how to use a massage gun

How To Effectively Use A Massage Gun

Simple Steps To Get The Most From Your Massage Gun

So you recently bought a massage gun because you heard it can help with muscle aches and pains. It's just a massager so there's not much to know to get started right?


While there aren't a whole lot of ways to misuse a massage gun, there are some fundamentals you should know to fully reap the benefits and a couple of key steps to avoid too.

how to use a massage gun
Total Time Needed: 2 minutes

Required Tools:

- A massage gun
- Yoga mat to sit on (optional)

Things Needed?

- Timer to keep track of time
- A partner for those hard to reach areas (optional)

Massage Gun Basics: Basic steps on how to use a massage gun

Step 1 : Turn The Massage Gun On
Before placing the head of the massage gun on your body, turn the massage gun on first. Not doing so can be a bit jarring and result in bruising if you're not careful.
how to use a massage gun step 1
Step 2 : Assess Your Tolerance
If it is your first time using a massage gun, start off using the lowest speed until you can properly access your tolerance. As you become more acquainted with it, slowly increase the speed to match your comfort level.
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Step 3 : Don't Press Too Hard
While you're using the massage gun, you want to gently float the massage gun across your muscles. Avoid applying excessive downward pressure on the body as it is not necessary. Be patient and let the massage gun do all the work.
how to use a massage gun steps
Step 4 : Try To Relax
If you’re tensing your muscles too much, you’re not reaping the full benefits. Control your breathing and slowly move the massage gun across the belly of the muscle.
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How Long Should You Use A Massage Gun?

For most individuals, using a massage gun is a very therapeutic experience. While it may feel slightly uncomfortable to use in some spots, it largely should provide some degree of relief.

Is it possible to overdo it? Absolutely.

Some people like to think the “more is better” mantra is the correct way to go. No pun intended, but you might be sorely mistaken later.

The head of the massage gun is delivering micro traumas to the body with every percussion. Short term, yes, it improves blood flow, increases circulation, and knocks out tightness. Extended use does the opposite.

Follow these guidelines for the most benefit:

  • Muscle Activation- 30 Seconds: Before a workout or activity, target your muscles with the massage gun for up to 30 seconds to activate the muscles and nerve fibers.
  • Muscle Re-Activation- 15 Seconds: Mid-workout and feeling a little tired? Muscles starting to fatigue or spasm? Give them a little boost with another 15 second session.
  • Recovery and Pain Relief- 2 Minutes: Post workout or when DOMS set in, you can safely use your massage gun for up to 2 minutes on each muscle group. This process can be repeated throughout the day with at least 1-2 hours rest in between.

How To Use Massage Gun Attachments

Every percussion massager comes with a variety of different interchangeable attachment heads. The 4 you see below are pretty standard. If you’re a little confused as to where to use them, let us clear it up.

massage gun head attachment uses
  1. The Large Ball- The most commonly used attachment. Depending on the manufacturer, it’s made of either a dense rubber or hardened foam. Designed to treat both large and medium group muscles, this is the tip to use if you want to use a massage gun on your legs or calves. Overall, the most versatile massage gun tip of the bunch.
  2. The Flat Head- A great multipurpose attachment. From the pecs to the glutes, the flat head is able to provide a more dense massage over the large ball. Because it doesn’t have any sharp edges, it won’t hurt quite as much if you happen to run over bones while massaging.
  3. The Bullet-  Best used on trigger points or knots. This attachment is great to really focus in on one particular spot on the body. For instance areas of the shoulders or different ligament attachment points.
  4. The Fork Head- The dual-pronged head allows you to target areas such as the spine, without hitting the bone. This massage gun tip is a great starting point to help alleviate sciatica symptoms associated with tight paraspinal muscles. It can also be used for other places like the calf muscles or along the achilles too.

Using A Massage Gun Pre and Post Workout

As outlined above, using a massage gun before working out can help warm up and activate sleepy muscles. 30 seconds of direct massage is all it takes to reawaken the mind/muscle connection and get your body primed to perform at its best.

After an intense workout, your fatigued muscles are probably spent. Utilizing a massage gun immediately after a workout, can aid your recovery. Not just that, using a massage gun is leaps and bounds easier to utilize than a foam roller.

Remember, your muscles are already stretched, strained, and inflamed. Stick to the 2 minute rule for each muscle group. Overdoing it will only exacerbate the discomfort or result in more injury. You merely wish to use it enough to flush the lactic acid from the muscles.

In addition to the massage gun, drink lots of water. When you exercise, toxins and lactic acid are circulating in the blood. To flush your body of those contaminants, water is the primary transporter. 

So there you have it. If used properly, a massage gun is an excellent tool to help speed up your recovery. Used in conjunction with plenty of fluids and rest and you’ll be back to working out at your peak. 

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