If you’re looking for an effective way to recover after your workouts, consider investing in a Theragun, a massage gun used to relieve pain and reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Whether you’re an athlete or a frequent gym-goer, muscle pain and soreness can be a constant struggle. Get back to feeling good with our tips on how to use a Theragun for workout recovery!
What is a Theragun?
A Theragun is a handheld massage device that uses percussive therapy to treat muscle soreness, relieve pain and accelerate recovery after back-to-back workouts. When you workout, lactic acid builds up in your muscles and causes your muscles to micro-tear (which makes you stronger). In order to heal, they tighten and shorten together to form cross-bridges, which is what causes post-workout soreness.
Percussive therapy, also known as percussion therapy is a form of soft tissue manipulation intended to help loosen these cross-bridges, reducing muscle soreness and increasing your range of motion. It’s a deep muscle treatment that delivers rapid and long vertical strokes into the muscle.
There are four different Theragun device models depending on your needs:
1. Theragun Prime
The Prime is Theragun’s basic model providing up to 30 pounds of force. It’s ideal for the everyday workout, but if you have nagging problems that need more intensive work, you’ll probably want to go for the Elite or the Pro. The Prime easily moves around to hit all parts of your body without straining your arm, hand or wrist and is effective for the frequent gym go-er.
2. Theragun Elite
This is Theragun’s quietest model and provides up to 40 pounds of force. It’s surprisingly quiet for the amount of power it has and it allows you to get deep into your sore muscles. It has a convenient-to-use triangular shape and comes with an OLED screen, which helps you gauge how hard you’re pushing.
3. Theragun Pro
The Pro offers the most power at 60 pounds of force and the quietest usage in a professional-grade device. This means you can apply massive amounts of pressure to get deep into your tissues. It comes with an adjustable arm with four positions that allow you to hit all parts of your body while maintaining a comfortable grip. The Pro would be perfect for a professional physical therapist or high performing athlete.
4. Theragun Mini
The Mini is the smallest Theragun device and offers up to 20 pounds of force. It’s ideal for treatment on-the-go as it’s portable and powerful yet ultra quiet, so you can use it anytime, anywhere.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Theragun?
- Reduces pain
- Boosts blood flow
- Breaks up scar tissue
- Reduces general tension and stress
- Releases muscle spasms
- Decreases lactic acid
- Increases collagen intake
- Improves range of motion by creating more flexible joints
- Leads to more effective and efficient recovery
- They’re costly
- More research still needs to be done on whether they’re effective for everyone for reducing muscle soreness
- Muscle fatigue if you use it for too long or improperly
- Be cautious of using it on muscle strains, sprains, inflammation-related injuries, broken bones
Theragun Attachments Explained
- Dampener: Ideal for overall use and mostly used for tender or bony areas.
- Large ball: Used mostly for large muscle groups such as the glutes, hamstrings and quads.
- Standard ball: Perfect for overall use on large and small muscle groups.
- Cone: Mostly used for pinpoint muscle treatment and commonly used on smaller muscle groups like the hands and feet.
- Thumb: Used for trigger points and the lower back.
- Wedge: Ideal for shoulder blades and IT bands and commonly used for “scraping” and “flushing” which help decrease the amount of lactic acid in the muscles.
- SuperSoft: Theragun’s version of vibration therapy and mostly used for sensitive areas like bones.
How to Use a Theragun: 4 Tips for Beginners
1. Turn on the Theragun before putting it on your body.
This is important for better control. Plus, resting it on your body and then turning it on can be quite jarring.
2. Float it.
You don’t have to apply much pressure with the Theragun to get results. The device does half an inch of penetration so you don’t have to use much force. Simply float it over sore muscles or areas for relief. If you’re looking for more intensity, try switching out attachments to target areas that need more focus.
3. Don’t overdo it.
Be sure not to use your Theragun for too long a time period. A good rule of thumb is to move the device slowly over sore muscles for up to two minutes on each area or apply pressure for 30 seconds on a really sore and tight spot, stretching the muscle for another 30 seconds and then repeat. Going anywhere beyond 10 to 15 minutes will likely result in muscle fatigue.
4. Use it pre-workout too.
Using a Theragun before you workout can help activate your muscles and increase your range of motion, which helps with performance and recovery and reduces your risk of injury. Use the device on the muscles you want to work for 30 seconds to help activate the muscle. You can also use it during your workout, for instance when you’re taking a break between sets of squats to keep the muscles active.
6 Theragun Instructional Videos
How to Treat Lower Back Pain With Your Theragun | Therabody
How to Treat Upper Back With Your Theragun | Therabody
How to Use a Theragun to Release Neck and Shoulder Tension | goop
How to Relieve Sore Legs and Feet Using Theragun | goop
How to Treat Hip Flexors With Your Theragun | Therabody
How to Treat Shoulders With Your Theragun | Therabody
If you’ve been experiencing muscle pain and tenderness after working out, a Theragun may be just what you need to get back to feeling good!