Updated: Jul 3, 2022
You've probably seen these on TV, in adverts or in the gym.. but what the heck are they?
Percussive massage tools are on the market in force! After the initial success of Theragun (now Therabody), there’s been a whole slew of brands popping up with their own versions of these massage guns.
Firstly what is a percussive massage gun?
Well, it doesn’t look too dissimilar to a power tool in shape (and if you’ve tried the original it sounded the same too) however it has evolved into an ergonomic and hardwearing piece of equipment designed for a lot of use. The main part of the device is the oscillating arm, punching forwards and backwards at a very high speed. On the end of the arm is a hard foam head which is the point of contact on your muscles.
Why have they become so popular?
These devices can be used in lots of different ways, from warming up and priming muscles to helping with recovery after workouts. So a lot of people have added these into their workout or training routines to boost recovery and performance. Along with celebrity endorsements, these devices went from massage therapists to everyday gym-goers pretty quickly.
What do they actually do?
Percussive massage is promoted to the public with a whole host of benefits:
Increase blood flow
Improve recovery time
Improve lymphatic drainage
Break up fat cells
Break up scar tissue
The golden question.. Do they work?
At this moment in time, there are a lot of claims made by various companies which have not provided adequate peer-reviewed studies to back up those claims.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s all a load of rubbish and just another marketing ploy. Whilst some of the claims do seem to be fairly outlandish and perhaps quite general, there have been some preliminary studies that point to the fact that some of these claims will hold up.
It's also important to remember these devices haven’t been around for that long.. Innovation happens very quickly whereas research takes a very long time, so it may be some time before these claims are either confirmed or refuted. In the meantime, I’ll be continuing to use my Theragun before and after workouts!
For full usage instructions head to the Therabody resources pages to learn more about how to use this type of device!
P.s. if you're in Brighton & Hove, don't forget you can enter our giveaway for 10 weeks of Personal Training- just click here!