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Crunch Time Percussive Therapy

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

That is what she said! And yes, it does feel good, but even more important are the physiological and neuromuscular responses. In this third part of the series, we look at Percussive Therapy in relation to the world of fitness recovery. The physiological effects range from lowering blood pressure and heart rate to releasing the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. Neuromuscular effects range from relaxed muscles to re-education of the nerve-muscle connection.

BUT IS THAT REALLY WHAT SHE SAID? The answer is both complex and simple. The complex answer is that Percussive Therapy is a recovery method that uses a percussive therapy instrument. These instruments vary in size and shape depending on the manufacturer, but are usually a size that fits in the hand. These handheld instruments help break up muscle adhesions, expel toxins (knots are groups of toxins stuck in the muscle), and reoxygenate. The simple answer: it feels good and helps get the bad stuff out of the muscles and the good stuff in.

YES, THAT’S WHAT SHE SAYS! Now that we have got the technical details out of the way, we can focus on what’s fun: how to use it. What to use when... Theragun is a very popular brand that I personally love using the most. The ergonomic handle makes self-application easy and enjoyable. That’s right. As for when, this one says that if you have a serious injury, you should see a doctor. The following ideas and practices are a guide to help connect the mind and body. The when is the part that is very close to my heart. Typically, the Theragun and similar devices are used for post-workout recovery.

A quick look at the Theragun website will tell you that warming up before a workout is also effective.

I’d like to introduce you to a third strategy here: during your workout.

• When do toxins build up the most: during exercise.

• When do adhesions form: during exercise.

• When do muscles need the most oxygen: during exercise.


Step one: Locate Robert at Crunch in South Beach (if step one is not possible, go directly to step two).

Step two: Use the percussive therapy tool of your choice before the last set of your group on the specific target muscle or muscle chain (example: four sets and bench press, in this example the application is after the third set and focuses on the chest and triceps).

Step three: Repeat this for each group of exercises you perform during your workout. The effect is immediate. The result is faster recovery during your workout, so you can achieve a higher volume of work in a shorter amount of time. You’ll also feel better, which will motivate you to finish the workout and maybe get in an extra set! Best of all, you’ll have less muscle soreness the next day, which in turn will increase your motivation to reach and pursue your fitness goals.

It’s no secret that good recovery contributes to more efficient muscle building. Recovery can come in the form of a good night’s sleep, cold/ heat therapy (we will discuss this recovery strategy in more detail next time), breathing techniques, massage (self or professional), stretching, and proper nutrition.

Today we covered a branch of massage therapy called Percussive Therapy. The simple technique described here is just a small glimpse into the fabulous world of percussive therapy tools. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me and the many people I have worked with.

Visit Crunch South Beach at 1259 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 | Phone 305-674-8222.

By ML Staff. Words by Robert Northwick. Images courtesy of Crunch South Beach. Top image by Mitchell Griest, Unsplash


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