Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2023) 22, 496 - 501   DOI:

Research article
The Acute Effects of Theragun™ Percussive Therapy on Viscoelastic Tissue Dynamics and Hamstring Group Range of Motion
Brendon Skinner1, , Lauren Dunn1, Richard Moss2
Author Information
1 Centre for Physical Activity and Life Sciences, University of Northampton, Northampton, UK
2 University of Nottingham, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Brendon Skinner
✉ Senior Lecturer Sport Rehabilitation and Conditioning University of Northampton, University Drive Northampton, NN1 5PH, UK
Publish Date
Received: 27-03-2023
Accepted: 08-08-2023
Published (online): 01-09-2023
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Handheld percussive therapy (PT) massage guns have seen a rapid rise in use and with-it increased attention within injury prevention and sport performance settings. Early studies have proposed beneficial effects upon range of motion (ROM), however the mechanism behind these increases remains unreported. This study aimed to determine the influence of a minimal frequency PT dose upon ROM and myotonometry outcomes. Twenty participants (N = 20; 13 males and 7 females, height 1.78cm ± 9.62; weight 77.35kg ± 8.46) participants were allocated to either a PT group receiving 2 x 60-seconds (plus 30-seconds rest) via a Theragun™ Pro4 to the hamstrings covering a standardised 20 lengths from proximal to distal via the standard ball attachment at 1 bar of pressure or a control group (CON) of 2-minutes 30-seconds passive supine rest. Pre and post intervention outcomes were measured for ROM via passive straight leg raise (PSLR) and tissue dynamics via MyotonPro (Tone, Stiffness, Elasticity, Relaxation Time). Results showed significant within-group increases (p < 0.0001, ηp2 0.656, +11.4%) in ROM following PT and between group difference against CON (P < 0.026). Significant within-group differences in stiffness (p < 0.016, ηp2 0.144, -6%), tone (p < 0.003, ηp2 0.213, +2%) and relaxation time (p < 0.002, ηp2 0.232, +6.3%) were also reported following PT. No significant difference was reported in elasticity (P > 0.05) or any other between group outcomes. PT therapy can provide an acute increase in hamstring group ROM following a resultant decrease in tissue stiffness.

Key words: Theragun™, flexibility, tissue stiffness, vibration

           Key Points
  • Handheld Percussive Therapy can provide moderate effect size acute increases in range of motion.
  • Handheld Percussive Therapy can elicit acute reductions in tissue stiffness.
  • Changes in tissue tone, elasticity and relaxation time following handheld Percussive Therapy are likely associated with acute changes in localised blood flow.
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