Addsfit massage gun deep tissue review for runners

A review of the addsfit massage gun – a self-massage tool used to enhance recovery and increase sports performance.

Video credit: addsfit

This is not a sponsored post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. However, I would like to thank the team at addsfit for sending me a massage gun for the purpose of this review. Nevertheless, this post does contain an affiliate link to Amazon in which we do earn a commission on. 

Massage guns are the latest trend in the fitness industry, also known as percussion massagers. For most recreational and professional athletes, massage guns are a recovery tool used in combination with other self-massage methods such as foam rolling and stretching.

These portable devices, including the addsfit massage gun, are great for runners and other athletes, easily stored in your kit bag and ready to use immediately upon finishing your session or workout.

Addsfit massage gun

Massage guns utilise powerful vibrations to reduce muscular pain, increase blood flow to specific areas, and also provide a much deeper massage than traditional recovery tools like your foam roller or spikey ball.

This article is a review of the addsfit massage gun. I will begin by discussing the benefits of percussive therapy, closely followed by showcasing the massage gun under review. This review will break down how to use the addsfit massage gun, the attachments that come with it (and how to connect these) the pros and cons of the gun, and finally whether or not it’s a good investment for runners.

What are the benefits of using a massage gun/percussive therapy?

Example of a person using a massage gun

Although studies on the benefits of massage guns are fairly limited, current evidence certainly points us in a positive direction.

For example, a 2014 study found vibration therapy to effectively prevent or lessen the pain of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). This means the athlete would be less sore following each workout, allowing them to recover quicker and train harder in each session.

This is further supported in another 2014 study with 45 healthy female (non-athletes). Results found massage guns to prevent DOMS and to reduce muscular pain following exercise.

Nevertheless, further benefits of percussive therapy and the use of massage guns include:

  • Increased muscular recovery following exercise
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Improved flexibility
  • Chance to increase muscle strength
  • Increased blood flow

Including regular vibration therapy/the use of a massage gun into your workout or running recovery routine will reduce your recovery time, improve relaxation, and may also prevent injury and increase flexibility.

When should you be using a massage gun?

Man working out

There are two main ways to use a massage gun – before exercise and after exercise. You can also use the gun before bed to promote relaxation or throughout the day to eliminate any niggles, pains, or tight spots.

When using the massage gun myself, I mainly used this first thing in the morning and after completing a workout. My massage sessions were short (as they should be), but definitely contained purpose.

Before exercise

Picture of some weights

A common use of the addsfit massage gun is to activate and “wake up” muscles immediately before exercise. This consists of 30-seconds maximum usage, targeting specific muscles.

For example, most of my home workouts are currently full-body circuits – often with a slight emphasis on a specific muscle. I would use the massage gun on the muscles mainly targeted during that specific workout (e.g. chest or glutes).

Related: Circuit training: 5 moves for faster, injury-free running.

To wake these muscles up, I would use the gun for up to 30-seconds on each targeted muscle, limiting myself to no more than 90-seconds total massage prior to working out.

Whilst I’m used to stretching before a workout to warm the muscles up, I have to admit I was a little apprehensive when instead using a massage gun to do this.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. In combination with a few dynamic stretches and a light “activation” massage, I felt ready to begin my workouts.

Whilst I’m not entirely sure of the full effect of the pre-workout massage, I can say that I felt more prepared, “in the zone”, and slightly pumped up to begin each session.

Related: How to stay motivated year-round to run and train.

After exercise

Picture of a workout mat

You can also use the addsfit massage gun after a workout or run. There’s nothing quite like a quick massage after a tough and gruelling workout… it almost makes you feel as if you’re floating on clouds.

Once again, it’s important to only use the massage gun for short periods of time. After a workout, I would limit usage to just a couple of minutes. In this time, I would focus on particularly tight spots, whether that be my calves, shoulders, or a slight niggle of the chest.

What’s included when you purchase the addsfit massage gun?

All things included within the box

  • A strong and portable case
  • Two booklets on how to use the massage gun
  • Power lead
  • Battery & handle
  • The massage gun itself
  • Five different attachments to target various muscle groups (with a separate small mesh case)

There are two booklets included within the case. One of these is a general instruction manual, whilst the other explains the different massage gun attachments and how to use these (more on this later).

How do you use the addsfit massage gun?

Same person demonstrating how to use the massage gun

Using the addsfit massage gun for the first time is easy – just remember to go easy on yourself, unless you want to cause an injury.

Most massage guns work in a very similar way, so if you’ve used other makes or brands before then it’s a very alike process.

