Ageing, being inactive for so long or doing too strenuous activities can make our bodies stiff, limiting our range of motion. And so, you might be wondering, can massage guns help increase our flexibility?

Handheld massagers can help improve your flexibility in several ways. Specifically, these devices’ vibrations can warm the muscles, break down adhesions and remove body toxins. In turn, your body becomes more elastic. The swelling and pain disappear, too.

Read further to know more about combatting muscle stiffness through percussive therapy.

How Can Massage Guns Increase Flexibility?

Several studies and research findings show that percussive massage therapy positively affects flexibility.

For instance, in a 2013 study published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, researchers concluded that whole-body vibration training significantly improves the hamstring flexibility of physically active individuals.

In 2020, researchers also found that a 5-minute percussive massage therapy on the calves can improve the range of motion (Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 2020).

A more recent 2021 research finding by Jack Martin of the Department of Health and Wellbeing in the University of Winchester also noted that muscle gun devices effectively increase lower limb flexibility.

This study compared them with foam rolling and other self-myofascial methods.

The authors even recommended including massage gun sessions when warming up before exercise.

From these conclusions, it’s clear that massage guns can indeed increase flexibility.

But how can a handheld device do this exactly?

By increasing the temperature of the muscles

When you use the massage gun, have you noticed that the body area becomes slightly warm?

It happens because massagers can stimulate internal friction within that spot, resulting in increased temperature.

This reaction is called capillarization and vasodilation according to physiotherapists from the UK. When this occurs, blood flow and the size of blood cells increase.

With improved circulation, your tired muscles can get the oxygen and nutrients they need to recover.

Muscle fibres begin to loosen up and relax, improving your flexibility.

By stretching out muscle fibres

Percussive therapy puts pressure on the muscle fibres. This action stretches and elongates them, making the fibres more elastic.

Increased muscle elasticity makes you more flexible as a result.

In addition, elastic muscles maximise your performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Massage Gun Use for Flexibility

By breaking down scar tissues and adhesions

Here’s another way how massage guns increase flexibility. Two things happen when muscles are too tense or tight due to excessive stress or repetitive motion.

First, adhesions can form, and then tissue scarring ensues. Both of these reactions restrict your movement and flexibility.

Massagers can break down these adhesions and scars. Once broken down, muscle fibres will begin to realign and restore their normal state.

These allow fluid and blood to flow, lubricating the area and lessening the pain. Pain reduction, in turn, brings your flexibility back.

By flushing out waste products

Toxins and excess fluid can quickly build up in the muscles, especially after an intense workout session.

This waste product accumulation can generate feelings of tightness, fatigue and pain.

You have to remove these substances immediately to make your body flexible again. A good massage can take care of this.

Specifically, massagers can stimulate lymphatic drainage that flushes toxins out of your body (Cleveland Clinic 2021).

In addition, waste removal controls the swelling in muscle tissues, too. All these results in better mobility.

By reducing pain

Every time you feel body pain, muscles instinctively move and tighten around that spot to protect it.

And tight muscles intensify the pain, affecting your mobility.

Massages are excellent in loosening these muscle knots to relieve pain.

Moreover, a massage session can encourage the release of the endorphin hormone from the brain (Cleaveland Clinic 2022).

Endorphins are substances that act as our natural painkillers.

Massage guns loosened muscles, and endorphin releases work together to increase flexibility.

What Are the Benefits of Increased Flexibility Through Massage Guns?

Boosting your flexibility may seem like a minor effect of percussive therapy.

However, it can bring several positive changes to your body, health and life. Here are some of them:

  • Injury prevention. Better flexibility gives you more strength to withstand physical stress. Your muscles, ligaments and tendons will be less vulnerable to injury.
  • Pain reduction. A lack of massage or muscle stretching can make your body ache, even after doing the simplest activities. Increasing flexibility through massages or regular exercise can lessen body pains and cramps.
  • Improved range of motion. Higher flexibility makes it easier to bend, lift or reach for things. As mentioned, massages elongate your muscle fibres, making you capable of doing more challenging movements.
  • Optimum performance. Nothing is more satisfying than accomplishing more tasks than you usually would. Doing regular activities without assistance can be liberating, too, especially among the elderly. And through massage sessions, you can continue doing things that matter to you confidently and pain-free.
Stretching Exercises

How Should I Use a Massage Gun to Increase Flexibility?

Here are the easy steps to start boosting your agility with a handheld massager:

  1. Load the correct massage head based on your target muscle group.
  2. Turn on the massager, then set it at the lowest intensity. Place the massager on the body area you want to treat.
  3. Gradually move the massager up and down. You can also keep the device around extra tight spots. Just don’t press too hard.
  4. Breathe normally during your massage to let oxygen flow.
  5. Continue massaging one muscle group for up to 2 minutes.

And that’s it! You can do your massage sessions several times a week but do not overdo it.

Ideally, pair your sessions with some stretching exercises for better results.


Massage guns increase flexibility by loosening muscles, breaking adhesions and improving circulation. As a result, you can move better and faster without pain.

Just make sure to get the best massager with the right features, then follow the instructions on proper use.

Consider adding flexibility training or exercises to your routine, too.

And if you plan to have regular massage sessions from now on, don’t forget to clean and maintain your massager.

1. Will a massage gun help with DOMS?

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) often occurs after a new or strenuous exercise is performed. It produces a sore or painful sensation that peaks from 24 to 72 hours and dissipates within a week. The percussive vibrations from a massager can help stretch tense muscles, increasing blood flow and providing transient relief. In turn, these help in restoring joint mobility and peak power output.

2. Can you use a massage gun for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Experts have concluded that massages can alleviate CTS symptoms through inflammation reduction and flexibility restoration. However, further studies are necessary to determine whether handheld massagers can provide the same or better results. These devices are not a quick solution or cure for CTS, either. Still, there’s no harm in doing massager sessions for CTS, provided they are under the guidance of an orthopaedic upper limb specialist.