In the last few years we’ve been witnessing the growing popularity of massage guns. But what exactly are they? How can they support professional athletes, runners as well as those who want to make their lives more active without that dreaded unpleasant soreness and pain after a workout? Let's find out!
Massage guns - what are they?
In recent months, you might have noticed that more and more influencers and professional athletes carry around a small gadget that resembles a drill. Well, that's a massage gun. Wondering what it is? In a nutshell, it's a device that massages the muscles with short pulses and delivers the so-called percussive or vibration therapy. This, in turn, increases the blood flow and helps relax tense body parts, which is particularly helpful when trying to recover after an intense session at the gym.
Well, you've probably just checked the price of this little beauty and found out that it's not the cheapest thing in the world. Wondering if a foam roller would bring the same benefits to your body? Well, not really, because it provides only myofascial release which means that foam rollers have an impact solely on the outer layer of the muscles, whereas massage guns affect the entire central nervous system. Therefore, they contribute to muscle activation and increase the awareness of muscle movement.
What are the benefits of using a massage gun?
When it comes to the benefits of percussive therapy, it's worth mentioning factors such as reduced muscle pain or soreness (if you use the massage gun after exercise) and increased performance (if you choose to apply the device before training).
Many people find that using the massage gun within a few hours after an intense workout makes their muscle soreness less severe the following day. Therefore, the device is recommended for anyone who wants to recover faster and detests waking up in the morning with a tense body that makes it impossible to function normally.
A massage gun revitalizes the body’s circulation of essential nutrients and oxygen, increases blood flow and removes lactic acid which promotes quicker muscle regeneration. Therefore, this gadget isn't dedicated exclusively to professional athletes.
Studies report that percussive massages can have a positive effect on range of motion, which is especially important for people who are prone to injury. Increased awareness of the body and its activity minimizes the risk of unpleasant injuries. So, as you can see, a massage gun can be successfully used before training not only to boost performance, but also to improve the safety of the athlete.
Moreover, the deep vibration helps muscles relax which translates into greater flexibility. A massage gun can also be used before going to bed to ensure that the body rests and recovers well during the night.
How can runners use a massage gun?
As you might have deduced from the above points, a massage gun can benefit runners in two main ways:
- It increases their performance when used during warm-up; and
- It reduces the risk of soreness and muscle pain after the run.
Using this device before a long run enables the increasing of your range of motion, which minimizes risk of injury. A proper massage can relax some tense body parts and make the run more enjoyable. However, it's worth keeping in mind that longer massages don't necessarily have a beneficial influence on performance, thus you shouldn't use a massage gun before a run for longer than 1-2 minutes per muscle group.
Percussive massage therapy performed after a run helps to get rid of lactic acid and speeds up recovery. Thanks to this, runners can function normally in the following days without experiencing any nagging pain. This is important both for professionals who need to continue training as soon as possible and for amateurs who want to go to work or school without discomfort.
As you can see, the proper use of a massage gun can bring many benefits to all athletes, and especially runners. After all, in this sport, every second is worth its weight in gold. Therefore, if you want to enhance your performance and flexibility, check out the finest massage guns that will allow you to achieve your personal best without sacrificing health.