If you’re serious about your health and fitness, then your muscle recovery process should be equally as important. Think about it – when working out, your body is put under a lot of strain so it is important to look after your muscles in order to keep them functioning to a high level. In a world full of Fitbits and Stairmasters, how much do we actually know about what products really work and which ones are just a fad?
What is a massage gun?
A massage gun is a handheld device used for massaging. It has a rounded head and normally comes with additional heads of varying sizes and shapes. Massage guns tend to operate at multiple speeds and depths for optimal performance. They use percussion therapy to get deep into the muscle tissue as a way of breaking up knots and relieving tension. A massage gun delivers strong pulses and vibrations into the muscle tissue, making it effective for recovery.
Why try a massage gun?
Massage guns are percussive therapy tools, meaning that they vibrate. They are commonly used for recovery and offer the following benefits:
Easing muscle soreness
Massage guns can be used to ease muscle pains such as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). In a study by Imtiyaz, S. et al. 45 females were split into three evenly sized groups. Prior to eccentric exercise, one group received vibration therapy for 5 minutes, one group received massage therapy for 15 minutes, and the third group received no treatment. Muscle soreness in the vibration therapy group and massage group was reported to be significantly less compared to the control group 24, 48 and 72 hours after exercise.
Massage gun vibration therapy has been shown to effectively decrease exercise-induced pain such as DOMS.
A study by Konrad, A. et al. studied the effects of handheld percussive massage treatment on flexibility and range of motion. 16 males were tested on two separate days, either with a 5-minute percussion treatment of their calf muscles or with sitting only. With massage treatment, range of motion increased by 5.4°, compared to the control group, where no increase in ROM was observed. It was concluded that the inclusion of percussive massage treatment in a warm-up regimen would optimise the flexibility level of an athlete, without losing muscle performance.
Percussive massage treatment can help to increase flexibility.
Increasing range of motion
The same study by Konrad et al. also found that percussive massage therapy increased ROM which was attributed to a reduction in muscle stiffness. As percussive massage treatment can aid faster recovery, it could help to prevent muscle pain caused by muscle inflexibility. Vibration therapy has been found to increase range of motion, which could, in turn help to lessen the chance of muscle pains.
Improving muscle health
Vibration therapy increases blood flow to your muscles, can aid recovery from DOMS, flexibility and range of motion. If you use a massage gun on a regular basis, you’ll see a drastic improvement in your muscle health and overall performance when working out.
Related article: Benefits of a massage gun
Are massage guns worth the money?
Splashing out on expensive sports massages, physio visits, and various recovery treatments can be costly. Purchasing a massage gun, which you can use daily, could be a much more cost-effective option. With 30-minute sports massages costing in the region of £30, the total cost for just one session a month would be £360 for the year. By comparison, a high-end massage gun can cost upwards of £400.
Massage guns have the added benefit of being portable and lightweight, meaning you can use them in the gym, at home, or even in the office! They also come with a protective carry case, making them even more practical to use while you’re on the go.
What can a massage gun be used for?
Massage guns can be used to prevent and decrease exercise-induced muscle soreness, break up scar tissue, reduce the appearance of cellulite, and increase flexibility and ROM.
Do massage guns replace the need for physio?
Massage traditionally uses strikes from the hands or wrists to the required muscle groups. Whilst we won’t claim that a product could replace a fully trained massage therapist, the technology in massage guns definitely makes it easier to reap the same benefits whilst in the comfort of your own home and for a fraction of the price.
Related article: Can a massage gun fill in for your physio
What makes a good massage gun?
- Battery Life
Are lower-end massage guns as effective as high-end ones?
Whilst cheaper massage guns may seem like a viable option, there can be drawbacks when it comes to product quality and longevity. Lower-end massage guns can emit unpleasant sounds, sport less reliable visual displays, and may be difficult to effectively use around the shoulders if they are cable- rather than battery-operated.
Lower end massage guns may be deemed a wallet-friendly solution for home massage therapy, but a lower price point can be an indicator of a lower quality build.
Is Pulseroll worth the money?
The Pulseroll Pro Massage Gun currently retails at £224.99, rivalling other big brands on the market. You may come across cheaper alternatives online, but in these cases, you really do get what you pay for! In terms of quality and longevity, Pulseroll matches up to big brand products, which retail at £400+, making Pulseroll the best choice all round. Here of some of its best features:
- Lightweight and portable: Weighing only 1kg, the Pulseroll Pro Massage Gun is easy to transport for use at home, the gym, or wherever your training takes you.
- Carrying case: Our massage gun comes with a carry case, which features a strap and zipper, making it even easier to comfortably transport.
- 4 speed settings: With 4 speed settings, our massage gun caters to many different recovery needs.
- Built in rechargeable battery: The battery in our Pro Massage Gun takes only 3 hours to fully charge. Once charged, it can last up to 5 hours. Now you can easily massage various areas without the hindrance of power chords.
With 6 attachments heads and 4 speed settings, you’ll be able to customise your massage gun to suit your individual needs.
Top tip: It can be used anywhere on the body, even under the feet! This is especially effective for runners or those who suffer from plantar fasciitis.
The Pulseroll Pro Massage Gun is a more cost-effective option than other high-end massage guns, retailing at around £175 less, but offering portability, quality and longevity.
If you suffer from DOMS or just general muscle soreness, a massage gun will become your new best friend. After tough workouts, you may experience DOMS up to 3 days later, but with an effective and consistent recovery routine, you’ll be back in the gym before you know it, without having to put up with muscle aches and pains.