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Lady with black curly hair using an electric massage gun on thigh

The best types of massage guns and what they do

12 Jan 2022 • 2 min read

Trying to find the right massage gun can be a pain in the backside, or shoulder, or leg….  

If you're having difficulty with muscle soreness or mobility, it may be that you are considering a massage gun.

They’ve quickly become popular in the health and fitness world, and the market has many options, which can be a bit overwhelming.

But what exactly do massage guns actually do? Do they really work? Can you relieve muscle tension from the palm of your hand? Are massage guns worth it?

We’ve picked out three of the best massage guns on the market to help you decide, so you don’t get rubbed up the wrong way.

What is a massage gun?

A massage gun, muscle gun, massage muscle gun or any other name it may go by, is a small handheld device that has the look of a drill.

Often massage guns will come with a variety of attachments and a selection of speeds that can be used for different types of muscle pain.

There’s a huge market for them, and so prices range from as little as £15 to around £200 plus.

They work as a percussion massager, using vibration through the massage gun to target a specific area where muscles may be impacted, which may help reduce soreness and muscle tension.1

Muscle guns are often used by endurance athletes who use them to loosen up tight and sore muscles after a workout, but they can be used by anyone.

They can be used before or after a workout, depending on your preference. 

Usually, each massage gun will come with different attachments that are designed to directly target specific parts of the body.

Benefits of a massage gun

Massage guns are relatively new to the health and fitness world, so science-backed research is still a bit thin on the ground.

However, there are some noted benefits on the market, which include:2

  1. May relieve stress

Using a muscle gun may relieve stress and relax the body by releasing tension and fluid which is buried deep in the muscles to increase tissue metabolism.

  1. Supports blood circulation

The use of a massage gun may support blood and lymphatic circulation, which may allow for more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles.

  1. Promotes healing

It is thought that massage guns may encourage the healing of weakened muscles by “waking them up” to encourage faster healing.

  1. Release lactic acid

The vibration of the massage gun may release lactic acid buildup in the body, which often occurs as a result of intense exercise.

  1. Improve mobility

Muscle massagers are thought to help stimulate muscle movement which may help with your mobility.

  1. Ease discomfort

By deeply massaging collagen fibres in your muscles it is thought that you can help reduce the discomfort you might experience from muscle soreness.

  1. Reduce the risk of strains and sprains

You may reduce the risk of strains and sprains by improving the range of motion that your muscles have.

  1. Improve your overall wellbeing

Regularly using your massage gun may improve sleep, which will in turn improve your sleep.

Beurer PhysioLine Trigger Point Massage Ball

Beurer PhysioLine Trigger Point Massage Ball

Beurer PhysioLine Trigger Point Massage is a great entry-level device for those wanting to try a percussion massager.

The handheld massage ball vibrates with a two-vibration intensity setting, which is designed to target muscle knots and soreness.

This trigger point massage ball from Beurer uses a combination of moulded nodules and vibration to target tense muscle groups for activation and regeneration.

It’s really easy to use and is a great size, which means you can take it anywhere.

Do massage guns really work?

Research shows that massage guns may be effective when helping the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).3

DOMS can cause muscle soreness for 24 to 72 hours after an intense workout.

So, it is thought by using your massage gun regularly may aid muscle recovery.4

However, there is little research into the improvement of speed or endurance. Therefore, the use of percussive therapy may not directly improve athletic performance.

So, it entirely depends on what your goal is with the massage gun.

If you are looking for light muscle relief, then yes they may work. If you are expecting huge results it may not be as effective.

Do massage guns help muscle growth?

No, massage guns don’t help or enhance muscle growth. As above, they’re more useful to relieve muscle soreness or any tight areas you have after intense exercise.

Muscle recovery foods

Eating a nutritious meal or snack after your workout is as important as your pre-workout fuel. Discover the foods to eat and avoid for muscle recovery

manisha-taggar

Manisha Taggar

Author

Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: May 2019

BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science

Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare.

After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.

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