Sometimes you can't have a physical massage. Whether it's because you can't afford it, don't have the time for it, or just won't do it, sometimes you need an alternative to a physical massage. Massage guns have become a popular alternative. You might still be wondering whether to get one or not. In this article, I'll discuss massage gun benefits and drawbacks to help you make that decision.
First, the short answer…
My favorite massage gun benefits include DOMS prevention, increased athleticism, and better blood flow. Massage guns essentially provide you with everything a physical massage will get you, without any human drama. You have to learn how to use one or risk making an injury worse, but there's nothing super complicated about it.
Now let's get into the depths of it. Firstly, what does a massage gun do?
What Do Massage Guns Do?
A massage gun provides an alternative to a physical massage. It massages your body with soft punches into targeted body parts. You can use a massage gun to loosen your muscles before a workout or relax them afterward.
Massage Gun Benefits You Should Know
Are massage guns good for you? Why should you use a massage gun? You might be unsure what exactly you get from using massage guns. To help fix that, I've listed out some benefits of massage guns. Let's have a look…
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Believe it or not, tense muscles can affect your mental health. I’ve seen many lifters struggle with sleep after strenuous workouts, and lack of sleep will lead to increased stress and anxiety. By relaxing your muscles, massage guns help you maintain a healthy mental state. Percussion therapy also facilitates the release of dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is a hormone associated with feelings of reward and motivation while serotonin is associated with happiness, focus, and calmness.
Muscle recovery is one of the most important aspects of working out. No matter how hard you work out, you must allow your body to rest. Your muscles will self-heal and freshen up before you get into another round of workouts. Ignoring this will only ramp up the pressure on your body until one day it collapses. You might sustain an injury or just feel pain, but it all means your body is too worn out.
As with a regular massage, percussion therapy helps your muscles self-heal and recover faster by loosening and relaxing your body. Massage guns target tensed muscles to provide instant relief and hastens your recovery period. This means you can work out more without any adverse consequences. Of course, you must still find time to rest as percussion therapy only provides a helping hand.
Enhanced Athletic Ability
As awesome as it is to work out for as long as possible and lift as heavy as you can, I've seen many people ignore muscle recovery. When you work out, your muscles undergo a lot of stress. If you don't let your muscles recover properly, they could very well break down. That's the power of recovery, and massage guns give you that.
Massage guns, or percussion therapy, help your body heal and recover faster from injury, workout-induced stress, and soreness. Hard work leads to stressed and tired muscles, massage guns then loosen you up and freshen your muscles. This keeps your muscles strong and fresh and prepares you to work out even more when you next get to the gym. You also get enhanced athletic ability because of how new your muscles feel.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Prevention
This is one of my favorite percussive massager benefits. Have you ever gone back to the gym after a long time without working out? Have you tried lifting weights after a long break? Perhaps you decided to push your max rep and break new milestones. The one thing all three of these scenarios have is the muscle pain you'll feel several hours later, even up to two days later in some cases. That pain is called delayed onset muscle soreness, and it's incredibly annoying because you know you must keep going through the pain to get back in shape. Percussion therapy slices that pain by a ton.
Delayed onset muscle soreness happens because your muscles have been stretched beyond their usual limit. The process of self-healing and recovery takes way too long for you to stay waiting. Percussion therapy helps your muscles recover to enable you to keep up your new intensity without any issues. So if you’ve been away from the gym, court, or field for a while, you might want to consider getting a massage gun.
When I watch gymnasts perform, I’m amazed at how far they can stretch their muscles. Any such attempt by a normal person would certainly cause a muscle or ligament tear. Gymnasts have to be incredibly flexible to do the things they do, but what is flexibility? Your muscles simply can stretch as far as possible. The further they can stretch, the more flexible you are.
When your muscles can recover from strenuous activity in less than half the time it would usually require, you can push yourself to new lengths. It also means your muscles are much looser than they would otherwise be. It also means your muscles will be willing to stretch further than they usually would. This means you can develop flexibility much faster when using a massage gun for muscle recovery and loosening. You might not attain gymnast-level flexibility, but you’ll certainly be much more flexible than you are now.
