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Massage Gun Training: The Beginner's Guide to Massage Guns (2021)

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Are you facing issues due to muscle soreness or body pain? If so, then you need a deep muscle massage. But going to any therapist for a massage is not possible for everyone. Wait! We have an affordable and effective solution for all of you. Want to know about it?

A percussive massage gun will help you deal with muscle or body pain, fatigue, soreness, or knots. All you need to do is to learn the right method of using this tool. To make your massaging journey more comfortable, we will highlight everything regarding a percussive massage gun. From products to pros & cons to tips, you will find everything in this detailed article. Let's get this show on the road!

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WHAT IS A PERCUSSIVE MASSAGE GUN?

Percussion massagers, also called massage guns, vibration therapy, and percussive therapy, promises to deliver tons of massage benefits to you without requiring any hassle or expense for visiting a therapist. In simple words, the electric tool has a similar body shape to a power drill. First of all, the massage gun is available at different affordable rates with various attachments, which we will discuss later on.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase a service or a product through the links, we might earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read full disclosure here.

From providing an energetic and vigorous massage to making you feel relaxed, this tool is a complete relaxation package for athletes and other people. The use of percussive massage guns is not at all a new technique in the market. However, if you are still unfamiliar with it, go ahead, and learn about the tool or therapy. 

These massaging tools aim to help in offering a percussion massage to everyone. Thus, if anyone is willing to get a deep vibration massage or a tissue massage, then they must give a try to the tool. The massage gun operates by providing an array of quick strikes and blows to the soft tissues and muscles. In other words, this gun's task is to increase and improve the blood flow in the stiff muscles. It escalates the motion range of the muscles. 

Therefore, the percussion massage gun uses the soft tissue massaging technique, which most therapists use to deliver a soothing tissue massage. The device will apply rapid and high pulses or vibrations to your targeted part, such as quads, shoulders, hamstrings, arms, feet, neck, hands, and adductors.  So, now you can say goodbye to sore and stiff muscles. 

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WHAT IS THERAGUN?

Until now, you must be able to understand that what a percussive massage gun is and why do we use it. In simple words, from its purposes to the technique it follows, you are aware of each and everything. But wait, yes you are guessing it right! Don't you think which brand tends to deliver the best percussion massage gun? Many brands are selling their product in the market with the mission to provide the best possible results. Not every product is capable of relaxing your muscles. You need to act a bit smart and intelligent about searching the right model for yourself.

Don't worry; we won't let you get into any trouble. Let's dig a little deeper!

Theragun Massage Gun

Buy Now at Theragun.com

Have you ever heard about the Theragun Company? If no, then you must gather some knowledge about it. Firstly, Theragun is a product by Dr. Jason Wersland. It is a type of handheld percussive massage gun that is successfully taking over Instagram. Astonished, isn't it? Athletes are widely using the tool to make slow-motion movies or videos, showing how their muscles ripple under this tool. 

It follows the highly famous tactic, known as percussive therapy. This method helps to treat muscle fatigue, soreness, stiffness, and knots. Whether it be a weekend warrior or any professional athlete, this tool will work for all of them. It effectively speeds up the recovery time required for your muscles by reducing the pain that happens after exercising. Below, we are going to discuss everything related to percussive massage guns, and significantly about, Theragun (prices, products, other details).  Read Now Theragun vs Hypervolt

This link will show you how effective Theragun can be for your muscles and whole body.

BEST MASSAGE GUNS AND THEIR DETAILS

Here comes the part where you will come across different yet effective Theragun products. We assure you that these percussive massage guns will offer the best massage feel with maximum comfort, relaxation, and relief. Let's have a thorough look!

THERAGUN PRO

  • Professional-grade massage performance
  • Powerful and quiet (QX150 Motor with QuietForce Technology™)
  • Red and black color
  • Ergonomic multi-grip 
  • 300mins battery life – two lithium-ion batteries & charger
  • Speed range (customizable)
  • OLED Screen with Force Meter
  • Includes Carrying case
  • Price: $599

Theragun Pro Massage Gun

Buy Now at Theragun.com

This massage treatment makes sure to give you a deep massage by releasing stress and eliminating tension. It aims to enhance your muscle recovery, lessening the time needed to reduce soreness. The smart percussive massage therapy comes with a two-year warranty. You can even customize the body (write or engrave something) by only paying $50. 

