If you’re using the same ol’ ball attachment on your massage gun, you might be missing out on all the benefits of this recovery tool. You’re not alone. When most of us opened our first massage gun box, we went for the safest, most friendly attachment and it seemed to work just fine. But let’s set aside the ball attachment for a bit and dive into the treasure trove of goodies in that fancy massage case. Don’t know where to start? No worries, I’ve got you covered with the lowdown on 6 common massage gun attachment uses and a few others you might not have heard of.
The Basic Massage Gun Attachment Uses
Round Ball: The GOAT
- Best for: General massage, large muscle groups
- Uses: Pre-workout warm-up, post-workout recovery, everyday relaxation, increasing range of motion, and improving muscle elasticity
The round ball attachment is typically the first attachment we reach for, and it truly is the jack of all trades in the world of massage gun attachments. This versatile little number is perfect for targeting large muscle groups such as the quads, glutes, and lats. It’s great for post-workout soreness by stimulating blood flow to the targeted area, flushing out waste products, and reducing inflammation. Use it to warm up your muscles before a workout, help them recover afterward, or simply enjoy a relaxing massage on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Bullet Head: The Trigger Point Terminator
- Best for: Trigger point therapy, deep tissue massage
- Uses: Releasing muscle knots and myofascial trigger points, targeting specific pain points
Got a pesky muscle knot that just won’t quit? The bullet attachment has got your back – literally! With its smaller, more concentrated surface area, this attachment is designed to target specific pain points and provide deep tissue relief. Use it to release muscle knots and alleviate tension in those hard-to-reach areas like the quads, shoulders, and hips. The bullet attachment is also excellent for treating stubborn knots in the piriformis muscle, which can contribute to sciatica-like symptoms if left unresolved.
Flat Head: The Uniform Pressure Provider
- Best for: Medium to dense muscle groups, all-around muscle relief
- Uses: Addressing muscle tightness, pre- and post-workout massage
The flat attachment provides more even pressure across a broad area, making it suitable for sensitive areas like your lower back or hip flexors. It is your go-to for tackling medium to dense muscle groups and providing all-around relief. Its broad, flat surface makes it perfect for addressing muscle tightness, making it a great addition to your pre- and post-workout routine. Like the round ball, the flat attachment can also help muscle recovery by stimulating blood flow and delivering essential nutrients to the treated area.
The Soft Touch: Air Cushion Attachment
- Best for: Sensitive areas, relaxation massage
- Uses: Gentle muscle stimulation, soothing tired muscles
The air cushion attachment has a soft, padded surface that’s perfect for people who might be new to massage guns or need a more gentle massage. Like the flat head, it’s also the tool for massaging sensitive areas or simply unwinding after a long day. Use it to provide gentle muscle stimulation and soothe tired muscles without causing discomfort.
Fork Attachment: The Double Trouble:
- Best for: Neck, spine, and Achilles tendon
- Uses: Releasing tension, enhancing mobility, promoting blood flow
The fork attachment, also known as the “U-shaped attachment,” is specifically designed to work its magic on your neck, spine, and Achilles tendon. With its two-pronged design, this attachment can get right up close and personal with your vertebrae, effectively releasing tension and enhancing mobility. It also is used to massage the paraspinal muscles without putting direct pressure on the spine, or the suboccipital muscles at the base of the skull, which can contribute to tension headaches and neck pain.
Wedge (Shovel) Attachment: The Muscle Reshaper
- Best for: Scraping, flushing, IT band
- Uses: Reducing muscle soreness, improving muscle elasticity
Last but certainly not least, the wedge attachment – sometimes called the “shovel attachment” – is perfect for scraping and flushing techniques. This attachment is particularly effective in flushing out lactic acid and waste products that can accumulate in muscles during exercise, promoting faster recovery. With lighter pressure, you can use it for lymphatic drainage and release of tight fascia, which is the connective tissue surrounding muscles, to improve overall muscle function and mobility.
Alternative Massage Gun Attachments and Their Uses
You may have already guessed that there are additional massage gun attachments available beyond what comes with the original massage gun kit. The classic attachments are great for targeting specific areas, but there are also a variety of alternative massage gun attachments available on the market. Here are some of the most popular alternative attachments:
Heated Massage Gun Attachment
- Best for: Increasing blood flow, improving muscle elasticity
- Uses: Adding warmth to a massage, heat therapy, use with essential oils.
Using heat therapy can help activate muscles, improve blood circulation, and soften stiff muscles. The heated head attachment from Hyperice is next level. With three levels of heat, a single charge provides up to 75 minutes of heated bliss. This can result in a more effective warm-up and potentially accelerate muscle growth. Read more about heated massage guns.
Massage Oil Percussion Gun Attachments
- Best for: Aromatherapy massage, relaxation massage
- Uses: Massage with essential oils, aromatherapy massage
You wouldn’t want to put oil on any massage gun head. Here you would look for a metal plate over the top of the attachment for easy cleaning. They can also be used with a moisturizer or CBD oil. The Larkfit gets another blue ribbon in the category for best massage gun attachment to use with oils. The added heat also helps with the absorption of essential oils. Some of the kits are starting to come out with metal head attachments that can work with massage oils.
Massage Gun Attachments Bundle: The Variety Pack
Not sure what attachment will work best? Or, if you’re buying a gift and you’re not sure what they might already have, this 15-piece set by AiRelax should do the trick and it fits most percussion massage guns.
FAQs: About Massage Gun Heads and How to Use Them
Q: Can I use my massage gun attachments on any area of my body?
A: While some attachments are specifically designed for certain areas or muscle groups, most can be used on various parts of the body. However, always exercise caution and avoid using attachments on bony areas or places where you’re experiencing pain or discomfort. And, when in doubt, consult a professional or refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Q: Can I use massage oil or lotion with any massage gun attachment?
A: While using massage oil or lotion can enhance the massage experience, it’s generally not recommended to use them directly with your massage gun attachments unless you have an attachment designed for that use, like the Larkfit.
Q: Are there any particular brands of massage guns that are more compatible with certain attachments?
A: Most massage gun manufacturers produce their own line of attachments designed specifically for use with their devices. While some attachments may be compatible across different brands, it’s always best to check the compatibility before purchasing attachments separately from your massage gun. Using incompatible attachments can lead to poor performance and may even damage your device.
Q: Can I use a massage gun with attachments on my pet?
A: It’s not recommended to use a massage gun with attachments on your pet without first consulting with a veterinarian or a professional animal massage therapist. While massage can provide numerous benefits for pets, the intensity of a massage gun could be too much for their delicate bodies and potentially cause injury. If you’re interested in providing massage therapy for your pet, consider learning the proper techniques from a professional or look into pet-specific massage tools.percussion massage