athletic massage

Do Massage Guns Affect Muscle Growth?

Do Massage Guns Affect Muscle Growth?

Are you looking for new ways to maximize your muscle gains? If so, you’ve probably tried all the classic workout recovery tips — like supplements, eating more protein, and staying in a calorie surplus. But those aren’t the only factors that can help with muscle repair. 

So, what about percussion massagers? Do massage guns affect muscle growth, and are they worth adding to your routine?

Keep reading to discover everything you should know about massage guns and muscle growth, including the research, benefits, and how to get started.

Muscle Growth 101

If you’ve been lifting weights for a while, you’re probably familiar with the basics of hypertrophy (aka muscle growth.) But since we’re covering how massage guns  can impact this process, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Workouts cause mechanical damage to muscles and create mini tears in the tissue.
  • In your recovery phase, your body patches up all the damaged muscles, which gradually leads to an increase in size and strength. 
  • Finding ways to improve this process — whether you improve your diet, focus on active recovery, or even try massage — can support your gains.

Do Massage Guns Affect Muscle Growth? The Research

Percussion massage guns are relatively new to the world of fitness. And although tons of athletes love using them, research is taking its time catching up with what they can (and can’t) do.

There are some early studies on massage’s benefits for muscles, such as these two from the past few years:

  • One 2018 study on rats found that cyclic compressive loading (CCL) massage supported muscle regrowth after atrophy. 
  • A 2021 study from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering also found some promising results. In the study, researchers looked at the effects of mechanical massage on mice — specifically, how it affected their muscle tissue. The results showed that the massage seemed to enhance “ the process of muscle fiber regeneration.”

This all makes massage guns look pretty enticing (on top of the fact that they feel so good!) But as of now, we don’t fully understand their direct effects on human muscle growth.

Having said that, there’s still evidence to suggest that massage guns can support an active lifestyle and workout recovery. 

Here are two of the top benefits worth knowing about when it comes to your gains:

Muscle Soreness and Recovery

Massage guns may help with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). In other words, a massage gun could help you combat aches and pains while promoting healthy recovery after an intense lifting session. 

This can help you feel more refreshed during your next gym visit, potentially leading to better workouts and more muscle growth in the future.

Better Sleep

A massage gun can help you unwind, relax, and get a healthy snooze after your training sessions. And that’s good news — because sleep is crucial for muscle growth and repair. It’s when your body releases its muscle growth hormones and patches up all the microtears you created during your workout.

To use a massage gun for relaxation, you can turn it to a low setting and gently sweep it over your main muscle groups for a couple of minutes before bed.

Tips for Your Post-Workout Massage Gun Session

Here are some tips for using a massage gun to support your post-workout recovery:

  • If you’re a beginner, start with the broadest round head attachment that your tool comes with. This is the best attachment for massaging large muscle groups without running the risk of overworking any area. 
  • Use for up to two minutes per muscle group, up to a few times per day. No need to overdo it — just a little bit of percussive therapy is normally all your muscles need.
  • Sweep your massage gun over your tight muscles within a few hours after your workout. This can help you combat post-workout soreness early on.

For more information on the benefits of massage guns (and how to use them), be sure to visit this page.

Other Ways to Promote Muscle Growth

As you start using your percussion massage gun, don’t forget about the pillars of gaining muscle. To maximize your gains, continue to focus on:

  • Eating a protein-rich diet. Good nutrition is vital for muscle growth. Some fitness experts even believe that what you eat makes up most of your physique (although fitness and nutrition are both key for long-term results.)
  • Proper sleep. As mentioned above, sleep is when your muscles do most of their repairing.
  • Consistency and progressive overload in the gym. Always challenging your muscles is essential if you want to encourage them to grow.

The Takeaway on Massage Guns and Muscle Growth 

Aside from a few small studies, there hasn’t been much research specifically on massage guns and muscle growth. But that doesn’t mean that these tools can’t improve your gym routine and support your active lifestyle. 

Massage guns may help with DOMS, rest, and general recovery. And when used on a consistent basis, you could see your fitness regimen — and maybe even your gains — improve. 

Are you curious about experiencing the benefits of a massage gun for yourself? Check out MedMassager’s Accuvibe Mini or Accuvibe Micro today.

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