A massage gun is a handheld percussion massager that applies rapid bursts of pressure into your muscles and tissues. Using a massage gun on your shoulders can help relieve muscle soreness, tension, knots, and pain. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly use a massage gun on your shoulder area.
Choose the Right Massage Gun Attachments
Massage guns come with different attachment heads that allow you to target different areas and depths. For your shoulders, you’ll want to use a round, ball-shaped attachment head. This will allow you to really dig into the muscles around your shoulder joint. Avoid using a hard, pointed attachment head as this may be too intense on the joint area.
Position Yourself Properly
Sit or stand with good upright posture. Bring your arm across your chest and use your opposite hand to grip the top of your shoulder. This helps open up the front of the shoulder so you can access the muscles better. Make sure to relax this shoulder as much as possible. Tensing up will make it harder for the massage gun to penetrate the tissues.
Start on the Top of the Shoulders
Turn on your massage gun to the lowest setting first. Start by applying the massage gun to the top of your shoulders. Slowly glide the massage head side to side over the top of the shoulder muscles. Apply light pressure and let the rapid bursts knead out any knots or tight spots. Continue massaging the top of the shoulder area for 30-60 seconds.
Move to the Front of the Shoulders
Next, move the massage gun to the front of the shoulders. Target the anterior deltoid muscle that runs over the shoulder joint. Start at the top of this muscle near the collarbone. Work the gun down following the line of the muscle, applying more pressure as you go. Spend extra time on any tender or sore spots. Massage the front shoulder area for 1-2 minutes.
Focus on the Shoulder Joint
Now move to directly over the shoulder joint. Be very gentle here as this area is prone to injury. Use light pressure and slow, circular motions. Massage around the entire shoulder joint, including the front, back and top areas. This will help loosen up the joint capsule and improve mobility. Massage the shoulder joint for 30-60 seconds.
Work Around the Shoulder Blade
Shift your massage gun to the back of the shoulder now. Apply the gun around the shoulder blade, under your armpit, and onto the upper back. Use medium pressure here to work out knots and adhesions. Massage the shoulder blade area for 1-2 minutes, focusing on any tender spots.
Finish with the Bicep and Triceps
Complete your shoulder massage by addressing the surrounding muscles. Apply the massage gun down the biceps in the front of your arm using gliding strokes. Then work down the triceps in the back of the arm. Spend 30-60 seconds on each. This helps relieve tension in the connecting muscle groups.
Adjust Intensity and Pressure as Needed
As you go through your shoulder massage, adjust the intensity of your massage gun as needed. If it feels too strong, turn it down a notch. If you want more pressure, increase the speed. Apply more pressure on thick muscle groups like the shoulders and upper back. Use lighter pressure on bony areas like your shoulder joint. Customize it based on your comfort level.
Take Time After to Rest
When you’re done with your massage, take a few minutes to rest and hydrate your body. Your tissues will continue relaxing even after you’ve stopped massaging. Avoid immediately lifting weights or exerting your shoulders. Slowly rotate your arm to feel out your range of motion. The effects of a good shoulder massage can last for hours or even days after.
Be Consistent for Best Results
To experience the full benefits, use your massage gun on your shoulders 3-4 times per week. Consistency is key with massage therapy. Regular massage gun sessions can help reduce chronic shoulder tightness and pain. But a one-off massage provides only temporary relief. So aim for frequent shoulder massage sessions as part of your self-care routine.
By following these massage gun tips, you’ll be able to target all the muscles around your shoulder for maximum relief. Always listen to your body and avoid using too much pressure. With consistency, a portable massage gun can be an effective way to manage shoulder tension anywhere, anytime.