Massage guns are often associated with better muscle recovery, increased flexibility, and pain relief. But should the massage gun be used before or after a workout to achieve these benefits? This is a question I have asked myself as well. In the following article, I would like to answer it for you.
Whether a massage gun should be used before or after training depends on the goal of the application. If the muscles are to be activated for sports or made mobile, then the massage must be done accordingly before the workout. On the other hand, to promote regeneration and loosening of the muscles, the massage makes sense after the workout.
Personally, I first use my massage gun on a low setting before exercising to activate my muscles. After the sport, as well as the following day, I use the gun on a medium level to promote regeneration and reduce muscle soreness.
But also is possible application regardless of training. This is the case, for example, when cellulite is to be reduced with the massage gun. Here it is more or less irrelevant whether the massage is used before or after sports.
You have now briefly learned that it depends on the individual case when a massage gun should be used. I would now like to present these individual cases to you and explain why the gun should be used in the respective case rather before or after the sport.
Before the Workout: Activation of the Muscles
Warming up the muscles naturally takes place before doing sports. Here, the muscles are usually stimulated by a light workout, and a short endurance workout revs up the circulation. Massage guns can be used additionally for support. By massaging the muscles at a low level, blood circulation is stimulated, and the muscle is warmed up.
Before the Workout: Increase Mobility
Warming up during sports not only makes the muscles ready for use but also loosens them. This is to increase the range of motion. This effect can also be achieved by using a massage gun. If the massage gun is used before training, it loosens the fasciae and thus increases the mobility of the muscles during sports.
A study could even prove that a massage gun can have the same effect on the flexibility of a muscle as static stretching.1
After the Workout: Loosening the Muscles and Fasciae
A long, intensive workout often leads to tense muscles and can cause the fascia to stick together. A massage after training is useful to counteract this and ensure mobility after exercise. This is where the great impact depth of many massage guns comes into play. These allow a massage into the deep tissue and can thus also loosen deeper adhesions.
Find out whether a massage gun or a fascia roller is better for treating stuck fascia here: Massage Gun vs Foam Roll – Which one is better?
After Training: Enhance Recovery and reduce Muscle Soreness
If the massage gun is used after training, it can increase the regeneration of the stressed muscles. This is due to the loosening of the muscles and the stimulation of blood circulation by the massage.
In addition, a study of 45 healthy, non-athletic women has shown that the use of a massage gun after exercise has been shown to reduce perceived muscle soreness. Likewise, the study showed that maximum strength is restored more quickly following exercise as a result of massage.2
Read more about it here: Do Massage Guns work for sore Muscles?
Usage independent of Workouts
In addition to the mentioned applications, a massage gun can, of course, be used independently of training. Thus, among other things, for the following uses, it is more or less irrelevant whether the massager is used before or after sports:
- Help against Cellulite
- Loosening Tensions
- Treatment of Tennis Elbow
I would now like to go into these in more detail.
Help against Cellulite
Cellulite occurs due to too weak connective tissue. This is especially the case in women, especially in the area of the thighs and buttocks. To counteract the connective tissue must be strengthened. There are various methods for this. One way is to massage the tissue with a massage gun. A study with 60 women has shown that basically, all massage techniques reduce the regional fat levels in cellulite.3
Whether the connective tissue is worked with the massager before or after the workout is irrelevant here. Anyway, the massage of the connective tissue is recommended two to four times a week to prevent cellulite. This massage can also be done on non-training days.
Read more about it here: Can a Massage Gun help with Cellulite?
Massage guns are not only suitable for athletes. People who often sit at the PC or perform one-sided movements are also well advised to use a massage gun. With it, it is uncomplicated and possible to loosen tense muscles and thus also relieve pain. At the same time, the massage gun has the great advantage that you can effortlessly perform a self-massage with it. Dock also the gun is a great tool, for example, to massage each other’s back and neck in the evening with your partner in front of the TV.
Tennis Elbow Treatment
Tennis elbow often manifests itself as pressure pain at the elbow, reduced grip strength, and (stabbing) pain that radiates to the hand and into the upper arm. Tennis elbow is usually caused by a strong one-sided load on the arm. In addition, the tennis elbow is often characterized in advance by tension in the shoulder and neck area.
Especially when tennis elbow is acute, one should take it easy and rather not do any sports. Accordingly, the question is not whether to use the massager before or after training.
Instead, the forearm muscles should be strengthened through special training as well as stretching. The use of a massage gun can also help. This helps to loosen the neck muscles and shoulders. Healing can also be improved by regularly massaging the elbow, triceps as well as forearm with the gun.
Learn more here: Can I treat Tennis Elbow with a Massage Gun?
Conclusion – Should you use a Massage Gun before or after a Workout?
As is so often the case, the question of whether a massage gun should be used before or after a workout cannot be answered unequivocally. Instead, it depends on what goals one pursues using the massager. For some, the use before training makes sense. For others, the massage should be used after exercise. When you should use the massager in each case, I have told you in detail in the article. I hope that I could help you with it!