All athletes benefit from a massage now and then. A decent massage will reduce muscle tension, stiffness, and soreness after exercise, aid in injury prevention, and promote faster healing times in damaged tissues. But these benefits only really start to show when an athlete receives massages regularly. Unfortunately, professional massages can be expensive and inconvenient. Utilized properly, these massage guns will give you all the benefits of a massage at a fraction of the price.
How A Massage Gun Will Make You A Better Athlete
Reduced Muscle Pain and Soreness
Massages can work miracles on a competitive athlete. Regular massage eliminates built up lactic acid and other toxins, curbing pain and reducing muscle stiffness so that an athlete can compete unhindered. Reduced pain also leads to more relaxed resting periods and better sleep cycles, both extremely important factors for an athlete.
Improved Blood Circulation
This may be the most beneficial factor for athletes. Regular massage promotes increased blood circulation. Blood is able to flow through the body more freely, maximizing the amount of oxygen received by muscles and allowing tissues to absorb greater amounts of nutrients. This results in maximum performance being put out in practices and competitions, and maximum gains being made from those efforts.
Improved Flexibility & Range of Motion
Massage breaks down muscle fibers, which, along with regular stretching, leads to increased flexibility. It also prevents and helps to eliminate muscle fiber adhesion, more commonly known as knots. Knots restrict full range of motion, and can be painful to deal with. By maximizing your flexibility and range of motion, you seriously reduce your risk of injury.
Faster Warm Up
Massaging your muscles before competition loosens and stretches the muscle fibers, and promotes increased blood flow to specific areas that you will need most during competition. Using a massage gun as you warm up is a smart way to minimize risk of injury and maximize performance.
What To Consider In Choosing A Massage Gun
It’s amazing how long it took somebody to come up with the concept of a massage gun. The science has been around for decades, but our understanding of muscle fibers and other bodily attributes has developed so much since then, that perhaps it’s best that massage guns are only just now gaining popularity.
- Percussions Per Minute – This is a really important factor. Many guns do not have an adjustable ppm, and if the ppm is too high, you may end up doing more harm than good. Different muscles are different sizes with different densities, so being able to adjust the percussions per minute can go a long way.
- Price – Probably the most likely reason you’re here. You saw that the most popular massage guns sometimes run in the $500-$600 range and you want to know if there’s any big reason you should spend the extra cash, or if it’s okay to go with a cheaper model. Like most products, you’ll find more expensive doesn’t always mean better. That being said, not all massage guns are the same, and there is a positive correlation between quality and price, so don’t just buy the cheapest one you can find.
- Ergonomic Design – Ideally, you will have somebody that can help you reach the tough spots like your upper arms, back, and shoulders, but that isn’t always the case. Some massage guns are designed with rotating arms and comfortable grips to help you reach those tougher spots more easily.
- Volume – One of the most common complaints in the reviews of a lot of these massage guns is that they are just too loud. If you are taking this to a competition to use during your warm up, you may want to consider volume.
My Top 5 Massage Guns
I have read many reviews, owned, or had a friend who has owned these massage guns. All of the devices on the list will work wonders for you, but they are ranked from my personal least favorites to favorite.
- 90 degree articulating head
- comes with a carrying case and a round massager tip
- 2000 strokes per minute
- no adjustable speeds
- 2 extra tips available for $20 each
- Some negative reviews complain the battery doesn’t hold a charge
- 6 adjustable speeds up to 2600 rpm
- 4 adjustable tips
- 90 degree rotating arm
- variable speeds up to 3700 RPM
- Face massager on back micro-vabration 10,000 RPM
- long handle makes spots easy to reach
- 7 interchangeable heads
- doesn’t get very deep
- Long handle makes it difficult to apply pressure
- A small percent of negative reviews claim the gun arrived defective, or broke soon thereafter
- 2400 ppm
- comes with a carrying case
- comes with 4 adjustable tips
- arm rotates to 4 positions
- no adjustable speeds
- 2 more tips available for $20 each
- no variable speed
- 4 interchangeable heads
- 3 speeds up to 3200 ppm
- arm does not rotate
Improve Your Athletic Performance
If you’re on a tight budget, I say go for the Purewave CM-07. It boasts all of the qualities you want in a massage gun at a fraction of the price, the only drawback is that it can’t get very deep.
If you are willing to spend just a little more, the Hypervolt by Hyperice is definitely my top pick. The interchangeable heads and adjustable speeds make it easy to get a high quality massage on any and all of your muscles. It is cheaper and much more quiet than the Tim Tam, Pleno, and Theragun.