Massage Guns For Cellulite? Do They Really Work?

Massage guns are becoming more and more popular, as the companies that sell them and their celebrity endorsements make bigger and bigger claims about how effective they are for certain conditions, such as cellulite.

But what’s the truth, do massage guns help with cellulite, or is it all hype to get you to buy their products?

In this article, I’ll be diving into whether or not it’s worthwhile forking out for an expensive massage gun, or if you have better, more affordable options.

Sound good?

Let’s go…

massage gun for cellulite
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What is cellulite?

Although it’s completely harmless, cellulite is a condition that many people (mostly females), want to get rid of as quickly as possible. It can be unsightly and can hurt people’s confidence. So many people jump at the chance to try out the latest gadget, cream, or even surgery to get rid of it.

Cellulite is a bumpy “golf ball” like texture that appears on the surface of the skin, it is often referred to as orange peel skin due to its similarity. The most common places to find pockets of cellulite are on the hips, stomach, and buttocks.

80 to 90 percent of women will experience dealing with cellulite at least to some degree within their lifetime, and its appearance has little to do with excess fat, as even lean people can suffer from it.

There are four distinct stages of cellulite development:

  • Stage 1 – The skin at this stage will show no obvious signs of cellulite, however, when the skin is pressed together, a slight “orange peel” texture is seen.
  • Stage 2 – A more obvious “orange peel” texture is present within the skin and, it may be easier to bruise.
  • Stage 3 – An “orange peel” texture is present and substantially more visible, even from a distance.
  • Stage 4 – The skin appears red and angry, alongside pockets of fluid under the skin that cause tenderness. This is combined with the previous symptoms.

What causes cellulite

percussion massager for cellulite

Surprisingly, being overweight is not the main cause of cellulite, (although having excess fat can make cellulite more obvious).

It’s not fully understood why some people are affected more than others, but the process that occurs is a buildup of fat cells pushing up against the skin between strips of connective tissue called “fascia”. As the fat cells push up between the fascia, they create an uneven surface.

A great way of imagining this process is if you got a partially inflated balloon and pushed it hard against the inside of a colander, from the other side of the colander you’d see bits of balloon poking out and creating a bumpy surface right?

Well, this is what’s happening under your skin with cellulite.

So why does this happen to some people and not others?

Annoyingly, no one knows, but, it could be linked to genetics. Your hormone levels, the structure of your skin, and being overweight can play a significant role in its development but remember that even lean people with little fat can still get it.

Of course, with age, your risk of developing cellulite increases. This is because as you age, the amount of collagen your body produces lessons, and it’s the collagen that keeps your skin elastic and tight to your body.

A lessening of collagen means that it is easier for the fat cells to press through the fascia and show through to the skin above. It’s also why your skin wrinkles and sags with age, it’s pretty important stuff to the beauty industry!

What does cellulite look like?

Cellulite is often described as the skin having a bumpy and dimpled texture, likened to orange peel.

Cellulite may not be visible at all times and might only be obvious when the skin is pinched together. The most common areas affected by cellulite are the stomach, buttocks, and thighs.

The severity of cellulite is graded into three distinct bands.

Grade – 0

This is the lowest grade available and is used when there are no visible signs of cellulite.

Grade – 1

The second degree of cellulite is used when there is little to no appearance of cellulite when the skin is taut (usually whilst standing up), but some dumpling occurs when the skin is relaxed (when sitting for example)

Grade – 2

The third grade signifies that there is slight dimpling of the skin whether the affected person is standing or sitting.

Grade – 3

The final grade is used to describe severe dimpling and deep peaks and troughs when either standing or sitting.

Does massage help with cellulite?

massage gun cellulite

Ok, I know you want to know whether the guns, in particular, will cure your cellulite woes, but let’s quickly take a look at massage, in general, to see if that helps cellulite, (because if that works, maybe you can get your partner or a very close friend to do it for you, for free!)

One cause of cellulite we haven’t discussed yet is lymphatic draining (sounds pretty gross doesn’t it?). Your lymph nodes carry around all the waste and toxins built up from your bodily tissues, think of them as being like drainpipes carrying away all the unnecessary liquid to a septic tank or something.

