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Percussive therapy and football
Percussive therapy and football

Up until 2012, Dr. Jason Wersland, Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of Therabody, formerly Theragun®, was using his homemade Theragun Percussive Massage Therapy devices on his patients who were looking for a more natural way to relieve pain and tension.  As word began to spread of him helping people feel better with the Theragun device, he was invited to his first NFL mini-camp in 2012, and pre-season games in 2013. Nothing could have prepared him for the response he got from the players. Through his desire to provide education on the benefits of percussive massage therapy, players immediately were able to understand how the Theragun could help with the rigors of playing football — increasing their performance, improving their recovery, and reducing pain and soreness from practices and games. This was just the start of something no one could have predicted.

For football players of any age or caliber, their days are composed of practicing, weight training,  meetings, studying, eating, and sleeping. Their bodies are tested and pushed to the limit each day on the practice field to help them prepare for the games ahead and stay consistent and healthy to maximize recovery throughout the season

Whether it’s the Quarterback, Tight End, or Defensive Lineman, football and its extreme demands take a toll on the body – from being able to create the speed and power to make the play, to breaking a tackle, to repeatedly getting back up after taking a hit. Different positions experience specific stresses and knowing how to properly recover throughout the season is important. Football players are always looking for ways to gain an edge to prepare and recover, and Theragun Percussive Massage Therapy supports those needs of each player, maximizing player performance and training.

At the core of Therabody is the desire to translate scientific evidence into a personalized approach to using percussive massage therapy. Just providing a device has never been enough and Therabody’s commitment to education allows players to understand how to optimize percussive massage therapy to maximize the benefits for each and everybody. Therabody University’s scientists, physicians, educators, and coaches use their knowledge of percussive massage therapy, the human body, and football to develop highly specific protocols designed to help provide football players the support they need both on and off the football field. This is the game-changer.

Here are some protocols and education tips created by Therabody University that football players of any level can build into their routines:

  • Warm-up – 30-second treatments to the key areas of the body used by that position
  • Recovery – 60 -120-second treatments to the areas that are most fatigued
  • Wellness – 30 – 60-second treatments to where you need the most relief

Warm-up:

Speed: 2400

Attachment: Standard Ball 

Force: 1-3

Technique:  Move the device fast

Quarterbacks: 4:10 mins

  • Pecs
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse
  • Shoulder Complex- Shoulder| Rotators| Lats 
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method:  Flow from pecs into shoulder, 10 seconds on the muscle belly, 10 seconds on Rotators, 10 seconds moving up and down the lat 
    • Grip: Reverse| Base
  • Quads
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse
  • Hip Complex- Hip Flexors| TFL |Glutes-
    • Time: 35 seconds (R,L)
    • Method:  Flow from quads into Hip flexor, 10 seconds on the hip flexor, 10 seconds on TFL, 15 seconds moving through the muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse
  • Calves
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse| Base

Running Backs| Safeties| Wide Receivers| Cornerbacks: 4:20 minutes

  • Glutes Complex- Glute + Hips
    • Time: 40 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: Start with the glute, 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly, 10 seconds TFL
    • Grip: Reverse
  • Quads
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse
  • Hamstrings
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse
  • Calves/Achilles 
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse| Base

Offensive Linemen, Defensive Linemen, Linebackers: 5:00 minutes

  • Pecs
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse
  • Shoulders
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse| Base
  • Quads
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse
  • Triceps
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse
  • Forearms
    • Time: 30 seconds (R,L)
    • Method: 10 seconds crossfiber on origin/10 seconds crossfiber on insertion/10 seconds muscle belly
    • Grip: Reverse

RECOVERY: 22 minutes

Speed: 2400

Attachment: Dampener| Large Ball

Force: Float-2

Technique:  Move the device slowly and methodically covering the ENTIRE muscle

Body Parts:

  • Chest
    • Time: 2 minutes per side
    • Grip:  Reverse
  • Shoulder
    • Time: 1 minutes per side (cover rotators)
    • Grip:  Reverse
  • Lats
    • Time: 1 minutes per side
    • Grip:  Reverse
  • Low back
    • Time: 1 minutes per side
    • Grip:  Inverse**
  • Quads
    • Time: 2 minutes per side (include Hip flexors and TFL)
    • Grip:  Reverse
  • Hamstring
    • Time: 2 minutes per side
    • Grip:  Reverse
  • Glutes
    • Time: 1 minutes per side
    • Grip:  Reverse
  • Calves 
    • Time: 1 minutes per side
    • Grip:  Reverse 
  • Feet
    • Time: 1 minutes per side
    • Grip:  Reverse

To learn more protocols, click the links below and explore various how-to videos for incorporating Theragun Percussive Therapy into your overall wellness routine. 

THERAGUN HOW TO VIDEOS