Your sore muscles will thank you for it, your bank account may not.
Not much beats the rush of endorphins you feel after a sweat-induced Gymondo workout. But deep tissue massages may come close, especially to reduce inflammation in your oh-so-sore muscles post-workout.
The trouble is, a massage comes with a long list of must-haves. You must have a partner, BFF or family member willing to knead your sore muscles back to health. Or, you need to drop some serious dough on a professional massage therapist. And let’s face it—in the middle of the big ‘C,’ finding one who’s open is highly unlikely!
Luckily, there’s an alternative that you can do right from home—a massage gun. But is it worth the money?
What Are Massage Guns?
While it may look like a power drill (and sound like one too), the massage gun is today’s most buzzworthy post-workout recovery tool. Just head to Instagram and you’ll find professional athletes, fitness influencers and celebrity trainers publicly touting them.
If you’ve yet to jump on the bandwagon, this next sentence is cause for pause. They cost up to $500, which begs the question: are they really worth it?
There’s no doubt about it—massage guns are gaining in popularity for their ability to decrease muscle soreness and improve your range of motion.
Also known as percussive (vibration) therapy, massage guns basically beat your muscles up over and over again to increase your overall circulation and break up those pesky knots that seem to linger after intense workouts. This gets nutrient-rich blood to your muscles quicker, which leads to a speedier recovery.
What’s the Difference Between Massage Guns and a Professional Massage?
Quite frankly, not much. The vibration of a massage gun provides rapid bursts of pressure into the body’s muscle tissue, similar to getting a professional massage. Overall, massage guns provide the same benefits but from the comfort of your own home without needing to pay routinely for luxury spa services.
Why Not Just Use a Foam Roller?
Good question. Unlike foam rollers, massage guns can hyper-target specific problem areas. Plus, many people find foam rollers uncomfortable and too manual compared to massage guns, which offer a more streamlined solution.
Don’t look to foam rollers for an intense massage or to reduce inflammation in the small areas of your body (like the traps), which is virtually impossible to reach with a foam roller.
But if you’re on a tight budget and are looking for general relief from muscle soreness and tension, foam rollers are a good solution.
Are Massage Guns Really Worth the Investment?
One recent study suggested percussive guns (massage guns) and professional massages were equally effective in preventing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)—muscle pain that begins a day or two after you’ve worked out.
While very few studies have been conducted on the benefits of massage guns (since it’s a relatively new product), physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors around the world claim that it’s changed the way they practice. Many have even gone so far as to say it’s a game-changer in rehabilitation and athletic performance.
Are There Any Affordable Massage Guns Out There?
Theraguns, the most popular brand of massage guns, tend to be the most expensive, running anywhere from $249 for a basic device to $599 for the G3 Pro, which delivers strokes 40 times a second and provides users with a 60% deeper massage than standard devices.
TimTam, another premium brand, ranges from $200 to $400. If $200 is still over your budget, there are still a lot of affordable massage gun options out there. Check out sites like Amazon for an array of massage guns as low as $100.
Is a Massage Gun Right for You?
If you’re still debating whether a massage gun is right for you, the first question you may want to ask yourself is how often do you work out? If your answer is 4-5 days a week, then investing in a massage gun may be well worth your while.
The second question you want to ask yourself is how much money you’re willing to invest? If it’s under $50, then a massage gun may not be your best choice. You may want to consider a foam roller instead. On the other hand, if you don’t mind dropping upwards of $200 and want pro-level post-workout recovery, a massage gun may be worth it.
A massage gun will ultimately pay for itself, especially if you get regular massages and want to cut down on expenses.
It’s important to note that the information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a physician if you suffer from chronic pain or other medical conditions before partaking in the aforementioned recovery modalities.
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