If you’re committing your time and your body to a sport, then it’s time you start doing what you can on the sidelines to keep your body in tip-top shape and to soothe it in such a way that’s conducive to your next workout. You’re probably familiar with the typical aches and pains that come after a workout, and there’s actually things you can do to ease the pain while also doing a service to your body. Percussion therapy is one of them, and here’s what you need to know about it.
What Is Percussion Therapy?
Following an intense workout, the number one priority of athletes should be to get as much blood circulation going as possible and massaging stiff muscles. Why is this important? It’s because it speeds up recovery time, alleviates soreness so that you can continue working out the next day, and it keeps injuries to a minimum.
Percussive therapy applies pressure to target areas and can push out lactic acid from your muscles, which will help with the soreness. This pressure also inspires blood circulation, which helps with recovery.
By relaxing stiff muscles, flexibility will be enhanced. This will relieve some pressure on the joints, increasing your overall mobility.
How Does It Work?
A percussion massager is a handheld device that sends jolts of energy to concentrated areas of your body. These rapid pulses of pressure created by these powerful massage guns softens muscle tissue where stiffness builds up due to exercise. It can also help with stress or fatigue.
The device moves in kneading strokes in a pattern of your choosing.
Unlike many electric massagers, it doesn’t move in circles, but creates vibrations to deeply penetrate the muscle tissue to clear out lactic acid and provide relief from fatigue, cramps, muscle stress, or pain. All of the effects are adjustable in strength and pattern.
Why Is Percussion Therapy The Best Massage For Athletes?
No matter what sport you play, there are bound to be muscle groups that are going to get exhausted from playing the sport or working out. One of the reasons percussion therapy is so useful to CrossFit athletes is because it can be used as a recovery tactic. When you’re trying to be the fittest man or woman on Earth, you can’t really take a day off. So you have to soothe your muscles when you can.
Clears Lactic Acid, Reduces Recovery Time
Lactic acid is the cause of muscle soreness after a workout. The percussion massage instrument clears lactic acid out. This is particularly useful because you’ll be able to use the muscle at the same capacity the next day, aiding you in gaining even more muscle.
Accelerates Warm Up Time
By increasing blood circulation, the muscles get “warmed up” quicker, which can help you quickly warm up any stubborn muscle group you have before training. Warming up efficiently is a crucial part of avoiding injuries.
Sometimes working out too much, or even a sedentary lifestyle can be the cause of knots in your muscles, and percussive therapy can assist with that. By working out the knots and relaxing stiff muscles, your range of motion will be enhanced. Flexibility is key in avoiding injury and keeping your muscles in good condition for training and competing.
Why Is It Better Than A Traditional Massage Therapist?
Of course hands are used during a traditional massage, and to get the same effect as a permissive therapy session takes much more of your time. The handheld device will only require 15 minutes in target areas. It’s also best to work the muscles with the device directly after working out. This is not possible with a traditional masseuse.
Hands will not be able to provide vibrations and cannot penetrate target areas. Human hands cannot apply pressure pulses or give a deep tissue massage. This fact alone makes percussion therapy 20 times more effective than traditional massage.
How Often Should You Use A Percussion Massager?
A percussion massager can be used every day, but it shouldn’t be used for more than 15 minutes in target areas. Using it more than twice or thrice a day will defeat the purpose by creating more lactic acid. Make sure to set a time and focus on one area at a time to get the full effect.
If you have injuries, then there’s a possibility that this device will not be the right fit for you. Depending on the injury, it could cause more harm than good. Always check with your doctor or physical therapist before trying one out.