Once you’ve connected your prefered attachment, turn on the gun using the on/off switch located at the bottom of the handle. Next, turn on the gun using the large power button adjusting the speed as necessary.

It’s important to start off slow, working your way through knots and tight areas. If this is your first time using it and you don’t engage with other forms of massage (e.g. foam rolling and stretching) then brace yourself, this could become quite painful.

I recommend starting off on the slowest speed, getting a feel for the gun and its movement. Whilst your natural instinct will be to tense up, it’s important to relax. Relaxing your muscles will be less painful and more effective, so avoid tensing up best you can.

Always move the gun around and do not massage one given area for more than a few seconds at a time. This prevents over-massaging and stimulating an area which may cause pain or injury if repeated frequently.

Further tips for using the addsfit massage gun include:

  • Don’t massage one area or muscle for too long, keep it moving
  • Relax your muscles and let the vibrations do the work
  • Make sure you use the right attachment for the given muscle groups (this will reduce pain and your risk of injury)
  • Take breaks of up to a few hours when using the gun multiple times a day

What’s the battery like?

Battery on the massage gun

The battery on the addsfit massage gun is fantastic, it supports up to six hours on a single charge. Upon reviewing this product, I’ve only had to charge it once and that’s with intensive use for the purpose of this review.

You’re looking at more than a week if not more on a single charge – not bad for a mid-range massage gun.

Is the massage gun comfortable to hold?

The gun was comfortable to hold, however, a little difficult to massage some areas (e.g. lower back, upper back, shoulders) but that’s to be expected with any massage gun if using by yourself.

With that being said, the gun did become a little heavy to hold when using for long periods of time. Nonetheless, switching hands is an easy fix – this really wasn’t the end of the world.

Also: ensure the battery is securely connected before using the gun – this will prevent any necessary movement, making the massage gun more comfortable.

Is it easy to use?

Addsfit massage gun instruction manuals

The addsfit massage gun is super easy to use, thanks to the basic but effective design and two instruction manuals that come with the product.

The larger manual provides instructions on how to use each attachment, including what muscles and areas to use these attachments on. This made my life a lot easier as if I was ever curious as to what attachment to use, I would simply open up the booklet and know exactly what to do.

If you’re looking for a more intense or deeper massage, you can increase the vibration speed (located next to the power button).

The vibration contains a powerful stroke for a deep-tissue massage, all whilst being ultra-quiet and making very little noise. This made it ideal for use while watching television without having to turn the TV up to a deafening volume or pausing it entirely when using the gun.

Massage gun attachment uses – what are they used for?

Addsfit massage gun attachments

The addsfit massage gun comes with five different attachments, each used for different muscle groups.

The attachments are as follows:

  1. Thumb
  2. Dampener
  3. Fork
  4. Wedge
  5. Triggered flat

The booklet included within the addsfit massage gun case also includes a description of each attachment and what muscle groups these are used for. An example of one of these pages is included below:

Example attachment description page

Nevertheless, each of these attachments and their use will now be explained below:

1. Thumb

Addsfit massage gun thumb attachment

Impact level: Hard 

Body area: Ideal for triggers points (mimics finger touch), this makes it great for the lower back, calves, hips, and shoulders (and others).

The thumb attachment is especially great for loosening muscles that are tight. With a bad lower back myself, I used this attachment daily to reduce pain.

2. Dampener

Dampener massage gun attachment

Impact level: Soft

Body area: Overall use, but perfect for especially tender areas of near bones e.g. plantar fascia and tibialis anterior (back of shin muscle)

The dampener is one of the more versatile attachments. With a soft impact level, it’s perfect for massaging tender areas or near bones.

I mainly used the dampener when testing on the bottom of my foot, mainly the sesamoid bone (under the big toe) and the plantar fascia (these are two areas that often cause me pain unless stretched).

3. Fork

Impact level: Hard +

Body area: Achilles tendon or muscles fitting the U shape e.g. the shoulders 

The addsfit fork massage gun attachment was my least used attachment. However, that does not take away from its effectiveness. This is likely as the attachment is less versatile and more specific to individual muscles.

However, with that being said, the fork U shape fits perfectly around the Achilles tendon and provided effective pain relief (I can confirm this experiencing regular Achilles tendon pain myself over the last 1.5 years).

4. Wedge

Wedge massage gun attachment for runners

Impact level: Medium

Body area: Shoulder blades, IT bands, or other areas that require ‘scraping’

I found the wedge effective for those general tight areas, especially massaging tight IT bands (be careful not to overdo this one). However, the wedge is also a useful attachment for ‘scratching those achy areas’, providing effective pain relief.

