What to Know about Percussion Massagers

Girl using a percussion massager on her muscles

Looking for a way to relieve sore muscles from training or sitting at the office all day? One way to find relief is by using a percussion massager. These post-workout recovery devices are still all the buzz within the fitness industry, and now they are becoming more popular for those looking to help loosen knots and tight muscles due to stress or a sedentary lifestyle. Prior to investing in a percussion massager, learn more about why they are helpful and how to properly use one.

What is a Percussion Massager?

A percussion massager is a handheld device that produces pulses at different speeds in order to flush out tension and knots within your deep muscle tissue. With a high-quality percussion massager, the pulses and vibrations mimic those of a massage therapist in order to improve blood flow, increase range of motion, and reduce recovery time. There are many different names for a percussion massager, but some common terms include sports massager and deep tissue massager. No matter which term you use, the benefits of a percussion massager make it a useful tool for anyone—from the athlete to the office worker. 

Person using a percussion massager

How to Use a Percussion Massager

Although deep tissue massagers are simple to operate, it’s important to know how to use a deep tissue massager for the most effective results. You want to be cautious to limit a full-body deep tissue massage session to 15 minutes. It’s recommended to use the sports massager on each muscle group for at least 15 seconds but no more than two minutes. You can use your sports massager up to three times each day. 

Most percussion massagers come with a few different interchangeable attachment heads with the four main shapes being round, flat, fork, and bullet. When using a percussion massager for the first time, it’s best to start with the round attachment head as this shape offers the softest, most relaxing feel. With the different shaped attachment heads, you’re able to customize your deep tissue massage experience. Looking for the best percussion massager? Check out our blog discussing the differences between the Hypervolt and Theragun massage devices. 

Percussion Massager Routine

If you love intense workouts but want a quicker recovery, a percussion massager could be a great tool to add to your workout routine. SCHEELS Fitness Expert Josh Nogowski shares his massage routine for before, during, and after workouts.

Josh SCHEELS expert

Pre-Workout: “I like to prepare for squatting movements by using the percussion massager before my workout to stimulate the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Since your muscles aren’t warmed-up yet, you need to make sure your massager is on one of the lowest power settings. I simply move the massager around each muscle group for around 30 seconds to help loosen up my knees and ankles. Also, I like to spend some time on my shoulders and chest for more mobility during overhead lifts and movements.” 

During Workout: “While lifting, I limit using the percussion massager. If I’m completing heavier lifts or increasing my weight, I find it helpful to use a massager before those specific lifts in order to keep the blood flowing and promote mobility and range of motion.”

Post Workout:  “I believe a percussion massager is an absolute necessity after finishing a workout. Since my muscles are warmed-up, I use a higher speed setting for a deeper massage. Again, I just move the percussion massager over any tight or sore muscles that I focused on throughout my workout. One key area I like to work are the forearms because they get pretty sore from lifting. Even though your post-workout massage feels great, most people will want to make sure to limit their massage to 15 minutes for optimal results.” 

Whether you are running a few miles or doing olympic lifts, percussion massagers can be a key tool for muscle stimulation and recovery. If you have any additional questions about the benefits of percussion massagers or how to use one, contact an expert at your local SCHEELS location.