Massage guns in general have lots of benefits. For starters, massage guns are a great tool to treat muscle soreness and relieve muscle pain quickly, and effectively at the fraction of the cost of visiting a therapist.
Massage guns are also known to help boost athletic performance too.
However, too much of anything can be bad and, the same is true for massage guns. In fact, in some cases, overuse of a massage gun can lead to injury.
If you are unsure if you are using it right, we’ve put together this article to help you understand How Often Should You Use a Massage Gun or how long can you use a massage gun? Continue reading to find out more.
We recommend using your massage gun for a maximum of 2 minutes per muscle group. A full-body session should not exceed 20 minutes. If you need more then treat yourself 2-3 times per day.
Though I am not a certified therapist, I have been using massage guns for the last 3 years and have a fair bit of experience with these devices.
Apart from that, we have certified therapists who have checked this article and I am writing this article after consulting with her.
Why you shouldn’t use the massage gun repeatedly in the same place?
The whole purpose of using a massage gun is to reduce your pain.
If you keep the massage gun too long on one spot, the skin can become tender and sore, and you may experience bruising. So too much use of more massage guns isn’t always a good idea.
Now the question is How much is too much?
If your tissue is turning red really fast, that means blood is flowing through it very rapidly. When that happens, we recommend moving the massage gun to another part of the body.
It’s best not to hold the gun in one place for more than a few seconds at a time, and instead move it around slowly.
When to Use a Massage Gun
A massage gun can be used several times throughout the day.
With the help of percussion therapy, massage guns penetrate deep into muscle tissue to increase blood flow and muscle readiness.
Our recommendation is to use the Massage Gun for a maximum of 2 minutes per muscle group, depending on the desired outcome.
The length of a full-body session should not exceed 15 minutes.
When you should use a massage gun
- A percussion massager is great for increasing flexibility before a workout by activating muscle groups. Additionally, stretching can enhance athletes’ performance because tight muscles will be restrictive.
- In addition, using a massage gun during training will help reactivate muscles. It is especially helpful for areas that are prone to injury or overuse.
- Massage guns are also very effective in post-workout recovery. The massager will help you increase blood flow, and relieve tension while removing lactic acid.
- Lastly, the benefits of percussion massage combine well with relaxation. Thus, you can use it whenever you feel tight or stressed.
How often Should You Use a Massage Gun? (Recomended Frequency)
If you are not a sportsperson or someone who does intense training, 15-20 minute of massage gun sessions per day, should be enough.
However, if you are doing too much intense training regularly then using massage guns in short sessions can help you boost your performance and recovery.
Additionally, it’s recommended to have massage gun sessions when needed 2 to 3 times a day.
- Pre-workout sessions: For an instant muscle activation, float your Massage Gun for up to 30 seconds before workouts or physical activity.
- During the activity: You can reactivate muscle groups by using your Massage Gun for 20 seconds during a workout or any activity. As a result, muscles will remain active, spasms will be relieved, and fatigue will be reduced.
- Post-workout: Use your Massage Gun for up to 2 minutes to minimize soreness after a workout as well as for treating muscles that need pain relief immediately.
Before you exercise, warm your muscles up with your massage gun. Massage guns work much like rollers, but they’re more targeted.
When you start your workout with a massage gun, it works in two ways.
First, the massage increases blood flow to a targated area.
Second, it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which prepares your body for workouts, sports, and activities.
To achieve maximum results, aim the massage gun directly where you intend to work out. If your workout area for today is your biceps, aim the massage gun at them.
Avoid going over joints, and stick to the thickest part of the muscle. Spend about 30 seconds on each muscle group.
It is recommended to start with 10-30 seconds of focus on any given area. If you have multiple ailment areas, then you can use it for as long as necessary.
Just keep the device moving as you should not use a massage gun on the same spot for too long.
During the Workout
When you are exercising, you might notice your muscles becoming tense between sets. Massage guns are an effective way to alleviate this issue.
This keeps you in peak condition so that your potential doesn’t diminish and your quality of workout doesn’t drop.
During your workout, use your massage gun for only about 15 seconds on whatever area you are targeting. The quick massage will increase the blood flow as well as help you get rid of any adhesions or knots.
Massage guns are incredibly effective after a workout.
A high-intensity workout can damage your muscle fibers at a microscopic level. In response to such damage, your body increases inflammation, which can result in muscle soreness that begins afterward.
A massage gun works by applying pressure to muscles to help them become relaxed, thereby reducing spasms and painful contractions.
The best way to massage every muscle group is to move the massage gun up and down, along the muscle fibers, every 90 to 120 seconds.
Also, give yourself enough time for recovery.
What About Full-Body Sessions?
Massage guns are not just beneficial during workouts, but they can also be helpful for people with chronic medical conditions such as Cellulite, fibromyalgia, sciatica, Frozen Shoulder, and many more.
There will be no workout routine in full-body sessions. If you haven’t worked out, you can still do a full-body session.
For a full-body session, you should spend no more than 15 minutes. Only, use a massager gun for 15 seconds to 2 minutes per muscle group.
It can benefit you in reducing DOMS, stress, improving sleep, boosting your immune system, increasing focus, increasing blood and lymph circulation, and enhancing athletic performance.
Can I Use a Massage Gun every day?
Yes, absolutely! No matter what stage of recovery you are in, you can use your massage gun every day.
You should keep in mind that percussion offers a deeper massage than vibration, so use a light hand at first and only work on one muscle for a maximum of two minutes.
Several higher-end models come with technology that shows you how hard you are exercising. Once you’ve got the hang of applying pressure to super deep spots, this will be essential.
When should you Avoid massage gun?
Sometimes massage guns should be avoided because they can do more harm than good.
Some of such situations are –
- Inflammation Injuries
- Broken Bone
- Pregnancy and chronic medical conditions
Although massage guns are a great self-massage tool for treating muscle pain and a variety of issues, massage gun overuse is a thing and can have harmful effects on your body.
Combining the fact that anyone can buy and use a massage gun on him/herself without any supervision, the chances of misuse only gets higher.
Luckily though massage guns are fairly simple to use and if you understand when and how often you should use a massage gun they are very safe.
As a rule of thumb follow the instructions given by the massage gun manufacturer.
Listen to your body, never use your massage gun for more than 2 minutes on a muscle group or for more than 20 minutes on your entire body.
If you are pregnant or have chronic medical conditions, always consult a doctor first.
Lastly, refrain from using a massage gun if you have injuries like sprains, strains, or broken bones.
Katleen is a certified Physical Therapist who has experience dealing with different cases such as – cellulite, musculoskeletal, neurological, Geriatric and Pedia. When she is not busy with her patients she likes to travel and loves exploring places she has never been to before.