You need a gun. No, this isn’t some staunch defence of the Second Amendment. We’re talking about massage guns – those often menacing-looking devices you see athletes using behind the scenes in sports documentaries or influencers using in paid content.
There’s a massage gun revolution happening and you need to be armed. Here’s why it could be the best investment you make this year.
What Is A Massage Gun?
Massage guns are typically defined as ‘handheld percussive therapy devices’. Available in a range of shapes, sizes and models, they usually consist of a handle and a round, blunt tip that’s pressed against the skin to provide a deep massage to the muscle below. They can be used to massage yourself or used by someone else to reach more difficult areas such as the upper and lower back.
So, what does a massage gun do exactly? Well, the science surrounding massage guns is mainly rooted in increasing blood flow to your muscles: new blood arriving brings a wealth of goodies including oxygen and nutrients, and helps shift trapped blood away. This is particularly useful after exercise, where enhanced blood flow will help to remove the waste products (metabolites) that have built up in the muscles and contribute towards that post-workout burning sensation.
Why Do I Need One?
A massage gun doesn’t just benefit gym bunnies or athletes. People who suffer from persistent back or muscle pain (whether long term or brought on by sitting at a desk all day) would feel the same immediate effects using a massage gun for a couple of minutes as a professional footballer in recovery would.
The pandemic has no doubt sent the technology mainstream. When people were unable to get an in-person massage, the mechanical equivalents sold like hotcakes, with many quickly realising the best thing about a massage gun is convenience: no need to make an appointment, no travel time, and can be used wherever and whenever you like.
Of course, a massage gun should be used alongside professional sports massage if you’re a serious athlete, but for the majority of the population having a gadget on your bedside table that’s capable of relieving pain after a workout or a hard day’s work is priceless for many.
Short-term, expect pain relief. Long-term, expect results that you can feel – whether you’re recovering from a heavy leg day or dealing with persistent carpal tunnel.
The Best Massage Guns Available Right Now
For Travel: Theragun Mini
The Theragun Mini is the entry-level option from the market-leading brand, and it packs a powerful punch despite its small size. Three speed settings, a 150-minute battery life and a comfortable ergonomic grip that sits in the palm of the hand make it an excellent option for those on the move.
Its compact nature enables you to hit those hard-to-reach spots and it is compatible with Theragun’s full range of accessories.
Value For Money: Renpho Massage Gun
The Renpho Massage Gun is tough to beat when it comes to value for money. With a versatile range of accessories (that would soon add up with other brands), as well as five speed settings and a three-hour battery life, if you can’t afford the premium options then this will certainly do the job.
The build quality isn’t on par with rivals but it’s a great package nonetheless and USB charging is a handy addition.
The MyoLite is all about power in a small package. It bills itself as ‘the world’s most compact massager’ and although it’s a bold claim, it’s tough to argue.
If you’re looking for a device that’s easy to carry around in your gym bag and use on the go then your search is over. It’s small, yes, but boy does it pack some power. Add to the package four speed settings, four adjustable heads and 360-minutes battery life and it’s a serious rival to the Theragun Mini.
On A Budget: Renpho Deep Tissue Massager
You’ll notice that this one isn’t the most handsome device on this list, but many professionals swear by it and it’s by far the most affordable, quality massager on the market.
Three speeds, four power modes, interchangeable heads and 140 minutes of battery life make this the perfect entry-level option for those that are unsure.
Light & Quiet: MuscleGun Carbon
More expensive than the Theragun Mini and Renpho Massage Gun but half of the price of professional models, this is a mid-tier option that’s extremely light but packs substantial power in a whisper-quiet unit.
Stylish, ergonomic and with four attachable heads as well as a carry case and recovery oil, if you can’t afford to splurge on a Theragun but you still want a premium package it’s a serious contender.
Premium: Theragun Pro
If money is no object then you buy a Theragun Pro. It’s as simple as that. Therabody has not built an empire by chance.
First of all, there’s a screen that tells you everything that’s going on and links to an app for a truly personal massage regime. The app also works with other native health apps for an all-round physio experience.
When it comes to the device, there’s a rotating arm with six attachable heads, it’s pin-drop quiet, it comes with two rechargeable batteries with 300 minutes’ charge a piece and there’s five pummelling speed options. Nothing else on the market rivals it.