Have you ever had one of those days when your hamstring muscles are just tight? You know the feeling. It's hard to stretch them out, and they just keep cramping up no matter what you do. Well, massage guns may be the answer to your problems!
Hamstrings are a group of three muscles in the back of your thigh. They help you bend your knee and extend your hip, enabling you to walk and squat. When they're tight, it can cause a lot of pain and limit your mobility.
Hamstrings are most commonly injured during sports. In fact, up to 30% of all sports injuries are hamstring strains! A lot of times, these injuries happen because the muscles are overworked or tight. A hamstring injury can range from a mild strain to a complete tear.
Keep reading to learn more about how these nifty devices can help get those tight hamstring muscles working properly again.
What Are Massage Guns & How Do They Work?
A massage gun is a handheld device that implies percussion therapy to massage your muscles. It was initially designed for physiotherapy and athletic training, but they've become increasingly popular for use at home.
You simply hold the device against your muscles and let it do its magic! Massage guns work by vibrating or percussing at a high frequency and low amplitude. This applies pressure on your muscles and helps to loosen them up.
The vibrations increase blood flow and circulation to the area, which can help reduce inflammation and pain. Massage guns can also help release knots and trigger points in your muscles.
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Benefits Of Massage Guns For Tight Hamstrings
Massage therapy helps relieve muscle tightness in many ways. It improves blood flow and circulation, reduces inflammation, and can release knots and trigger points. All of these benefits can help to loosen up tight hamstring muscles.
Massage Increases Blood Flow To Muscles
When you massage your hamstrings with a massage gun, it increases blood flow to the muscles. The increased blood flow allows for delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. It also helps remove waste products like lactic acid from the muscles.
These effects compound to reduce muscle pain, inflammation, and stiffness in your hamstrings. It can also speed-up the healing process of minor injuries like hamstring strains.
A study evaluated the effects of massage therapy on blood flow to muscles. The study found that massage increased blood flow by up to 31%. The authors concluded that massage gun therapy can be an effective treatment for improving blood circulation.
Flush Out Lactic Acid From Muscle
Lactic acid is a waste product that builds up in your muscles during exercise. It causes that burning sensation you feel in your muscles when you work out.
As lactic acid builds up faster than our muscles can flush it out, we end up accumulating more of it. This can lead to muscle fatigue, pain, and stiffness.
Studies show that massage therapy can reduce lactic acid build-up in your muscles. One study found athletes who have a 45-minute massage session after a workout build 72% lower lactic acid levels than their counterparts.
Using a massage gun on your hamstrings can be a great way to relieve muscle tightness and pain. The increased blood flow in muscles increases the removal of lactic acid and other waste products. As soon as you get rid of lactic acid, your hamstrings pain gets relieved.
Massage Improves Range Of Motion
A loss of range of motion is often associated with muscle tightness and pain. It can also impact your posture and movement. Massage gun therapy can help improve your range of motion by loosening up the muscles and connective tissues around your joints.
A 2011 research published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation found that massage gun therapy can significantly improve the range of motion in hamstring muscles.
Massage Guns Relieve DOMS
DOMS is the delayed-onset muscle soreness you feel 24 to 48 hours after a tough workout. It is caused by microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. These tears lead to inflammation, pain, and stiffness in your muscles.
A 2013 study found that massage therapy can relieve DOMS. The authors concluded that massage is an effective treatment for DOMS.
Tips To Use a Massage Gun On Your Hamstrings
You don't just go ahead and start ramming the massage gun into your hamstrings. If you don't know how to use a massage gun on your hamstrings, you can end up injuring yourself.
Due to its location in the back of your legs, it's not easy to massage your hamstrings. You will need to use a foam roller or lacrosse ball to help get the massage gun into the right position.
Here are some great tips to enhance your experience of using a massage gun in your hamstrings.
Choose The Right Massage Gun Head
Make sure you've got the right massage gun head before beginning your hamstring massage session.
Massage guns come with different attachments, each designed for a different purpose. For example, the large round head is excellent for a full-body massage. The fork attachment is suitable for smaller muscle groups and trigger points.
The flat head attachment is recommended for use on hamstrings. Its wide surface area can cover more muscle tissue at once. It provides a deep tissue massage that helps loosen up knots and trigger points.
Get Into A Comfortable Position
Before using the massage gun on your hamstrings, make sure you're in a comfortable position.
You can lie down on your back on a bed or couch. You can also sit on the edge of a chair or stool. We recommend resting your foot on the opposite knee. It will stabilize your leg and allow you to get a deeper massage.
Use A Pillow Or Foam Roller To Prop Up Your Leg
If you're using a massage gun on your hamstrings, it's essential to prop up your leg. This will help you get into a comfortable position and reach your hamstrings more easily.
You can prop up your leg on a pillow or foam roller. If you don't have either of those, use a towel rolled up into a ball. Using a foam roller or lacrosse ball will also help loosen up the muscles and prepare them for the massage gun.
Start From The Top Of Your Hamstrings And Work Your Way Down
When you're ready to use the massage gun on your hamstrings, start from the top of your muscle and work your way down.
You can use long, smooth strokes or shorter, more focused strokes. Experiment with different strokes and speeds to see what feels best.
Use The Massage Gun On One Leg At A Time
When using the massage gun on your hamstrings, it's important to focus on one leg at a time. This will help you avoid overworking one side of your body.
Start with the massage gun on your right hamstring. Work your way down the muscle, then switch to the left hamstring. Repeat this process until you've massaged both sides of your body.
You may need more focus on specific areas that feel tight or sore, spending extra time on knots or trigger points.
Start Slowly And Gently
When you first start using the massage gun on your hamstrings, it's essential to start slowly. Use light pressure and short strokes. You can gradually increase the pressure and length of your strokes as you get used to the feeling.
Use a light touch at first to get used to the feeling of the massage gun. Then slowly increase the pressure as to where you get more comfortable. Move the massage gun in a slow and steady motion.
Precautions For Using a Massage Gun On Hamstrings
- Don't use the massage gun on a muscle for more than 15 minutes.
- Don't use the massage gun over open wounds or on bruises. This can cause further injury.
- Don't use the massage gun on your joints or neck.
- Immediately stop using the massage gun if you start to feel pain. This could be a sign of tissue damage.
- Talk to your doctor before using a massage gun if you have any medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or osteoporosis.
- Talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you have any questions about using a massage gun.
Massage guns are a good way to relieve tight hamstrings. They can help increase blood flow, reduce muscle soreness, and improve range of motion. Start slowly and increase the pressure gradually. Use the massage gun on one leg at a time, focusing on knots and trigger points. Don't use the massage gun for more than 15 minutes at a time. Talk to your doctor before using a massage gun if you have any medical conditions.