Have you ever been so tired you couldn’t sleep immediately? Have you ever struggled to sleep after a particularly strenuous workout session? You struggled because all your muscles were still tensed and you can only drift off when your muscles are relaxed. Loose muscles don’t only lead to flexibility, they also ensure there’s no tension in your muscles left over from any workouts you’ve done. It’s why you’re more likely to sleep after a massage.
Percussion therapy provides stress relief and enhances blood circulation. This means you no longer have to worry about sleep when you get back from a strenuous day at the gym. All you have to do is take out your massage gun and loosen your muscles so they can relax and let you sleep peacefully. You can then recover even better to keep your energy levels high and concentration maximum.
Pain Relief and Management
We’ve already talked about delayed onset muscle soreness, but this is different. Sometimes you might strain your muscles during a workout. Whether you stretched it beyond the usual limits or twisted it the wrong way, there are several ways you can strain your muscles and cause pain to yourself. When this happens, some instant remedies include ice, light warm-up drills, and most importantly, a quick massage. Ice negates any tension with compression, but a massage gun simply relaxes your muscles by gently loosening them.
If your pain is not very severe, you can get instant relief with percussion therapy. If it’s more complicated than that, percussion therapy still helps you manage it superbly so that you’re not completely sidelined or risking further injury by continuing to work out. You can target small areas or do a general massage depending on how you feel.
Better Lactic Acid Release
Have you ever felt a sudden irritation or nausea during a workout? You weren’t feeling any signs of tiring out, but this terrible feeling just comes out of nowhere. You’re not the only one, it’s a thorn for many listers. Luckily, massage guns can help you prevent this. When you work out, your body releases lactic acid which is then converted into energy by oxygen to keep you going. When you’re not producing enough oxygen, the lactic acid starts to build up until you start feeling terrible.
A percussion massage gun benefits you by pushing the built-up lactic acid into your bloodstream where it can get converted. This reset relieves you from that annoying feeling and gives you fresh energy to get back on track working out. If you use your massage gun regularly, the chances of even getting to this point will be much lower. Keep your muscles loose, and your oxygen levels adequate.
Stimulated Lymphatic System
You’ve probably never heard of the lymphatic system before, but it’s quite essential to staying healthy. Your body is full of small “bases” that house weapons needed to defend your body against any foreign intruders like diseases. These small bases are littered all over your body, from just underneath your skin to the very depths of your internal organs. These bases are called lymph nodes, and the primary weapons housed in lymph nodes are called lymphocytes, or white blood cells.
When there’s a blockage in your lymphatic system, the fluid might build up in one region. This is called lymphedema. One of the best ways to drain out this build-up is using percussive massage to help stimulate your system and ensure the lymphatic fluids are flowing to all the right places. This is one of the lesser-known, but important percussion therapy benefits.
Efficient Blood Flow
Have you ever felt numb, even in pain, after a workout? You probably felt that way because the area in pain has been starved of blood. Some workouts make blood flow difficult in some parts of your body, and this leads to numbness or pain. Blood contains oxygen and other nutrients necessary for efficient body function. This makes it essential for your blood flow to always be at its best. Anything less will lead to strain, which could manifest as numbness or pain. Again, the muscle-loosening prowess of massage guns comes in handy here.
Massage guns help relax your muscles and arteries and help them function at maximum efficiency to ensure a smooth blood flow throughout your body or in a particular section. The smoother the pathways for red blood cells to flow, the fresher, healthier, and more active your body will be.
Nervous System Stimulation
It’s essential to make sure your nerve function is as efficient as possible because losing it can be fatal. To keep your nerves well-stimulated, your blood flow must be smooth and seamless. This lets oxygen and other necessary nutrients and hormones permeate the whole of your body for improved health and top-notch physical condition.
As I’ve already mentioned, massage guns help improve your blood flow. Percussion therapy keeps your nervous system stimulated and releases hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. I’ve already mentioned this, but you might need a reminder. Dopamine is a hormone associated with feelings of reward and motivation, while serotonin is tended more toward happiness, focus, and calmness. This means that not only do you get better nerve function, but you also get better mental health which is a critical part of your overall well-being.