The customer will also get a free app subscription of 60-days to SWEAT, and Percussive therapy live digital course held by a Theragun master trainer. The smart app will integrate with Bluetooth. 

Functionalities:
Depth 16mm amplitudeCan reach 60% deep into your muscles
Speed 40 times per sec
Force 60 lbs.
Attachments:
  • Easy to clean
  • Six pieces
  • Non-porous closed-cell ultra-gentle foam
  • Improved hygiene
Piece Purpose Impact Level
Cone Pinpoint muscle massageHands & feet 10/10
Supersoft™ Sensitive or sore partsNear joints or bones 1/10
Thumb Trigger pointsLower back 7/10
Dampener Overall useBony or tender areas 3/10
Wedge Flushing and scrapingIT bands and shoulder blades 5/10
Standard ball Overall useSmall & large muscle groups 5/10

Have a look at THERAGUN G3 PRO

THERAGUN MINI

  • On-the-go treatment
  • Ultra-portable – pocket-size, compact
  • Potent massage device
  • Red, black, white color
  • QX35 motor and QuietForce Technology™
  • Three settings for speed 
  • 2hr30min battery life
  • Triangle ergonomic grip design
  • Standard ball attachment
  • Includes soft case
  • 1-yr limited warranty
  • Price: $199
  • Functionalities/Specs:

Theragun Mini Massage Gun

Buy Now at Theragun.com

Speed 1750 PPM2100 PPM2400PPM
Weight 650 grams1.43 lbs.
Amplitude 12mm
Dimensions 15.2 x 13.5 x 7.7 cm
Compatible attachments All 4th gen. attachments

THERAGUN ELITE

  • Quietest massage treatment – latest sound insulation (QuietForce Technology™)
  • Premium, elevated, handy design
  • Release soreness and removes tension
  • Red, black, white shades
  • Free app subscription for 60-days to SWEAT – home workout programs
  • Wireless charging stand - $79 additional
  • Comfortable multi-grip
  • Customizable speed
  • Bluetooth integration with the app
  • 2hrs battery life
  • QX65 motor 
  • OLED screen with force motor
  • Carrying case & power adapter
  • 1-year warranty (limited)
  • Price: $399
  • Functionalities:

Theragun Elite

Buy Now at Theragun.com

Force 40lbs
Noise level 75% quieter than previous models
Depth 60% deeper
Amplitude 16mm
Speed 40 times per sec. Five built-in speeds1750 PPM1900 PPM2100 PPM2200 PPM2400 PPM
Attachments:

It includes five attachments. All those pieces present in the Theragun Pro have are in Theragun Elite, except for the Supersoft™ extension.

THERAGUN PRIME

  • A smart and simplified version
  • Different speed options
  • App connects with Bluetooth
  • Deep muscle massage
  • Eliminates discomfort, soothe tension, finishes tightness, recover faster
  • Multi-grip
  • 120mins battery charge 
  • QX65 motor and QuietForce Technology™
  • Price: $299
  • Functionalities:

Theragun Prime Massage Gun

Buy Now at Theragun.com

Noise level 70% quieter
Depth 60% deeperAmplitude: 16mm
Force 30lbs.
Speed 5 built-in1750, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2400 PPM40 times per second

Attachments:

Four easy to clean device attachments

Dampener Bony or tender parts
Cone Hands & feet
Thumb Lower back
Standard ball Large and small muscle

THERAGUN 24K GOLD PRO

  • A special and new edition
  • Gold standard percussive massage therapy
  • Gold plating – 24K
  • Release tension and stress, motivate muscle recovery
  • High-end and durable
  • 300min battery life, app connectivity with Bluetooth 
  • 2-yr warranty and 30-days refund guarantee
  • Free percussive therapy live digital course by Theragun master trainer
  • QX150 motor with QuietForce Technology™
  • OLED screen with a force meter
  • Professional-grade treatment
  • Speed range
  • Advanced ergonomics – four arm positions
  • Price: $999
  • Functionalities/Specs:

Theragun 24K Gold Pro

Buy Now at Theragun.com

Speed Five built-in settings1750 to 2400 PPM
Amplitude 16mm
Weight 2.9 lbs.
Dimensions 10 x 7.1 x 3 inches

Attachments:

It includes similar extensions present in Theragun PRO. Check out the table in that section. 

