I recently received my first tool that makes more noise than a blender. At thirty years old, it was time. However, it will surely never have the same utility as to why it was designed. I am not very manual. My brother can disassemble a room and put up a wall in a few hours without any problem. For my part, I’m stressed when I have to install a canvas on the wall. So having something other than screwdrivers is not very useful for me.
In my recent research to shorten my recovery time between two workouts, I came across the Theragun. It’s a bit like a foam roller doped with steroids. The idea behind the Theragun is to be able to release muscle tension yourself by using the percussion massage technique. And by percussion, I mean 2,400 rounds per minute.
Used after muscle training, this kind of tool helps activate the blood circulation and reduces muscular pains (you will be less achy). However, this is only a temporary solution. If you have chronic pain and other more serious problems, better consult a professional.
“I think this kind of massage tool can be effective if you have a base in anatomy. With the power of some engines, and some nozzle relatively sharp and hard, the danger of creating injuries is present,” says the kinesiologist and osteopath, Sebastien Gravel. He also said he discovered an interesting tool for his clinic and him but that it is essential, for anyone wanting to use this kind of product, to read the user manual and learn to use it on muscular stomachs only. He also advises against “undertaking work on too small muscles or muscle tendons because of the particular innervation of the muscles”.
That being said, the Theragun has some bad sides. It’s very noisy since it looks a lot like a percussion tool and the tip moves very fast. There is also the price. Unfortunately, it costs 600$. That’s why it’s not what I got.
There are direct competitors to Theragun such as Hypervolt and TimTam which are just as effective but almost as expensive. I went with a a little more “homemade” method. I bought a jigsaw (which you may already have in your basement) and an adapter sold online by Mobility Bit. All for the modest sum of 210$. The Black & Decker I use allows me to do exactly the same job as the Theragun, however, it’s twice as heavy. It weighs 5.5 pounds rather than 2.7 pounds. It’s not so dramatic when you think of the 400$ savings.
Sébastien explains the two most important ways to use this kind of tools.
1- Fast speed for a short period of time (less than 20 seconds). An excitation of the motor neurons is obtained which has the effect of increasing the physiology of the muscle (vascular / nervous) therefore a better muscular pump. Can be used as a pre-workout activation on the muscles targeted by it.
2- Slow speed for a longer period (more than 45 seconds). The relaxation and anesthesia of the motor neurons is achieved, which initiates the process of muscle repair. Can be used after workouts to prime the muscle repair mechanism.
Little fact in closing. I was very skeptical when buying and I thought more about the placebo effect. Often, after a big training, it happens that my forearm, the brachio-radial muscle more precisely, contracts (spasm) and blocks my arm in full flexion. It’s very painful. Since receiving my percussion tool, I have not had a problem with spasm.