Massage Gun We Recommend
If you’re looking to get yourself a massage gun, the Ekrin B37 Percussion Massager is my favorite pick of the bunch. One of the major drawbacks of massage guns you’ll see is the noise they make, but this beauty is silent and runs on a powerful battery that allows up to eight hours of use. It’s built with quality materials to ensure durability, and a thirty-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty. It comes with five different speeds and carries up to fifty-six pounds in a punch. It also comes with an ergonomic design for easy use and a travel case for easy storage. If you’re looking for the best massage gun money can buy, this is the one.
Drawbacks of Using Massage Gun
You’ve read all about the benefits of massage guns. There’s no such thing as perfect, however, and I won’t be fair if I don’t talk about everything you need to know. Here are some massage gun disadvantages that might have you thinking twice…
Every tool is only as good as its user. It’s imperative that you know how to use a massage gun before you get one. It’s also important that you should understand how your body works to ensure appropriate and effective use. If you use a massage gun without knowing what you’re doing, you’ll run into trouble. A fifty-six-pound punch is no joke.
They’re usually good for releasing tension and easing pain, but if used incorrectly, a massage gun might aggravate your injury. You might end up targeting the wrong place or applying your massager to a spot when the pain is caused by a deeper injury that requires medical attention. You might not know what’s causing you pain, whether soreness to one part of your body or injury to another. When you use a massage gun without this knowledge, you run the risk of massaging the wrong place and getting unwanted results. It’s important that you understand your body and learn how to use the massage gun appropriately.
Bulk and Noise
Some massage guns are quite bulky and difficult to handle or store. Some of these massage guns can also be quite noisy. Ultimately, they make for very unpleasant use. You can easily avoid this by getting options that are easier to use such as the Ekrin B37.
Are Massage Guns Effective?
Absolutely, yes, massage guns are effective! Massage guns help loosen and relax your muscles to ensure you can recover fast from strenuous workouts. They also help to boost your immune system, improve your sleep, and maintain good mental health. I recommend you get one.
Is Using a Massage Gun Better Than a Regular Massage?
That depends. A physical massage is more effective because you’re handled by a professional who knows exactly how to make you feel better. They can also tell when you have a deeper injury. On the flip side, traditional massage services cost more than a one-time massage gun purchase. So it all depends on your situation.
Do Massage Guns Work for Knots?
Yes, you can loosen up knots with a massage gun. When you do a warm-up before getting into your main routine and notice some tightness in a particular area, you can use your massage gun to loosen it up further and go straight into your main routine. It’s important to start with a natural warm-up, though.
Is Percussion Therapy Safe?
Percussion therapy is safe as long as you understand how your body works. I would not recommend it to a beginner, but an experienced lifter can use it safely.
There’s a slight risk of injury aggravation if you don’t understand how your body works, hence why I advise beginners to avoid using one. If you’re experienced and know how to use a massage gun, you’re totally good to go.
Do Massage Guns Help Sore Muscles?
Yes, massage guns can help you loosen and relax any soreness in your muscles. This is one of its major benefits, in fact.
Now that you know the massage gun pros and cons, you can make an informed decision on whether to get one or not. To recap, you learned that massage gun benefits include faster muscle recovery, and improved mental health. I also showed you some massage gun disadvantages, the major one being the risk of injury aggravation. If you’d like to get a massage gun for yourself, the Ekrin Athletics B37 is my recommendation.
Now it’s your turn to say something. Do you suffer from the effects of tense muscles? Which of the massage gun benefits caught your eye the most? Is there anything you’d like to share or ask? I’ll be in the comments to hear from you. Talk to me!
- Massage Gun for Lymphatic Drainage – Worth Using? Which One To Choose? // Massagegunadvice: https://massagegunadvice.com/massage-gun-for-lymphatic-drainage/#Is_Massage_Gun_Good_for_Lymphatic_Drainage
- Is A Massage Gun Good For Sciatica? Will It Help? // Massage Gun Advice:
- Do Massage Guns Work? Answering Your Questions About Muscle Recovery// Garage gym reviews: https://www.garagegymreviews.com/do-massage-guns-work
EKRIN ATHLETICS B37
My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.
I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.