WAVE ROLLER ™

  • Smart foam roller™
  • Provides efficient and potent foam rolling treatment
  • Bluetooth and Therabody app compatible
  • Hypo-allergenic surface
  • High-density PU foam – sound insulation
  • Protective carrying case
  • Five intensity options
  • 3hrs life of the battery
  • 12" complete body support
  • Maximize traction
  • Multi-device wireless charger – extra $79
  • Price: $149

Theragun Wave Roller

Buy Now at Theragun.com

It aims to increase the flow of blood and enhance mobility. The wave roller releases tension and keeps you connected with the app always. For more efficiency, you can use the percussive massage devices and wave roller together. 

DUO ADAPTER SET

This set helps the user in using any of the two attachments of Theragun at one time. It means more relaxation and massage with a single tool. Isn't it impressive? 

  • Double the treatment
  • Twice as fast
  • Compatible with mini, Prime, Elite, and PRO version
  • Sets:

Theragun Duo Adapter Set

Buy Now at Theragun.com

Name Treatment Includes Price ($)
Duo Adapter Standard Ball Set Large groups of muscles – glutes, pecs, quads, and lats Two standard ball attachmentDuo adapter 49
Duo Adapter Supersoft ™Set Extra-sensitive areas Two Supersoft attachmentsDuo adapter 59
Duo Adapter Thumb Set Provides human thumb (two) touch feeling Two thumb attachmentDuo adapter 49
Duo Adapter Cone Set Pinpoint muscleHands, feet, small muscle parts Two cone attachmentDuo adapter 49
Duo Adapter Dampener Set Bony or tender parts Two dampener attachmentDuo adapter 49

FITNESS MAT

  • Multi-purpose
  • Non-slip fitness and yoga mat
  • Easy movement, stretches, bends
  • Durable, high-grade PU material, rubber (high-density)
  • Joint protection and perfect cushioning
  • It contains a deluxe carrying case
  • Price: $79

Fitness Mat

Buy Now at Theragun.com

HOW TO USE A MASSAGE GUN?

If you are planning to use a massage gun, then you must know the exact guidelines and instructions to follow. Without understanding the correct method, you will produce problems for yourself. We will talk about the risks one can lead to the disadvantages portion. For now, we are going to explain the method of using a percussive massage gun. 

You can use the massaging tool on the back, legs, hips, and shoulders. However, try to avoid the neck portion if you are a newbie to this device. First of all, hold your head to the skin. Hold it up to one inch away, at least. Let the device pulsate for a few minutes before proceeding towards the other body part. Several highly-rated percussive massage guns incorporate adjustable speed settings and different massage attachments.

Using these features, you will have various pressure, intensity, and massage head options. Therapy guns with a 22 to 40-hertz frequency are preferable, as they can offer a maximum speed of 40 times per second. But you can also use guns with lower frequency for pains and aches. Thus, whatever brand you are purchasing, look at the instruction manual for better and hassle-free performance. 

HOW TO USE THERAGUN MASSAGE GUN?

How to use Theragun Massage Gun?

 

These are the five necessary steps one needs to follow while using a Theragun percussive massage gun. From treating certain spots to releasing the workout pain, Wersland suggests using the tool. The guidelines are as follows:

  1. Switch on the Theragun. Do not put it on the body while turning it on, as this step will offer better control. 
  2. Let the massage gun rest on the body. You don't need to put any pressure at first.
  3. Allow the tool to float on the body part. Glide it all on your muscle. Try to move slowly for one inch after a second. 
  4. If there is any knot or tension area, let the device stay on that part. However, don't apply extra pressure for some time.
  5. Lastly, do long exhales and inhales (long breathe) and enjoy the relief. 

Watch this video by the founder for more ease.

WHAT ARE THE SPEED FUNCTIONALITIES?

