Here’s How to Give Yourself a Full-Body Massage With a Theragun

Photo: Stocksy / Sofie Ddelauw / Well+Good Creative
Over the years, the Theragun has only increased in popularity. It's a wizard of sorts to fight muscle soreness, acting as a masseuse available at your beck and call. Some might say it eliminates the need to pay for massages. Instead, you can give yourself a Theragun massage right at home in minutes.

"The Theragun uses a hammering/thumping motion to release knots, decrease tightness, and help increase blood flow," says R. Alexandra Duma, DC, DACBSP, a sports chiropractor for Team USA. "The percussion therapy device helps address muscle soreness in everyone from professional athletes to anyone doing Instagram workouts while staying at home. The tool can also be used for downregulation of your central nervous system, helping you feel relaxed and calm, as well as speed up muscle recovery time after a workout."

Another perk of the Theragun is that it's light, user-friendly, and can be maneuvered to reach all your muscles, says Dr. Duma. It doesn't take long to get relief, either. You only need to designate 10 minutes of your day to hit all your prime sore spots, from your tight neck and shoulders to your achy calves. Here are your options when it comes to buying a Theragun—and exactly how to give yourself a full-body Theragun massage.

Which Theragun should you buy?

1. THERAGUN Mini, $199

theragun massage

The most affordable of the Theragun options, this device is lightweight, compact, and comes with a comfortable, ergonomic handle that makes it easy to target hard-to-reach areas like your lower back.

2. Theragun Elite, $399

The Theragun Elite is ultra-quiet, has two speeds (a deep treatment speed and a lighter speed for super-sore or sensitive areas), three ergonomic grips, and four attachments that help you dig deep into your muscles for even more relief.

3. Theragun Pro, $599

theragun massage

The Theragun Pro is the most expensive, but also the most powerful. It has an adjustable arm that allows you to easily reach your entire body, six foam attachments, and an ergonomic multi-grip. It's also a lot quieter and has a better battery life.

See the Theragun being used IRL in this video:

Here's how to give yourself a full-body Theragun massage

1. Neck

Since this is a more sensitive area, Dr. Duma says to make sure you're using the Theragun on the muscles that have attachments into the neck area and influence it, rather than on the neck itself. You can also choose the pressure and speed that works for you.

How to massage your neck:

  • Hold the Theragun on a tight spot for 10 seconds, and move your neck left to right and up and down.
  • Make sure there's no tingling or numbness present, and that this technique is not giving you headaches.
  • Also, try not to strain your wrist while using the Theragun to get into the back muscles by your lower cervical spine and top of your shoulder.
  • Spend up to two minutes massaging the muscle group.

2. Shoulders

Because the shoulder complex involves a series of muscles, Dr. Duma says it's important to target as many as possible during your Theragun massage. "Try to get into into the back of your shoulder area with the opposite hand," she says. "You can also add some shoulder motion to get into different muscle fibers."

How to massage your shoulders:

  • Turn your thumb up and extend your arm, stretching into the pec and biceps area while using the tool.
  • Don’t forget to use the Theragun on your deltoid muscle and under your armpit area, applying light pressure.
  • Spend up to two minutes massaging the muscle group.

3. Back

Experiencing a tight or achy lower back is common, whether it's due to your workouts or sitting most of the day. Luckily, the Theragun can help work out the muscles keeping you from feeling your best.

How to massage your back:

  • Place the Theragun on your low back area. Hold it on a tight spot, or add some flexion and extension if that feels good.
  • When massaging the muscles that are close to your spine, try adding some side to side movement to get into your QL (quadratus lumborum) muscles that are buried under several layers of tissue and harder to reach.
  • Continue down the body by using the tool on your glutes as well, if you want.
  • Spend up to two minutes massaging the muscle group.

4. Inner thighs

Dr. Duma says your inner thigh muscles are often neglected, but they can be responsible for any groin or knee pain you may be experiencing. That's why it's important to massage them out regularly.

How to massage your inner thighs:

  • Use the Theragun on the inside of your hip, from the pubic bone to above the knee.
  • You can do this standing or seated, assuming a figure 4 position.
  • Spend up to two minutes massaging the muscle group.

5. Calves

Your calves need more TLC than you even realize. "They do a lot of work. They're engaged when you're walking or running, and can cause nocturnal calf cramps if they get too tight," says Dr. Duma.

How to massage your calves:

  • The safest way to use the Theragun to treat these muscles is in a seated position, crossing your ankle over the opposite knee.
  • In this position, you have access to your calf muscles and you're not at risk of straining your back from trying to bend over to reach them.
  • For more relief, try adding movement by bringing your toes and ankle up and down.
  • Spend up to two minutes massaging the muscle group.

Now that your Theragun massage is complete, meet the most effective stress ball ever that only costs $9. Then try the facial massage that whisks away any sign of jaw tension.

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