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Do you recommend using a massage gun before or after working out?

The massage gun can be used before, during, and after a workout to drive circulation in the body, reduce stickiness of tissue, and improve recovery.
 
Transcript: "Hey, Melanie. The purpose of the massage gun is really just to drive circulation to the body. So should you use it before you work out? Absolutely. Should use it after workout? Absolutely. Can you use it during a workout? Absolutely. So I just finished a leg workout, and I found that I was getting a little sticky with some of the squats that I was doing. So what I did is I brought up the massage gun, worked on the lateral side of the quad, because that's where it felt it was sticky all around my knee, and my knee wasn't feeling so great. And lo and behold, just by driving a little bit of fluid into that area made it feel better in those sliding surfaces of tissue. It's kind of like-- just kind of released a little bit and made it easier for me to squat. My body was able to mitigate that force as I descended into the squat, and I didn't get any pain. So use the massage gun to help drive fluids through the body, get the tissues a little bit less viscous, and allow us to be able to move a little bit better. Use it after you workout to help drive some circulation back to the lymph nodes, so we can stimulate the lymphatic system and pull some waste products out of the body to enhance your recovery and during-- use it if you find any little sticky bits that are kind of getting in your way."
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John Sinclair

Health and Human Performance Engineer
Hey, Melanie. The purpose of the massage gun is really just to drive circulation to the body. So should you use it before you work out? Absolutely. Should use it after workout? Absolutely. Can you use it during a workout? Absolutely. So I just finished a leg workout, and I found that I was getting a little sticky with some of the squats that I was doing. So what I did is I brought up the massage gun, worked on the lateral side of the quad, because that's where it felt it was sticky all around my knee, and my knee wasn't feeling so great. And lo and behold, just by driving a little bit of fluid into that area made it feel better in those sliding surfaces of tissue. It's kind of like-- just kind of released a little bit and made it easier for me to squat. My body was able to mitigate that force as I descended into the squat, and I didn't get any pain. So use the massage gun to help drive fluids through the body, get the tissues a little bit less viscous, and allow us to be able to move a little bit better. Use it after you workout to help drive some circulation back to the lymph nodes, so we can stimulate the lymphatic system and pull some waste products out of the body to enhance your recovery and during-- use it if you find any little sticky bits that are kind of getting in your way.
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Dr. Ben Pearl

Foot and Ankle Specialist, Podcast Host
Should you use a massage gun before or after working out? Well, I think it depends on your circumstance. Certainly a massage gun can break up adhesions. So if you're sore from the previous workout, it's a great way to do pre-workout. If you are trying to achieve maximum contraction, there is some studies that have looked at the idea that massage and stretching may actually stretch the tendon out so that it's not as tight and efficient for jumping, et cetera. But I think that is secondary to your question because you specifically were looking about working out. And I think as far as the aftermath-- breaking up those junctions, those muscle junctions that get really contracted after the workout-- I think that's a great time also to use the massage gun.
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Dr. Ted Forcum

USA Olympic Team Chiropractor
Hey Millie, this is dr. Fork. Mm. Great question about use massage gun before or after workout in general, research is all over the place in terms of the effectiveness of massage before competition. There are some studies that might suggest that it could be detrimental. I would tend to think that ideally you'd to use massage gun afterwards. However, often times research doesn't ask the important question, which is, you know, they use it as a blanket application. However, you might want to look at it as targeting, your massage on just those areas that are tight. There are a couple of studies that show some good positive outcomes and increasing tissue length. And so I'd probably lean on that. So typical areas that you'd want to use it on. Would be your hip. Flexors your to tensor fascia, Lata your calf and possibly your chest, especially as a cyclist or a swimmer. Those areas tend to get tightened down a little bit. I hope that's helpful. Thanks for asking any question.
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Hayley Hollander

Intl. Strength Coach, Educator & Consultant
Hi, Melanie. I actually use targeted vibration products, or massage guns, for both preparation and recovery. Here are some examples of how I use them for either one. When using it for prepare, I like to move in and out of a dynamic range of motion. So there's different length tension relationships to the targeted muscle that I'm massaging. So here are some examples of my anterior hip, or hip flexor, posterior hip, and hamstring. As you can see, I'm moving in and out of different ranges of motion and I'm going the length of the muscle. Another example would be the chest and adding rotation. Now when I use it for recovery, I like to be in a more static position and pick a muscle with a big muscle belly. Focus on breathing, pick a vibration level or intensity level that feels good for you. You can hold it in one particular spot for as long as you'd like. Here, I'm doing the calves. I'm going to transition to my perenials, or the outer part of my lower leg. If there are any areas that you want to massage that are a little more bony and not a big muscle belly like the forearm, the wrist, or hand, because you've been doing a lot of, for example, racquet sports or grip work, turn the tool sideways so you still get the benefit of vibration and the benefits of recovery, but without the reverb.
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Dr. Brian Cunningham

🇺🇸 Olympic Swim Team Physiotherapist
Melanie. This is a great question. I think either would work probably depending on the type of workout. If you're referring to swimming or weights, probably more after would work. But preferably, I would prefer the athlete to understand how their system works and get used to feeling what the body needs and responds to so learning, how to use the tissue and use their own. On hand to loosen up or dynamic movements Etc, to be able to loosen up and perform more soft tissue, hygiene type of activities. So hopefully that helps
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T.J. Hagan

Sports Physician & Chiropractor
So massage guns are all the rage these days. Everybody seems to have one. I'm not sure how they work, but they seem to do something. They definitely feel good after you use them. The only theory that I have, not seeing any huge studies on these as of yet, is that they may desensitize an area essentially numbing it with that high frequency stimulation. So after something's been desensitized, you may move a little more fluidly, and may have a little better range of motion for out least a short term. So my recommendation to our athletes is that you use these as more of a part of our warm-up that also includes dynamic movement and maybe some activation exercises as well, and that may be helpful.