If you hadn’t already noticed, massage guns are all the rage right now. These high-powered pummelling devices have exploded in popularity in recent years, with athletes and celebrities around the world extolling their virtues.
For the uninitiated, they draw on a specific form of deep-tissue massage called percussive therapy, where pressure is rapidly applied to the soft tissue of a muscle. This helps to break down knots, boost blood flow and accelerate recovery after exercise. And it’s why massage guns are rapidly overtaking foam rollers as the must-have accessory for home workouts.
One of the pioneering leaders in the percussive therapy space is Therabody
. Founded by Dr Jason Wersland, who originally invented the category-defining Theragun device in his garage, Therabody’s suite of recovery tools are rooted in more than a decade of R&D.
Below – with help from Therabody’s experts – we’ve broken down how massage guns can help before, after and even during a workout. Take note if you’re going to be joining us at Balance Festival 2021, where you can try Therabody’s full range of Theragun devices in the flesh – so to speak.
Percussive therapy has many benefits beyond just immediate tension relief, including hydrating your muscle tissue, improving mobility, decreasing lactic acid, increasing blood flow, and decreasing muscle soreness and stiffness.
Prior to a workout or bout of physical activity, Therabody’s experts recommend “floating” the Theragun device over the main muscles you’re going to be using. This will help wake them up and switch them on – which is especially vital if you’ve been sat at a desk all day.
Now’s also the time to look for any knots, or trigger points, in your muscles that are tight and contracted, even when resting. Gently sweep the Theragun along your muscle for up to one minute. When you feel a knot or tight spot, spend a little extra time on the area, but don’t press too hard.
Just breathe, relax and allow the Theragun to do the work.
The same principle applies mid-workout. Using a massage gun during your session will relieve muscle spasms, reduce fatigue and keep your working muscles activated until your next set.
All you need is 10-15 seconds on the target muscle group, keeping the pressure on the lighter side. It’ll certainly feel like a better use of your rest period than just staring at your reflection.
Post-workout is when the magic really happens. Theragun devices reach 16mm into your muscles – 60% deeper than other massage guns, Therabody say – which helps increase circulation, flush away metabolic waste and support your body’s natural ability to repair and recover.
They are also designed to fire 40 times per second, a precise calibration developed alongside MIT engineers, that supposedly distracts the brain from pain, while delivering deep, effective relief wherever and whenever you need it.
For best results, Therabody suggest floating the massage gun over the key muscles used – or to target any particularly sore areas – for up to two minutes per muscle group, followed by some gentle stretching.
A full body session should not exceed 15 minutes. For best results, Dr Wersland recommends that his patients repeat this process 2-3 times per day – and he would know. The Therabody Founder, Inventor and Chief Wellness Officer developed the first Theragun to treat chronic pain he suffered following a motorcycle accident.
A decade later he’s built Therabody into a world-leading wellness brand, pioneering cutting edge tools for performance and recovery. And you can try them out for yourself at this year’s Festival.
Therabody will be demonstrating their full range of Theragun percussive devices, as well as their Wave Series vibrating rollers and RecoveryAir compression system, at Balance Festival 2021. Look for the Therabody Recovery Stations dotted around the Festival.