The full form of RPM is revolutions per minute. In simple words, it tells that the number of times your percussive massage gun will hit your body within a minute. Therefore, it means the more speed your massage tool will offer, the more your massage's intensity. 

Mostly massage guns come with a range of speeds between 1700 to 3200 RPM. Also, remember that you cannot assign any rate as the best one. So try to select a device that offers your desired speed or customizable speed settings for more intensity. Lower speeds are suitable to warm up your muscles or sensitive parts. Higher rates are perfect for too stiff muscles and deeper tight knots. 

WHAT ARE ATTACHMENTS?

A percussive massage gun comes with some head attachments. You have already seen the Theragun products along with their extensions. It means you must be familiar with what is the purpose of these pieces. If no, then we will guide you through the vital aim of a massage gun attachment. Moreover, this section will focus on some of the essential heads that you should look at in any percussive massage gun.

The purpose of an attachment present with the massage gun is to provide you with the necessary stress relief, relaxation, and comfort. In other words, each extension has a unique task with personal benefits for the user. A few of the needed massage gun attachments are:

  • Ball attachment

The name itself suggests that it is a round-shaped tool part. The soft rubber/foam attachment is a must-have for beginners who are about to use the percussive massage gun for the first time. It is one of the most durable, non-evasive, and softest pieces. Furthermore, there are no such restrictions on using the head. It means you can use the gun with this extension on any part for a soothing massage. However, it offers the best result on the foot bottom and neck back. 

  • Bullethead or thumb attachment

Whether it be any name, this head attachment will serve a similar purpose. This advanced thumb piece is a perfect tool for massaging your trigger points. It will even aid in focusing and treating tighter spots. Moreover, the attachment performs superbly for removing muscle knots and relaxing the lower back. It can support you in reaching more challenging parts like between the toes and various points of the foot. 

  • Flathead attachment

Usually, people like this attachment because of its hammer tip body shape. It offers a fantastic relaxing, soothing, and calm feeling. The flat head extension can even breakdown your muscle tissues present in denser body areas, such as the back, pecs, and quads. Thus, you can use this piece on larger muscles as well. 

You May Also Like:  Best Massage Gun Review

ADVANTAGES OF USING IT

Why use massage gun?

No one would like to invest in any product without confirming its benefits. In simple words, any item is successful if it delivers the same advantages it claims in advertising. A percussion massage gun aims to provide full services to its user. Keeping the point in mind, the owners of the Theragun massage device ensures to offer superb comfort to the muscles. Following are some of the pros one can get through the massage gun.

  • Impact on blood flow

If you are clear with the aim of a massage gun, then you must be familiar that the most significant advantage is of increasing the blood flow. The massaging tool tends to increase blood circulation to the muscles. It even removes the lymphatic fluid waste. It collects after inflammation and intense exercise. As a result, it elevates flexibility, mobility, and overall motion by eliminating friction and loosening the muscles.

A recent review (Davis et al., 2020) showed that conventional massage can improve delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and can acutely increase range of motion (ROM).

  • Effect on the nervous system

Yes, you are reading it right! The massage device will even activate your nervous system, which, in turn, will give a lively feeling. Thus, 100% stress reduction and relaxation after post-massage. In simple words, it cuts down the tension and sad feelings, making you feel fresher and energetic. 

  • Influence on muscles

No, do not confuse yourself. The device won't change your muscles. Instead, it will minimize the inflammation along with soreness that usually occurs once workouts complete. It means delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) will automatically reduce after using the tool. Moreover, it will finish muscle adhesions. Research, as well proves that how helpful percussive therapy can be for a person with sore muscles. 

  • Releases and builds up lactic acid

Lactic acid usually produces during intense sessions of workouts due to lower oxygen levels. However, this formation can lead to cramps, exhaustion, and nausea as well. But you can use the massage gun to prevent yourself from such situations. It reverses the entire production situation. Along with forming lactic acid, it releases other toxins to the nearby tissues. As a result, it reduces muscle soreness and fatigue. 

  • No scar tissues

The massage gun with the mission of deep tissue massage helps to break down the scar tissues. This tool ensures to ease down the pain and lessen the soreness, tightness, or stiffness. From sports injury to scar tissues (post-surgery), this device will never disappoint the user. 

