Best massage guns 2024 for percussive therapy at home

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Whether you’re tight because you’ve been caning the gym since it reopened, or are simply still suffering from ongoing WFH aches and pains – a massage gun is a game-changing investment that will serve a purpose way beyond post-pandemic life.

Massage vibration devices deliver percussive therapy by way of short pulses of pressure to the soft tissue. While they initially launched as a saviour to your DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) after a hefty HIIT sesh, many now use one daily as part of their self-care regime.

What are the benefits of percussive therapy? 

“The overarching use is often focused on recovery, but applications can also be seen in preparing the body for movement, sport or exercise, and for daily self-care,” says Steve Powell, director of education at Power Plate UK. “Benefits include pain relief, both chronic and acute (inflammation, DOMS, swelling), reduced stiffness and muscle soreness, increased blood flow, circulation and tissue hydration, and, potentially, lymphatic flow. It can also enhance range of motion, or flexibility and mobility, and activate the nervous system at a local (point of contact) level.”

How often should you use a massage gun?

You can use a massage gun daily, so long as you opt for light and superficial pressure, Powell says. “For example, spend 15-45 seconds per area, say before or after going for a run or doing a workout to release tight muscles and stiffness after extended sitting.

“If you’re using the gun for a deeper tissue massage, then you may need to wait for the tissue to recover (at least 72 hours), as you would a sports massage. Deep tissue or sports massages are typically recommended every three to four weeks. And don’t apply so much pressure that it causes soreness or bruising. Staying superficial and ‘light’ for general everyday use is best.”

Where best to use a massage gun?

“Areas that are typically tight like the calves, hamstrings and front of the hips if sitting a lot or from activities like running. The lower back, working either side of the spine can also bring much-welcomed relief again being cognizant of the amount of pressure applied. Relieving tension in the shoulders and upper back region can be extremely beneficial as well as the feet, front of the shoulders and chest.”

“Avoid using these kinds of massage guns on the face as the amplitude is too large, as well as the spine directly and any bony areas. Also any painful varicose veins or areas of swelling/bruising. While there may be use around the ribs with specific techniques we generally recommend avoiding the abdomen.”

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