It looks like a power tool and can sound like one, too. But it just may be your best method of recuperating from a tough workout — and warming up. Meet the massage gun, the sultry incipient trend that just may be landing in a gym near you. Over the last three years, more and more people have grown cognizant of the desideratum to increment blood flow in muscles, whether you’re training or recuperating. Sundry methods have grown popular to do that, with everything from foam rollers to vibration therapies to standard massage landing in gyms.
The massage gun inhabits this same space, and while it’s fortified by constrained research, the theory behind it is sound, and it has the potential to transmute the way you warm up and recuperate. Several pro athletes have been optically discerned utilizing massage guns during games, with NBA star Kyrie Irving the most prominent. In the 2017 NBA Finals, Irving was spotted midway through a critical game lying on his back, a trainer utilizing one to keep him loose.
But athletes aren't the only ones utilizing this to keep their bodies in top form. Additionally kenned as percussive therapy, I’ve been utilizing massage guns on my clients for several years and the results have been vigorous. If you train hard and are probing for an edge, a way to instaurate more expeditiously and get into your workouts more aggressively, this is a contrivance you should consider.
What Exactly Is a Massage Gun?
The massage gun trend is a relatively incipient one in fitness. You’ve used foam rollers afore, and vibrating foam rollers appeared on the market three or four years ago. The theory abaft these foam rollers was that the vibrations discombobulated something called the Golgi tendon replication,
which would avail to relax tight muscles.
The massage gun generally looks something like a potency implement, and once it’s turned on, it whirs like one too (albeit recent models have quieted that). To utilize it, you simply aim it at your skin, about an inch away, and let it pulsate back and forth, relaxing muscles and promoting blood flow in much the same way a vibrating foam roller does. It’s more facile to utilize than a foam roller though, and more natural.
In theory, massage guns additionally offer a chance to modulate pain. What about pain modulation? Well, the pain you feel typically manifests as a categorical frequency. Salubrious nerve impulses should react to pain in milliseconds, but at certain frequencies, your pain may not be able to keep up with that. So in theory, a massage gun vibrating at the right frequency may “trick” the nervous system into blocking pain. We call this the “pain gate theory”.
A component of the resplendency of the massage gun is that it’s incredibly facile to utilize. Just point at a target, press, and let it do its work. But to get the most out of your massage gun you’ll want to keep a few fundamentals in mind.
Afore you get commenced, turn it on so that the head commences pulsing. Then float it along the desired muscle that you’re endeavoring to loosen or warm up. There’s never a desideratum to press extra-hard with your massage gun; the pulses do their job. When you find a trigger point, a tight, knotty area of muscle that’s a little more painful and sensitive than the rest of the muscle, linger on that area, just as you would with a foam roller. Move your massage gun gradually along the muscle. There’s no desideratum to rush the process. Relish the massage.
Your Fitness Plan
1. Before Workout
Massage guns are primarily thought of as “recovery” implements in today’s fitness culture, but you can utilize them for either situation. In fact, utilizing them as a warmup implement avails get you off the hook of that dreaded foam rolling ordeal.
In theory, percussive therapy is doing several things you operate in a warmup. First off, it’s heightening blood flow in your targeted muscles. Secondly, the pulsating is turning on your sympathetic nervous system, the fight-or-flight system that preps your body for activity and sport. To utilize the massage gun to prime for a workout, take aim at the muscle group you’re going to train. So if you’re going to bench press, you’ll want to hit your pecs, or if you’re going to do pulldowns and rows, you’ll want to hit your lats. Spend 30 seconds on working along the muscle belly only; never venture toward a joint. Stay on the thickest part of the muscle. Work back and forth along the span of each muscle.
2. During Workout
Between sets, you can additionally capitalize on a massage gun, loosening tense, tight areas so you can get more out of your next set. For example, you may feel your chest tighten remotely after a set of bench press reps and be tempted to stretch. But research tells us that statically stretching a muscle may decrease potential and force output. Instead, utilize your
massage gun for 15 seconds on a muscle area that feels tense. This should increment blood flow and exhilarate the muscle, loosening it again for the rest of your workout.
3. After Workout
When you’re done with your workout, your body’s in a heightened state. But a massage gun can, in theory, avail you relax your nervous system. The sooner you fire up your parasympathetic nervous system, which avails govern rest and relaxation, the sooner your body shifts into recuperation mode.
To utilize the massage gun to do this, fire it up and spend 90 to 120 seconds moving up and down each muscle group. Again, you’re doing this throughout the muscle belly, not near joints. This will avail relax your muscles.