DISADVANTAGES OF USING IT

Whether it be any recovery tool, each of them comes with a few cons. It means the percussion massage gun would also have some disadvantages. Here's everything you should know regarding the drawbacks of this massage device.

  • Expected user mistakes

There are multiple chances that most of you are not even aware of the right method to use massage guns. People who try to operate the device without watching the tutorial or reading the guide will, for sure, end up making various mistakes. They might massage the area that does not need to get targeted. 

According to Michel Zeberlein, licensed massage therapist, "If you know what to do and how then it's a good tool. But it can also cause further issues if used in the wrong way."

  • Worsening injuries

Most importantly, if by mistake, anyone uses a massage gun on an injury like severe swelling, strain, broken bones, or sprains, the wound will get more intense. Furthermore, it can damage your injured tissues or increase the swelling of the part. Thus, you will require more healing time. 

  • Budget

Another issue that arises while purchasing a percussive massage gun is its price. Although there are some low-cost pieces as well, these products are not up to the mark. High-end brands, such as Theragun, Renpho, and Hyperice, might not be pocket-friendly for everyone. However, it is a one-time investment that can offer you a lifetime of relaxation. 

You May Also Like: TimTam Massager Review

WHO CAN USE THE PERCUSSIVE MASSAGE GUN?

There is no limitation to the usage of a percussive massage gun. In other words, whoever is suffering from back pain, muscle fatigue, muscle soreness, tissue knots, or stiffness in any of the body parts can use this massage tool. From an ordinary person to a professional athlete (ultra-marathoners and triathletes), everyone can purchase this device for their comfort and well-being.

You can use a percussive massage gun on your back, shoulders, neck, hands, feet, and tight areas. However, there are some tips that you should consider before using the massaging tool. We will put light on these tips in the later section.

WHO SHOULD AVOID USING THE MASSAGE GUN?

Can a massage gun be harmful to anyone? Although a percussive massage gun is utterly safe with almost zero risks, still overusing them might be aggravating for a person if he is suffering from any type of injury. Moreover, it is recommendable not to use the massage tool directly on your neck, as it can produce injuries. People who should try to avoid using a massage gun includes:

  • If you are facing persistent, intense pain or sciatic pain in the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, then we would suggest you consult a professional help before trying out the massage gun. 
  • People dealing with injuries need to keep in mind that longer massaging sessions won't be right. They should not use the massage gun on injured parts or muscles for more time. Try to check out shorter sessions for testing your reactions. It will prevent future irritation.
  • Stop using the massage gun if you are observing or feeling any needle sensations, pins, and numbness in the body. Also, do not ignore skin reactions, such as redness or rashes.
  • Lastly, if you experience muscle soreness, tenderness, or bruising due to the usage of a massage gun, then right away, seek expert guidance and pause the tool's use. 
  • Those who have broken bones should not opt for percussive massage therapy. A hammering motion due to this therapy can further break or fracture the newly formed or mended bone. 
  • Pregnant ladies
  • People who recently had surgery.
  • If you are suffering skin disorders (skin torn and open sores on the part), do not use the tool. 
  • People with nerve disorders, epilepsy, and MS. 

TIPS TO FOLLOW WHILE USING ANY PERCUSSIVE MASSAGE GUN

Some of the key points that one should never miss out on while using a massage gun on themselves are:

Tips to use Percussive Massage Gun

  • Do not use the percussion massager on bony parts or blood clots – roll them on muscles.
  • Try to put a moderate pressure and hold it on the muscle. Don't push or force it on the body part.
  • If you have bursitis or bursa on any part, then avoid using the massage gun at that location. The continuous pounding will be harmful to you. 
  • Don't use this tool for a more extended period on a single part; it will cause bruising. 
  • At high speeds, try to rotate the device frequently.
  • It would be great to consult your physical therapist, trainer, or doctor before using the percussive massage gun. 
  • Do not use it on the chest, face, head, and front part of the neck or throat. It might cause strokes or damage the carotid artery (internal). 
  • You should avoid it while wearing loose clothes like scarves – it leads to strangulation.
  • Read the instruction guide before operating the massager. 
  • Don't use the device on older people or children if you don't have any medical training or knowledge. 