5. Triggered flat

Addsfit triggered flat massage gun attachment

Impact level: Soft

Body area: Great for flat and large muscle groups with stiffness 

The triggered flat attachment was up there with my most used attachments. I used this for both pre-workout warm-ups and post-workout recovery.

Whilst I used the dampener for more ‘hard to get to’ and ‘sensitive’ areas e.g. sesamoid bone on my foot, the triggered flat can be used on the thighs, shins, triceps, and many other muscle groups.

How do you use and connect the attachments to the addsfit massage gun?

I’ll admit, at first I was a little confused as to how the individual attachments were connected to the gun. Whilst it was fairly obvious where it went, it required a little brute force to connect the attachment to the gun. I’ve included a diagram below to show where the attachments go:

Addsfit massage gun how to use attachments

It may require a little force, but once you get the hang of it attaching and disconnecting the attachments is done with ease – so this isn’t a problem whatsoever.

addsfit massage gun pros and cons – is it worth it?

Upon testing this product for the last week intensively, it’s time for my conclusion. To help you decide whether or not to invest in a massage gun yourself, I’ve put together a list of pros and cons – these can be seen below:

Pros: 

  • Easy to use
  • Long battery life
  • Effective pain relief

Cons:

  • The gun can become a little heavy is using for long periods of time
  • Attachments are a little difficult to connect and disconnect

The addsfit massage gun is easy to use

Upon opening the box and quickly scanning the instruction manuals, you’re ready for your first massage. The gun also contains a near-enough full charge on arrival, so there’s no waiting around to get started.

If you’re ever stuck on what attachments to use, the larger instructional manual serves as a fantastic guide with guidance for each attachment and a diagram of where to use these.

Long battery life

As previously mentioned, the battery life on the addsfit massage gun is up to six hours. When using this product myself, I only had to charge the gun once, and that was with intensive use for the purpose of this review.

You’re likely to get anywhere between one and three weeks of use out of a single charge – great for travelling, attending race meets, or for those who constantly forget to charge their devices.

Effective pain-relief

Suffering multiple injuries and general niggles myself, including general lower back pain, plantar fascia pain, and a dull pain under the sesamoid bone, I can say that the gun was effective in terms of pain relief.

I used this gun in combination with my regular foam rolling, stretching, and spikey ball usage, adding a few minutes of quality massage two-three times a day on particularly sore and tight areas.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the body is connected in many weird and wonderful ways. Preventing injuries is all about balance throughout the body. Reduce the tightness in your calves and suddenly your foot pain disappears, spend more attention massaging your hips and IT band and the pain in your lower back is now gone.

Adding a self-massage tool such a massage gun to your arsenal of weird and painful running accessories and gadgets (e.g. foam rollers, spikey balls, massage sticks etc.) and you’ll no doubt further reduce your risk of injury whilst simultaneously increasing sports performance.

The gun can become a little heavy if using for long periods of time

One of the only downsides of the addsfit massage gun is that it can become a little heavy if using for long periods of time. However, the gun is not intended to really be used for more than a few minutes at a time.

If it does become heavy, switching hands is easy enough so it shouldn’t become be too much of a problem.

Nevertheless, it is worth noting just in case you’re expecting the lightest and most nimble gun on the market. Most massage guns have some weight behind them, but that’s arguably also what makes them great – you know they aren’t a cheap product.

The attachments are a little difficult to attach and disconnect

massage gun attachments

As previously mentioned, at first I found the attachments a little difficult to attach and disconnect. However, this is easily rectified when realising that instead of using brute force, a simple twist and turn gets the job done.

You’ll find yourself constantly switching attachments, especially if performing a full body massage. Therefore, it’s worth figuring out how to connect these properly – saving your thumbs, stopping you snapping a fingernail, and protecting your massage gun.

To conclude

The addsfit massage gun is an effective piece of kit for enhanced pain-relief and muscle recovery. In-line with existing research, I can confidently recommend the massage gun to fellow runners and athletes.

Using the gun both before workouts, after workouts, first thing in the morning, and before bed, regular use of the gun definitely reduced muscle pain and even helped lessen the pain of my current running-related injuries.

However, with that being said it’s important not to massage injured areas directly, especially if it’s a sprain, fracture, or broken bone. This will increase inflammation and thus increase pain and recovery time.

 

If you’d like to get your hands on your own addsfit massage gun, you can purchase this on Amazon using the link below. Use the code Running101 for a further 20% off your order.

View on Amazon

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