- What is a massage gun and what are the benefits for athletes?
- Can percussion massage therapy improve sports performance?
- What types of massage guns are there and which one is best for boosting athletes’ performance?
- How to use a massage gun to strengthen muscles and joints in top athletes?
- What are the best alternatives to massage guns for improving sports performance?
Coaches, sports doctors and athletes themselves are constantly looking for ways to speed up recovery and prevent injuries. The massage gun meets the high expectations of sports professionals in any discipline.
We will explain the benefits of the electric muscle guns for sportsmen and women. In addition, we will clarify doubts about whether this product is really useful for increasing sports performance and you will find out which are the best models of massage guns that exist.
What is a massage gun and what are the benefits for athletes?
More than a product for muscle relaxation, these self-massage machines have become true allies of the best athletes in the world, in any discipline such as football, rugby, basketball and even golf, always in sports where strength and endurance are constantly put to the test.
They are stimulators based on percussion massage techniques, which consist of giving precise and rhythmic blows on specific areas of the musculature and where the trigger points are located. The main function of percussion guns is to relieve muscle pain in the short term.
Check out more details about its benefits:
- Inhibits body pain: this is the main reason why athletes use this product, it eliminates the intensity of pain when it comes to minor physical injuries and soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments and muscles.
- It serves as a muscle warm-up: professionals use this gun to prepare muscles when a re-injury is anticipated, when tissues give way again and tear due to overwork in areas where there has already been discomfort.
- It returns the body to its calm state: it is the equivalent of the muscle cooling process that sportsmen and women carry out after finishing a sports training session. It prepares the body for another exhaustive day of training.
- It favours cell recovery: this is a fundamental step if the body is to remain healthy, when defective cells are discarded to make way for the multiplication of more resistant cells. The constant use of the percussion gun generates this positive effect on the body.
- It generates more endorphins: these components are indispensable because they serve as natural painkillers when the body needs them most, when there are sports injuries. The stimulation causes the central nervous system to emit more endorphins and the body feels better.
- Prevents injuries: constant massages will make your body better prepared to withstand the overload of work and this translates in two ways, the ability to give more than it can and the ability to recover better from aches and pains.
- Eliminates toxins and waste: when muscles are exercised, they produce a series of natural chemical compounds that must be eliminated from the body through the bloodstream. If they are not expelled, they cause the muscles to be fatigued all the time.
- Protects the joints: although there should be no direct stimulation on the bones, when the integrity of the muscles, tendons and ligaments is taken care of, joint function is also taken care of, so that the person can perform better in training and competitions.
- Facilitates a state of concentration: when athletes know that their body is at 100%, this facilitates the athletes’ focus on success, correct application of technique and better management of muscular power energy. When there are latent injuries, athletes only focus on not getting injured again and their performance in competitions drops.
Can percussion massage therapy improve sports performance?
This is a benefit that has been discussed in recent years by sports medicine specialists, but it is correct to talk about the parallel advantages that the use of massage guns has in the medium and long term.
In what way? Well, when athletes take care of their bodies, they are less likely to have to be off work for long periods of time due to constant injuries per year. An athlete’s body gains endurance and strength in training, but these can be lost when injuries occur.
It is never advisable for athletes to rest due to injury because the whole body suffers from the body cooling that this entails and, when returning to training, it is a matter of returning to a previous level to re-adapt the musculature.
There is no magical improvement in sporting performance, but it allows us to continue training and to be better every day by avoiding compulsory rest due to injury or discomfort that prevents us from training at the highest level.
What types of massage guns are there and which one is best for boosting athletes’ performance?
Each model that we offer on this website, meets different niches and purposes of athletes:
- Mini electric massage gun: has a couple of practical advantages, the first is that it can be used safely by novice and amateur athletes, because it has only a soft head that will not easily damage soft tissues. In addition, it is completely portable, with a high performance battery that fits perfectly with the recommended usage times.
- Professional electric massage gun: it has interchangeable heads for athletes, coaches and sports doctors to perform different types of massages, depending on the needs of the players. They have more intensity controls on the strokes and can also be used before and after sports training.
In terms of specific functions, with both guns you achieve tissue relaxation, blood vessel dilation, increased body temperature and myofascial release when the product is used on trigger points, as if it were a Foam Roller.
How to use a massage gun to strengthen muscles and joints in top athletes?
Now it is time for you to know the steps you should follow to use this product properly and avoid possible complications due to lack of technical knowledge. Read each recommendation we will give you in detail, as this will ensure that there is no opposite effect on the body, where there is greater damage to the muscle fibres due to over-stimulation.
This type of massage is used to keep the muscle fibres active and prevent them from breaking down or becoming irritated during training sessions.
- Determine the areas where you think there may be injuries.
- Look for muscle groups that you notice are weakened.
- Use a soft head.
- Start the massage gently, with light strokes.
- Move the gun in a linear, not circular, motion.
- You should only massage each muscle for 30 seconds.
- At this stage you only need to activate the muscles, not fatigue them.
- Respect the suggested time of use to avoid overloading.
This phase is important because you are going to address areas where you feel real and constant pain, these are places that you must protect with massages to avoid future tears and new injuries.
- Use a soft head to start with.
- Make gentle strokes on the areas where it hurts.
- Increase the intensity of the strokes as tolerated by your skin.
- Always use linear movements.
- You should perform this massage for a maximum of two minutes.
- If you notice muscle knots, change to a harder, bullet-shaped head.
- Spend 30 to 60 seconds massaging hot or hard areas.
- Only apply light to moderate pressure if your tolerance allows.
- If you overdo it with your hands, it can cause bruising.
These are massages that seek to address muscle weakness and ailments that persist over time, despite the fact that you take rest and precautions to facilitate recovery.
- Select the ideal head according to the part of the body to be worked.
- Start with soft, rounded tips to prepare the muscles for a deeper massage.
- Make linear strokes on the muscle groups that are bothering you.
- These gentle strokes can last two minutes at most.
- If you feel pain, try lowering the intensity.
- Switch to a harder, more pointed head when you detect areas of extreme tightness.
- Apply more pressure, without movement, for 30 seconds.
- At the end of the massage, offer a break of one to two hours if you consider using the product again.
Regularity and timing of sessions
After reading this article and having an expert opinion, only you will know when it is appropriate to apply this product to your skin.
- Time is relative when using the gun. It should not be extended for more than two minutes on each muscle group.
- If a relaxing massage is what you want, then you can extend to five minutes.
- The dense muscles of the back and legs require more pressure.
- You can use the gun two or three times a day if you are working the same muscle group.
- If you need to target more than one tissue, you can use the gun for longer.
- It is advisable to use the gun on a daily basis, so that you can give the tissues a rest.
- Use the pistol when you have injuries to address, prevent injuries and when you feel tension.
What are the best alternatives to massage guns for improving sports performance?
If you would like to find out more about the best alternatives to muscle massage guns, we share this list with you, which will help you to make these treatments compatible and get the most out of your sports training sessions.