Still gross, but I’m trying my best here!

Remember that we said that cellulite is caused by fat pressing up through holes in the fascia? Well, if you have excessive amounts of lymph fluids building up under the skin, they will do the exact same thing.

Little pockets of fluid build-up, press through the fascia and give you that all too familiar dimpled look to the skin.

So does massage help with moving this fluid around?

It really might!

With a massage, the area being manipulated increases temperature, which stimulates blood flow and circulation. The act of moving and stretching the skin and muscles also makes it more likely that the guild will be able to drain away successfully instead of becoming trapped in pockets.

Weird analogy here, but imagine you had a plastic bag, and you placed it flat on some water. You’d have a bunch of bubbles trapped in little pockets where the plastic had wrinkled right?
But, if you pressed the bag and moved it around, the bubbles would be able to find their way to the surface.

Well, that’s what’s happening under the skin with lymph fluid and fat cells. The idea of massage is that you can move the skin and muscles around to allow the fluids and fat to escape these pockets.

Can a massage gun help with cellulite?

Massage guns do help to minimize the appearance of cellulite. The motion they provide helps pockets of built-up lymph fluid to redistribute through the body, lessening the appearance of “dimples” on the skin. They may also help redistribute fat cells under the skin.

Massage guns offer a wide ran of benefits, such as increased blood flow, improved circulation, and enhanced recovery after workouts.

The results you can expect to achieve, however, rely on a number of factors, which are:

  • The frequency at which you set your massage gun
  • How often you use your massage gun
  • The massage techniques you use
  • How long you use your massage gun

When you are looking to purchase a massage gun, look out for one that has a high frequency. This will speed up the process of removing lymph fluids and should be powerful enough to help re-distribute those fat cells.

If any of these factors are not taken into consideration, you may be disappointed with the results. It’s all well and good to buy a machine to help you with cellulite, but if you aren’t using it, you won’t see the results!

One of the main benefits of using a massage gun over standard massage practice is that you can pinpoint specific areas of the body that cause you the most discomfort, and where you feel your cellulite is most prominent.

The attachments or “heads” that come with massage guns allow you to be even more specific in your target areas and allow for deeper penetration into the deep tissues which will help you successfully drain any pockets of lymph fluid and help to redistribute fat cells.

How to use a massage gun for cellulite

massage gun benefits cellulite

As a general rule, the most effective way to use a massage gun for cellulite is to choose an attachment that works with a large surface area. You should gently press the massage gun onto the affected area, and hold it for no more than 2 minutes at a time. Repeat 3 times a day for maximum results.

You can of course play around with this a little. If you want to experiment with moving the gun around the skin or using a circular motion, that should also be fine.

Please remember that if you are using a massage gun for cellulite removal, there’s no need for you to press it hard against the affected area. You are working the area just under the skin, and not the muscle underneath (unless you want a muscle massage too of course).

If you start to feel pain or pressure on the area you are massaging, you could well be pressing down too hard, just let it sit on top of the skin and do its thing.

Best massage gun attachment for cellulite

As cellulite is a buildup of pockets of fat just below the surface of the skin, there is little need for specific “pinpoint” pressure attachments such as forks and bullets. These types of attachment are used to target very specific areas of muscle where a “knot” has developed in order to increase relaxation of the muscle and therefore, reduce the tightness felt.

To treat cellulite, you should opt for larger flat-headed attachments, such as padded and flat round attachments with larger surface areas. These will be as effective for treating cellulite, with less chance of damaging the underlying muscles under the skin.

How often to use a massage gun for cellulite

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes down to how often you can use a massage gun.
If you’re “overdoing it”, you may find you start to feel a little tender around the area, and if you bruise easily, you also may find you develop a few small bruises around the area if you’re massaging too often.

The generally accepted rule is that you should use a massage gun for up to 2 minutes for each area you are massaging.

So, say you have cellulite on both your thighs, you could massage one side for 2 minutes and then the other side for two minutes, it’s not two minutes in total.

And how often can you massage?

