Equipment GuideRecovery Guide

Beyond the Hype: What You Should Know About Massage Guns

A massage gun, also known as a percussive therapy massager, provides many of the physical benefits of an actual massage without the hassle and expense of visiting a therapist (which is still currently not recommended in many places by the way, no thanks to Covid).  These battery-powered devices, priced between $100 to $1,000 and with some looking like power drills, give a robust massage experience.

Massage guns also typically come with various attachment heads to target different muscle groups and have different speed/intensity settings for a more personalized massage experience. While massage guns are designed to be used by anyone, they’re super popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts as a post-workout recovery tool.

As a fairly new product in the fitness and sports recovery scene, there’s a lot of hype around massage guns. So, if you’re planning to get one for yourself or as a gift for your fitness enthusiast loved one, here are a few things you should know.

Massage gun benefits

Massage guns work to reduce muscle pain by flushing out venous blood out of muscle tissue into your circulatory system. It eases tightness, breaks up adhesions and scar tissues and is effective at reducing post workout muscle soreness.

While they’re popular as workout recovery tools, massage guns can also be used to wake up muscles before starting a workout. This is great to get blood flow going because you shouldn’t stretch “cold” muscles.

Non-athletes can also use massage guns. Because they’re simple to use and possible to adjust settings for speed and intensity, anyone can use it – from recreational athletes and twice-a-week gym goers to work from home parents. The deep tissue massage it provides effectively reduces muscle tension and improves range of motion.

Using a massage gun on yourself means you can get deep tissue massages anytime. You know right away how your body is responding to the massage, and can adjust the intensity and length of time you’re using it. 

Using a massage gun safely

Remember what fitness coaches always say about overtraining? It’s pretty much the same thing with using massage guns. More is not necessarily better for you. This is why massage gun brands recommend using these powerful devices only 10-15 minutes at a time. 

Never stay in one place for too long. Doing so will cause your skin to get red and sore and you can risk bruising in the area. Hold the massage gun in a static position only for a few seconds and then move it around in the muscle group you want to massage.

If you have recently recovered from an injury (fractures or sprains), make sure that you consult with your physician first before you use a massage gun on yourself. Check out massage gun reviews and FAQs so you’d be well informed on how to use the device properly.

Massage guns should also not be used in parts of the body that have impaired sensations. An example is people with peripheral neuropathy – which is common among diabetics. Without accurate sensory feedback on the body parts, you may be overusing the massage gun, which can cause more damage to the area. You can’t feel that you’re already hurting yourself and this can lead to serious injury. 

Always remember – a massage gun should NOT cause any pain. No matter what. If you feel a sharp pain or a pins-and-needles sensation, it’s best to stop right away. This might mean you’ve hit a nerve or you’re pressing the massage gun too hard on yourself. Massage guns are meant to be used on your MUSCLES. Keep it away on joints and bone as hitting these parts with the gun can be painful.

What to consider before buying a massage gun

There are a number of things to consider when shopping around for a massage gun. For some a company’s reputation, after-sales support and product warranty is a determining factor. After all, who would want to spend hundreds of dollars buying from a company that’s difficult to get a hold of or do not stand behind the quality of their product?

If a massage gun makes so much noise, it’s often a deal breaker for people. A loud device after all is not just irritating, it can be counterproductive to muscle relaxation. Loud noises can make a person feel overwhelmed and tense up, which defeats the purpose of a massage gun. 

A silent massage gun can be used almost anytime, anywhere. You can use it while watching TV, having a conversation or even in the gym. You won’t have to worry about bothering other people around you.

Ergonomics is another important consideration – you wouldn’t want a massage gun that would require both hands to use. The handle should be comfortable, and shouldn’t put a lot of strain on the hands and wrist.

Speed settings.  More speed setting options means you get a more personalized massage experience. Not everyone enjoys a hard massage, after all. Sso choosing a device that offers more than the usual 2-4 speed settings is ideal. 

Final thoughts

When it comes to the availability of a massage gun in Australia there are several websites that you can get one from. And these brands or companies make a huge effort to stand out by specifying power, amplitude levels and intensity settings to make their products more effective and appealing to their target market – which is fantastic, truly. 

But fact remains that the massage gun is a fairly new player in the recovery and wellness scene. And without a strictly controlled study, there is no way of knowing if one massage gun brand is better than another.

It all finally comes down to what we – the buyers and users – think. Best solution: choose a massage gun that offers different speed settings so you can try it and determine what works best for you. 

Mick Foley
the authorMick Foley
An aspiring Pro Wrestler, Mike loves working out in the gym and attending MMA classes. When not lifting weights, Mike will most probably be lifting his PS4 controller. He writes for Resistance Pro to share all that he has learnt.