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How To Use A Massage Gun For Maximum Muscle Relief

woman using a massage gun on her quad muscle while sitting on a yoga mat

They've proven to be more than just a fad, but do you know how to use a massage gun? After hitting the market just a few years ago, massage guns are now everywhere. Whether you are using them after a bike ride, before your Pilates session, or after sitting at your computer all day, they can provide amazing muscle relief in a matter of minutes. Athletes and trainers both swear by them, and there is a good chance you've even seen them in use at your local gym. So now it's time to learn more about these instruments and see if they are right for your well-being routine.

Massage guns are a little like a massage jackhammer, with a ball-shaped head that plunges back and forth against the skin. The idea of the percussive massage is to get deeper into the muscle, stimulating blood flow and reducing tension and pain. The results of using a massage gun are similar to what you'd experience from a deep tissue massage. With the massage gun, though, you can give yourself the massage and do it practically anywhere. While the initial massage guns on the market were quite loud and cumbersome, today's models are sleek, easy-to-use, and virtually silent. So you can even give yourself that post-massage feeling while sitting at your desk. 

Interested in experiencing the benefits of using a massage gun for yourself? Learn more about how you can find deep tissue relief with a massage gun

What Are the Benefits of Using a Massage Gun? 

A massage gun offers soft tissue manipulation, which is what you'd experience with a deep tissue massage. This has several benefits, including: 

  • Increasing blood flow to your muscles
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Pushing lymph fluid out of the muscles
  • Breaking up scar tissue and fat cells
  • Diminishing muscle pain and tightness
  • Helping reduce discomfort associated with injuries and chronic pain disorders
  • Releases lactic acid build-up
  • Promotes muscle recovery

With a long list of benefits, it's no wonder so many people are choosing to add this easy-to-use, highly effective self-massage instrument to their self-care routine. The added benefit is you can do it almost anywhere. Most massage guns are compact, wireless, and easily packed in your gym bag if you want to take your muscle relief on the go. 

Can I Use a Massage Gun Before or After My Workouts?

Massage guns are great as a part of both your pre- and post-workout routine. 

Before your workout, they can help you warm up your muscles. If you normally use a foam roller, think of your massage gun as a replacement or an alternative to that sometimes inconvenient routine. A massage gun can have the same effect as a foam roller, but in less time and with a lot less fuss. By warming up your muscles with the massage gun, you can reduce your risk of injury while also increasing your range of motion. 

They are also excellent as a tool for post-workout recovery. Try using the massage gun on the muscles you worked during your routine. This will increase blood flow to the area and help prevent post-workout muscle fatigue. You may even find that using your massage gun as a part of your post-workout routine helps boost your gains. 

You can even incorporate the massage gun into your workout itself. Use it to target muscles that are starting to feel tight or fatigued to boost your reps. For example, if your calves feel tight during leg presses, use the massage gun for a few minutes on your leg muscles. Return to your leg presses, and you may see an improvement in the way your legs feel as well as your performance. 

man using a massage gun on his calf muscle while sitting on a yoga mat

How Often Should I Use a Massage Gun?

Massage guns are safe to use on a daily basis. However, you'll want to limit the amount of time you are using the massage gun.

Using these devices for too long can end up overstimulating your muscles and could even cause numbness in certain areas of your body. So while you can use it on a daily basis, and even a few times a day if you want, you should limit your use to just a few minutes. Use the massage gun on each muscle group for a minute or two, then move on. You should be able to get a full body massage in under ten minutes. 

Can a Massage Gun Help Get Rid of Cellulite?

An accumulating of fat cells beneath the skin is what causes cellulite. Those fat deposits push up against the skin up, while cords in the skin help keep it attached to the muscle underneath. The pulling of these cords is what causes the dimpling in the skin that's associated with cellulite. Cellulite can occur on every type of body, no matter your weight, and you are more likely to experience it if you also had a parent who did. 

People resort to all sorts of methods to try to get rid of cellulite, from expensive creams to even more expensive surgical solutions. So can a massage gun really help get rid of cellulite? 

Yes. A massage gun can help target areas of accumulated fat cells and break them down. Your body then naturally redistributes those fat cells. So you won't get rid of them, but you can reduce the dimpled appearance they create in your skin. You'll get the other benefits of the percussive massage, as well. Plus, unlike creams that promise to banish cellulite, a massage gun is a one-time investment that you can use over and over.

To target cellulite with your massage gun, glide the gun over the area you want to target for a few minutes a day. It may take several weeks to see results, but eventually, the percussive massage of the gun will start to break down those fat cells. Don't spend too much time on one area, though, as you could end up damaging your muscles. A few minutes a day is plenty. 

Tips on How to Use a Massage Gun Effectively

If you want to get the most out of each massage session, here is how to use a massage gun effectively: 

  • Turn the massage gun on before you start using it. This will help prevent jarring the muscle or putting too much pressure on it. 
  • Hold the end of the gun about an inch away from your skin and allow the head to strike the muscle. Don't apply any force to the massage gun or press it too deeply into the muscle. 
  • Focus your efforts on the thickest part of the muscle, which is in the middle. Let the massage gun glide over that area for a minute or two maximum, then move on. 
  • If you have a knot or a particularly tight muscle, let the head of the massage gun remain in that spot for an additional minute. Don't keep it there too long, though, or you could potentially overstimulate the muscle or cause more damage to it. 
  • Keep your massage gun sessions to five to seven minutes, with a minute or two on each muscle group. 

When using your massage gun, it's important to avoid joints, bruised areas, or open wounds. If you have a medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before you start using a massage gun. 

Massage guns are convenient, affordable, and an effective method for self-massage. Making them a part of your total recovery plan can help alleviate pain, inflammation, and discomfort. Check out Cloud Massage's Shiatsu Foot & Leg Massager or VYBE's percussion massage gun to start experiencing the benefits of deep tissue massage therapy for yourself. You'll even get fast free shipping, so you can start enjoying the benefits for yourself even sooner.