Well, the same rules as above apply, if you’re feeling tender or bruises are appearing, additional massage isn’t going to help, so give it a rest for a few days.
If however, you’re feeling good, you should be fine to use a massage gun up to three times each 24 hours.

How long until you see results

It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of being able to zap away cellulite that’s been causing you grief for years, but you should remember that when hear things take a little while.
You are literally trying to redistribute fat cells and successfully drain away fluid, so your efforts probably won’t be noticed within the first month.


It’s important to know that if you keep to a regular schedule of using a massage gun on the cellulite several times a day for up to two minutes in each area, you should start to see results toward the end of the first month you start using it.

Every person’s body is different and will react differently to the effects of a massage gun, so if you aren’t seeing results after the first month, don’t lose hope, it may just take a little longer for you.

Side effects of using massage gun for cellulite

Whilst massage guns may be helpful for relieving pain after strenuous activity and helping to increase blood flow in order to speed recovery, there are some side effects to be cautious of.

Applying additional pressure to the gun while it is in use can cause nerve damage, rupture blood vessels, and can pain, swelling, and bruising. If used for deep tissue massage, improper use can cause tearing and straining of the muscle fibers, ligaments, and tending leading to injuries that can take considerable time to recover from.

If used specifically for the treatment of cellulite, overuse could cause swelling and local bruising on the surface of the skin if used incorrectly, for too long, or too frequently.

The catch with using massage guns for cellulite

Ah, the catch, there’s always a catch isn’t there?
The catch with massage guns is that they can help with cellulite, and they can help with lymph guild buildup.

They will not “cure”, cellulite. You will need to keep using the gun on a regular basis to see positive results because even though you are redistributing and increasing the flow of built-up fluids, the makeup of your fascia stays the same, nothing changes here.

So, if you use a massage gun and start seeing results but then stop shortly after, the fluid will quickly build back up, and the fat cells will start to push through the fascia again, putting you right back where you were.

So are they a waste of time?

I don’t think so, no.

There are tons of different treatments you can try for cellulite reduction, including creams, specific body massages, and even invasive surgery.

All of these techniques vary in cost and efficacy, but they are all temporary!
Even that crazily expensive surgery will not cure your cellulite forever, because they are not altering the way your fascia is built, they can’t!

So, for the money, I think massage guns are probably your best bet.
They are portable, convenient, can be used in your own home when needed, and importantly, they are a one-off purchase. Creams and surgeries will need to be paid for again and again, whereas with a massage gun, once it’s paid for, you can use it for as long as you like.


Can a massage gun break up cellulite on the legs?

No, cellulite is made up of enlarged fat cells that push up against the surface of the skin, using a massage gun will not be able to change the size or structure of these fat cells, so any benefit seen will be temporary, no matter if the cellulite is on the stomach, thighs or buttocks.

Can a massage gun tighten skin?

Using a massage gun on the skin can appear to tighten the skin as a result of assisting in the removal of excess liquids under the surface. These effects are unfortunately most likely temporary, as the liquids can once again pool under the surface, changing the texture back to how it was before the treatment.


Do massage guns help with cellulite?

I think they do, but the key factors that seem to make all the difference are how frequently you use them, for how long, and not stopping once you start seeing results.
Of course, there are additional factors that will speed up your removal of cellulite, such as:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Weight training to improve the shape and tone of the muscles under the skin
  • Keep your skin hydrated by drinking enough liquids

A combination of the tips above and the regular use of a percussion massage gun will almost certainly help you reduce your cellulite to an acceptable level.

Have a great day!

I hope you’ve found this article useful, and if you did, please feel free to share it or link back to it.

If you’re looking to cut down on your body fat in a way to improve how you look and feel, take a look at some of the tips in this article I was featured in on “how women over 50 can improve their looks”, by clicking the link below.

How To Improve Your Look As A Women Over 50

Chris Walker

Chris Walker worked in the City of London as a fully qualified REP's level three personal trainer for just under ten years. He built and maintained a client base of 40 individuals and worked with several high profile clients, including actors, actresses, comedians and politicians.

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