With the new year coming in thick and fast, new years resolutions are well on their way – especially those fitness ones. If you’ve kicked off a new workout routine or are becoming more of a gym buff, you may have also experienced aches and pains of the muscle journey. Grazia has found the one thing you’ll want to be adding into your routine this year: massage guns.
Also known as percussion massagers, these massage machines can look slightly terrifying at first glance. Fear not, though, because they’re actually a great tool to encourage muscle repair and growth. The vibrations can go over 3,000 strokes a minute, diving deep into that muscle tissue.
From Therabody to MuscleGun, Grazia has taken a look at the best massage guns that you can get to improve your knotted muscles, joint pain and relieve any post-workout aches you may have.
He told Grazia that we need to start slow and then build up our strength: ‘Most massage guns have an intensity level (how fast the percussion is), so start with the lowest level and increase when used to it. The massage gun is supposed to be used on soft tissue and muscles, so avoid direct contact with bone or areas you feel uncomfortable with.’
‘You can adjust how deep the massage feels not only by the intensity level but also by just allowing contact with your body or applying a little pressure if you want to push deeper. You can hold in one position if you like, or softly and slowly move up and down through a muscle group.’
But what about if it doesn’t seem to feel right? Alex tells us: ‘When using a massage gun, I would make sure that you are aware of the difference between a satisfying feeling and a painful feeling. Don’t massage any acute injuries or painful areas, and follow what feels good. Just like everything in your health and fitness journey, it’s about starting something new with slow or small amounts and gradually increasing.’
What are the benefits of using a massage gun?
Massage guns have primarily been a recovery tool used with DOMS (Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness), which many of us can relate to. After a hard workout, those tired muscles can benefit from a few minutes of a massage gun, to stretch out any pain and tightness. Although this is the most classic way of using a massage gun, you can also use them as warming up tools before your workout as well as with injury recovery.
Lilly Sabri, the founder of online workout community LEAN, tells Grazia that there’s a variety of uses for these massage guns. ‘Massage guns can assist in relaxing tight muscles, and breaking up scar tissue and adhesions. Some believe that massage guns can also minimise muscle soreness and tension.
On the other hand, you can easily use these muscles as a pre-workout warm-up. She adds: ‘Anecdotally, people have reported using massage guns to ‘wake up’ the muscles or after a workout to facilitate recovery. When you do not have a specific injury, a massage gun can be a useful tool to use at home to help relax tight muscles, break up scar tissue and adhesions, and minimize muscle soreness and tension.’