PERSPECTIVES OF SPECIALISTS:

Consulting or only knowing the perspectives of any specialist or expert can be extremely helpful while using a percussive massage gun. It can prevent you from future mishaps and simultaneously provide better results. This guidance and consultation help you to know the correct method of using and review of the product. 

Therefore, to make your experience more comfortable and soothing, we will discuss the perspectives of three different specialists. All of these belong to separate fields but are talking about the same product, Theragun. We would suggest you read these viewpoints and suggestions with complete concentration.

TRAINER

Best Massage Guns

  • Expert:

Ryan Capretta, "We use the Theragun on everyone from youth athletes to Hollywood actors to pro football players. They really feel the difference."

Youtube, John Shepherd track & field coach – author & editor, "I found it has everything any athlete would need for such a device…."

  • Usage:

For trainers, Theragun is a multi-tasking massage device that helps them to maximize the performance of their clients. It even helps to reduce the recovery time, making their users more active and efficient. 

  • Pros for the client:
  • Increases range of motion – ROM
  • Improves the entire performance
  • Rapid start and strength regain (recovery)
  • Enhances each session
  • Steps to use Theragun:

These are the steps followed during a trainer's session.

  • Before – every muscle requires 30secs to get started, increase ROM, and gain muscle coordination. 
  • During- use the tool for not more than 15secs on the clients' belly (to minimize tiredness and reactivate) during the resting or break time. 
  • After – two minutes for each muscle group, up-down & back-forth movement, do it a half-hour before the session ends, reduces soreness, speeds up the recovery stage.

THERAPISTS

Theragun Massage Guns

  • Expert:

Brett Fisher, "I have great stories of using the cone attachment to successfully break up scar tissue. In our facility, patients demand the Theragun and ask for it by name. It's a game-changer."

  • Usage:

Theragun is a handy treatment tool for therapists as it helps them boost the massage treatments throughout the sessions. Patients get highly satisfied after the usage due to the outcome of the massage gun. 

  • Pros for the client:
  • Relaxes the patient
  • Relieves and eases the pain
  • Excellent with various modalities
  • Opens the knots
  • Steps to use Theragun:

The steps used by a physical therapist are:

  • Before – use the tool to soothe the targeted area, calm down the patient
  • During – flushes the treatment area, activates the lethargic muscles during the movement and massage therapy
  • After – flushes the treated part again, offers improved movement patterns

CHIROPRACTORS

Best Percussive Massage Gun

  • Expert:

Dennis Colonello, "Theragun has changed my practice more than any other tool. It can provide whole-body relief in 8 minutes."

Youtube, Dr. Matt Harris, "I am really impressed by this product…”

  • Usage:

Since this tool is a developed by a chiropractor himself, it aims to provide optimum results for the expert. This device will take the treatment to a much better level. A few sessions will make you feel painless, efficient, active, and vigorous. 

  • Pros for the client:
  • Delivers best chiropractor session
  • Minimizes wear and tear
  • Easily billable
  • Eliminates pain
  • Activates the sore muscles
  • Steps to use Theragun:

These are the stages a chiropractor follows while using a Theragun.

  • Before – 2min full-body scan helps to assess your body, provides necessary awareness, and relaxes the patient
  • During – targets particular muscles or joints (10-15secs), simplifies movement, provides efficient treatment
  • After – 2 to 3mins focus, carries out the percussive therapy, results in lighter and calmer feeling

CONCLUSION

Wrapping it up in a few words, you can use a massage gun to get vibration therapy and deep tissue or muscle massage. Believe me! This tool will, for sure, help in promoting muscle recovery and reducing severe pain. The treatment is an excellent benefit for runners to improve their athletic performance. Theragun is one of the most demanded brands in the percussive massage guns category. We hope you are familiar with everything related to a percussive massage gun. Enjoy your massaging!

 

Natasha Chung

Natasha Chung

Natasha is Research Analyst and loves to express her findings in reviews. She was previously working for a Fashion Startup in Thailand. She is Foodie and Travelling is her major Hobby.