In the last few years, percussion guns (also called “massage guns”) have gained immense traction in the fitness world, with many fitness goers tossing them into their gym bags, carry-on luggage, and living room baskets. Small, portable, and relatively affordable, percussion guns offer on-demand massage therapy. People turn to them as tools for quick relief from muscle tension and soreness after tough workouts.
So, how do percussion guns really work? What kind of recovery benefits can you expect from this handheld massaging tool? Here are a few key highlights about percussion guns and how they can be a useful addition to your recovery.
How percussion guns work
Percussion therapy works by way of rhythmic vibration that massages soft tissue to encourage an increase in blood circulation. Muscle soreness can be decreased as new blood circulates around a targeted area. Percussion guns use this type of therapy in an accessible and easy-to-use format.
When toggled on and placed on a target area (like your calf or shoulder), the chosen attachments of the percussion gun “percuss” your muscles at a high frequency. Can this recovery tool really work for muscle relief? A 2014 study1 found that vibration therapy was effective in preventing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
What about mobility when you’re feeling stiff? Another study examined the effect of a 5-minute handheld percussive massage treatment2 on the calf muscles and found that participants had an increase in dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM).
When used on the bulk of your muscles (meaning don’t use these on bony areas like your spine or ankles!), percussion guns can really come in handy after a tough workout. It’s important to not forcefully press into your muscles, but rather use gentle pressure. It’s also critical to note that if you have nerve sensitivity, are pregnant, or have deep vein thrombosis, you should first consult your doctor before using a percussion gun. Avoid use on any bruises, sprains, or other injuries, too.
10 iFIT percussion gun workouts
If you’re new to using a percussion gun, our trainers are here to show you the ropes! Targeting different areas of your body, these workouts act as how-to guides on how to properly use one. If you’ve recently purchased a percussion gun or you’re thinking about adding one to your recovery regimen, iFIT Trainers Zac Marion and Shelley Dawson will walk you through different ways to use this tool for muscle relief, mobility, and general recovery!
1. Imtiyaz, S., Veqar, Z., & Shareef, M. Y. (2014). To compare the effect of vibration therapy and massage in prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2014/7294.3971.
2. Konrad, A., Glashüttner, C., Reiner, M. M., Bernsteiner, D., & Tilp, M. (2020). The acute effects of a percussive massage treatment with a hypervolt device on plantar flexor muscles’ range of motion and performance. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7675623/.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.