Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
Proper nutrition, mobility work, and adequate sleep are the keys to maximizing your recovery from intense workouts. But chances are you’re overlooking one other recuperative practice: vibration. We don’t blame you, since vibration technology—despite having more than a decade of research backing it—is still not popular among average gymgoers.
At most, you’ve probably heard of the Power Plate. That’s great if you’ve got the room and several thousand dollars to spare for a bulky piece of equipment. If not, you can harness the power of vibration in a significantly cheaper, more portable manner with the TheraGun.
Initially popular only among athletes upon its launch in 2014, it’s made its way into commercial gyms and living rooms across the country. At a more accessible cost of $599, the TheraGun is vibration treatment for the every man (and woman). “Vibration helps to realign things,” says Jason Wersland, a sports chiropractic physician and the inventor of the TheraGun. “People who go to the gym deal with soreness, aches, and pains. With the TheraGun, you’re getting the benefit of a massage, minus the cost of one. It’s on-demand recovery and preparation.”
The handheld TheraGun is easy to operate—just place the business end on the area that needs attention (sore quads, throbbing shoulders, even a painful lower back), squeeze the trigger, and hold for anywhere from 10 seconds to a few minutes at a time. “It’s dummy proof,” Wersland says.
The TheraGun increases blood flow to muscle tissue and targets your nervous system, which, depending on when you use it (see tutorial below), can enhance your workout and speed up the recovery process. “If your nervous system is working well, your muscles are going to fire right,” Wersland adds.
Working the TheraGun into your existing routine is fairly simple. Use it before, during, and/or after workouts following the below protocol offered by Wersland.
Pre-workout: Right before your warmup, do a two- to three-minute full-body sweep, hitting all major muscles from the Achilles up to the neck.
During workout: Hit the muscle group you’re training for 10 to 15 seconds during rest periods. Focus on whatever pain spots you have. Do this for all sets or just a few— your choice.
Post-workout: Spend 20 minutes at home targeting painful muscle groups. Wersland recommends using it for two to three minutes at a time. “Just put it where it hurts,” he says. “You’ll instinctively figure out how to use it.”