Massage Guns aka Percussive Massage Guns are increasingly popular devices used by professional and amateur athletes around the world. Primarily used for post run recovery their benefits are wide ranging.
They are a great addition to your recovery process and will complement your foam roller.
If you are considering buying a massage gun, this guide shows you some of the best massage guns for runners and one of them will meets all your needs.
These things are not cheap. So you need to make sure get the device that suits you, your training and your lifestyle.
Massage gun accessories come in three forms:
- Attachments: The head of the gun is interchangeable. This gives you scope to put the best head on that suits your requirements at different times. Make sure the massage gun you buy has a wide range from the small and pointy to the flat and even soft. He pointy heads are great for those knots that need special attention. While the flatter softer heads are good for general muscle relaxation.
- Travel Case: If you have a fly away marathon in the books or you travel a lot with work you’ll need a case. No case will guarantee the loss of at least one of the heads, or the charger.
- The Charger: Most are charged up by a power brick that plugs into the wall. Battery life is pretty good and you should be able to get a weeks worth of massage from a single charge.
Some massage gun manufactures publish an amplitude figure. This is the depth to which the massage gun is effective. In other words how deep into your muscles is the gun effective. Figures published range between 12mm to 16mm.
I’ve been unable to find an independent study into how these figures are reached. Does this mean that a massage gun that doesn’t publish an amplitude isn’t as effective as one that does. No. Start pounding away on your sore muscles with any of these devices and the last thing you’ll be thinking about is amplitude.
My massage gun does not have an App but I wish it did! They sound awesome. I think it would be a great help in tracking metrics and encourage me to use my massage gun better and more often.
The Theragun app will learn how you work out and suggest guided routines tailored for you, Awesome!
Stall force or Stall torque relates to the amount of pressure you can apply to the massage gun before the motor stops.
I’ve never applied so much pressure to when using my massage gun to cause it to stop. Some of the high end more powerful devices have stall force ratings that you will never reach.
Consider how your muscles feel right after a long run. I’ve found my massage gun is very good at teasing my muscles back into life. Id never dive right in with maximum pressure.
All of these massage guns contain a relatively powerful motor that makes noise. They are louder than a foam roller but quieter than a jet engine. I can use mine for ten or fifteen minutes in front of the TV before my wife starts to complain.
As a rule the more powerful the massage gun the noisier it will be. But check the specs on that before you make a decision.
If you travel a lot and want to keep your baggage light there will be a massage gun for you. There are an increasing number of smaller lighter massage guns on the market.
If you are a stay at home athlete a chunkier massage gun might be more your style.
A large part of the massage gun is battery. The larger the battery the less you’ll need to charge it and that sounds good to me.
Speed, Strength, Power
The motor in a massage gun is a stepper motor. A powerful and controllable type of motor that can be found in everything from your computers hard drive to a fancy vacuum cleaner.
There is a direct correlation between the power of the motor and the stall force. The more powerful the motor the more force you will be able to apply to your muscles.
The battery life has a VA rating giving you an idea of how long the battery will last. The higher the VA the longer it will last.
How you use it will have an impact on the battery life. If you use it five minutes a day with light pressure. It will last much longer than if you apply a lot of pressure for a longer time.
You’ll very quickly get an idea of how long your battery will last. It should only be an issue if you are flying off somewhere with it.
A couple of other points to consider before you jump in and buy.
Lock Down Massage
As I write in 2021 we are in a Covid-19 lock down. The chances of a sports massage delivered by a professional massage therapist are zero. While a massage gun might not be quite as effective as a good massage from a human. It’s a pretty good second best.
Used on a regular basis combined with other recovery techniques you can achieve good results.
Build Quality and Reliability
My massage gun is one of the cheaper ones. The first charger failed and I had to track down a replacement from the Internet. Other than that its been fine. The actual gun is as good now as it was when I purchased it 18 months ago.
At the upper end of the market the build quality is beautiful. They are sold and feel good in the hand.
All massage guns are built on well established technologies so its not surprising that they have good reliability.
Final Thoughts: Best Massage Guns For Runners
Massage Guns are a great addition to any runners recovery process. They complement a foam roller nicely allowing you to get right into those hard to reach places. Or if the prospect of getting down on the floor for a roll after a hard run is too much, they can be used instead of a roller.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a massage gun help me recover from long runs?
A massage gun can help to alleviate some of the muscle soreness you will feel after a long run. It will also help reduce the effects of the DOMS.
How should I use a massage gun?
Firstly, you need to be relaxed as it can be hard for the device to work on tender areas. Start with slow speed, progress gradually as needed and always keep the light pressure at the start. Continue to move it around after 10-seconds on a particular muscle and avoid using it over the injuries or wounds.
What is the strongest message gun?
TimTam Power Massager Pro is one of the strongest massage guns in the market that can be used for aggressive deep tissue massages.
Which massage gun do athletes use?
Legiral Massage Gun is the best option to buy if you’re an athlete and want to get an efficient massage machine.
When to Use a Massage Gun Device?
• If you’re having some muscles issues, then using the massage gun can help you activate weak muscles, for a comfortable workout or run.
• Using massage guns can be helpful during long-distance races, as it can reduce soreness and help you get ready within a few seconds.
• You can improve your sleep pattern by using it before bedtime. This way, your muscles can get enough time for rest and recovery.
How long I should use the massage gun?
1 – If your body is fully cooled down, then you can use it consistently on different muscles of your body for 2-minutes.
2 – Use the massage gun for 30-seconds prior to the workout or running with the intent of muscle activation.
3 – During the workouts, if you start feeling muscle fatigue, then you can massage that particular muscle for 15-seconds for muscle reactivation.
What is the best-budget massage gun?
Exerscribe VYBE Percussion Massage Gun is a popular budget option in the market, that can help you enjoy many of premium features.
How long does a massage gun battery last?
You wouldn’t have to face the hassle of charging the massage gun again and again, as its battery can last for weeks with just a single charge.
Can I use the massage gun for aggressive deep tissue massages?
Yes, you can use the massage gun for aggressive deep tissue massages but for that, you need a massage gun for high-intensity.
Can I use a massage gun before I go for a run?
Yes, you can use the massage gun for 30-seconds before running or working, to activate the muscles such as quads and glutes.
Which massage guns have an App?
There are many massage guns in the market, that can be connected to an app via Bluetooth. These apps have many features such as a guided tempo optimal, structured sessions as well as post-session plans.