lot on how it feels and the comfort level for you. The blunted head attachment is probably best for larger muscle groups, like your thigh muscles; the rounded head attachment is likely best for smaller sites and more isolated targeting.
Our Massage guns come with a number of different attachments:
Large round Massage Head
This head is generally used for larger muscle groups like hamstrings, quads and the Glutes. As the round head is quite large it’s ideal for covering a range of muscles groups all at once.
Small Round Head
The smaller head is good for large muscle groups and warming up muscles before you exercise.
Bullet Massage Head
Mainly used for targeting a specific area, the bullet head is perfect if you are looking for a deep massage on a specific area.
Forked Massage Head
This is mostly used on the back area. But note that it should never be used directly onto the bone or spine. It’s very popular on other areas of the body too, like quads and hamstrings. It’s a bit like the bullet but with two points of impact.
Air Plug Massage Head
This is usually used for more tender muscles due to the heads softness.
Flat Round Head
Best for medium sized muscle groups. Since it’s flat it doesn’t massage as deep as the fork or bullet. It works well for biceps, triceps and calves.

Are massage guns safe to use?
If you are cleared for exercise and don’t have any underlying health conditions then massage guns should be perfectly safe to use. Although, there are areas of the body that should be avoided like your neck, head and torso. Your organs don’t need to be massaged! Likewise, bones can’t be massage or stretched so don’t use the gun on bone.
You can use a massage gun on large, bulky muscle groups, such as your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calf and upper trap muscles.
You can use it to massage the muscle group you're targeting for about two minutes.
You shouldn’t use a massage gun on the front of your torso or neck.
You shouldn’t use your massage gun to massage bony sites, such as the front of your shins, tops of your feet, head and joints.

Remember, sore muscles will be a little uncomfortable when massaging them but if you feel any discomfort or pain, then stop using the gun immediately.

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