What is percussive therapy and should you use it?

A Review of the Rooftree R20 Percussion Muscle Massage Gun

Massage guns are having a moment. But if you’re already stretching and foam rolling, do you even need one? The short answer, if you dislike sore muscles and want to feel good after a hard workout, is a resounding YES!

Massage guns- like the RoofTree R20– deliver percussive therapy in the form of quick bursts of pressure into the muscle tissues of your choice. This type of deep tissue massage aids recovery before and/or after tough workouts, keeping sore muscles at bay by both stimulating your nervous system and rapidly increasing blood flow to the area. Regular percussive therapy can help you avoid the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), increase your mobility and range of motion, detox your body by improving the accessibility of your lymphatic system, and it just FEELS GOOD. Is it totally necessary to have one of these tools in order to continue doing what you want to do? No. But when combined with foam rolling and stretching, there’s a lot of discomfort you are going to avoid with a good massage gun; it’s certainly an asset to any recovery arsenal.

As runners, we tend to get a lot of niggles- a sore calf, a tight hamstring, a literal pain in the butt, etc. If I had elite status or a few extra figures in my bank account, I’d be booking monthly massages* in an attempt to avoid some of these annoyances that can at best, interfere with motivation, and at worst, lead to injury. In the absence of both, however, the Rooftree R20 massage gun is an effective alternative. This thing is AWESOME. With 3 different types of attachments, 4 speeds and it’s own cute carrying case, the R20 can handle all of my recovery needs AND is quiet enough for me to use while my kids are sleeping in the next room (I can’t say the same about some other brands I’ve tried at running stores and race expos- most of them are SO LOUD!). My favorite attachment is the flat metal head- it worked like a charm on a sore IT band- the result of seriously amping up mileage after a long break. The round head on the lowest setting also feels great on my quads and calves after long runs and hard-effort sessions. Furthermore, this massage gun works just as well on the upper body as my legs- the trigger point head can really get into the knots in my back and shoulders from lifting and teaching HIIT classes at the gym! Percussive therapy is my new favorite thing to do when I have a few minutes to do “nothing.” (If you’re a parent and work AT ALL, ya get why that’s in quotes).

If you’re interested in grabbing one for yourself, you can score $50 if you click this link (make sure the coupon box is checked!). Your sore muscles will thank you for it!

*Yeah, yeah, I loathe being touched, but I also know the benefit of massage as a recovery tool during training cycles.

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