The very best therapeutic massage weapons you should purchase proper now


Private health — together with investing in home exercise equipment, on-line courses and health subscriptions — grew to become a spotlight for many people whereas spending extra time at dwelling throughout the pandemic. Now that extra gyms are opening up, it is even simpler to remain on prime of your health objectives, however that could be missing in a single space: muscle restoration.

It takes a blend of nutrition and physical manipulation to attain true workout recovery, however you too can reap the benefits of high-tech restoration instruments meant to minimize muscle soreness (together with the hard-to-resist CBD-infused activewear). In the event you’re on the lookout for a exercise instrument with science on its facet, contemplate a therapeutic massage gun.

Therapeutic massage weapons use the power of percussive therapy to govern your physique’s smooth tissue. They’re primarily backed by the identical extensive scientific research that helps therapeutic massage remedy because the optimum instrument for sore muscle groups after a exercise. Everybody from leisure gym-goers, to professional athletes, to individuals with chronic pain — all of them love these highly effective massagers for a lot of causes. 

Percussive remedy is alleged to help muscles recover faster whereas decreasing muscle ache, muscle fatigue and lactic acid buildup. A percussion gun lets you give attention to a sure muscle group for quick ache reduction. They will additionally enhance your vary of movement and suppleness, encourage blood movement, assist with muscle stiffness and extra. Percussive remedy might even help with stress and sleep. Additionally, not that you need to spend money on one for that reason alone, however the slow-mo videos of massage guns punching muscles look insanely Insta-worthy. Simply be careful with utilizing one when you have any accidents past a muscle ache from a troublesome exercise. 

We have examined over 30 therapeutic massage weapons at this level and the next six are CNET’s picks for one of the best percussive therapeutic massage weapons in 2021. We’ll proceed to replace this checklist.

Therabody

The Theragun Prime is a part of the fourth technology of Theragun therapeutic massage weapons. Its prior equal was the Theragun Liv, which was once on this checklist of finest therapeutic massage weapons, and can also be reviewed in-depth here.

The Theragun Prime’s fundamental spectacular function is that it is a lot quieter than its now-defunct counterpart. In reality, the Prime rivals the famously quiet Hypervolt Plus when it comes to quantity degree — that is a large enchancment from the Liv.

The enhancements do not cease there, although: The place the Theragun Liv solely had two preprogrammed speeds and got here with two closed-cell foam attachments, the brand new Theragun Prime has 5 built-in speeds (from 1,750 rpm to 2,400 rpm) and comes with 5 closed-cell foam attachments. 

At $299, the Theragun Prime is costly, however would not induce sticker shock fairly just like the Professional G4 (beneath). It typically goes on sale for $249, so preserve your eyes peeled for that.

To me, the enhancements make the Theragun Prime appear effectively well worth the worth. The competitors to the Prime, to me, is the unique Hypervolt: These two therapeutic massage weapons have many comparable options and hover across the similar worth vary. The selection is yours for the making!

David Carnoy/CNET

Therabody’s Theraguns are thought of the gold commonplace in percussive remedy, so its most luxurious, feature-rich mannequin should be the among the best, proper? 

In all reality, I’ve to say sure. Having examined greater than 20 therapeutic massage weapons, together with three different Theraguns, the Theragun Pro is fairly dang spectacular — particularly in comparison with the earlier line of Therabody therapeutic massage weapons. (The Theragun G3, an analogous model, was beforehand on this checklist. You possibly can read our full review to study extra.) 

The Theragun Professional G4 is, at the start, a lot quieter than its former iteration. Loudness has been a chief grievance of Theragun consumers because the firm’s early days, and the model lastly made a transfer to treatment that. 

I am not saying the Professional G4 is silent — it is nonetheless louder than most different therapeutic massage weapons — nevertheless it would not rattle my mind just like the G3 did, because of Theragun’s new QuietForce Know-how. In the event you’re an athlete or critical exerciser who can take care of what seems like a muted turkey carver (and also you’re prepared to pay prime greenback for percussive remedy at your fingertips), the Theragun Professional G4 is a good selection for you. 

With as much as 60 kilos of power, a rotating arm and ergonomic deal with, a deep attain of 16mm into your muscle tissue, and speeds as much as 2,400 repetitions per minute, the Theragun Professional is constructed for many who want official percussive remedy a number of occasions per week. In brief, it is the actual deal, nevertheless it’s in all probability not value it for the typical exerciser. 

Beforehand the TimTam All New Energy Massager was my decide for one of the best high-powered therapeutic massage gun, however when you have cash to spend, you may’t beat the facility and relative quietness of the Theragun Professional. 


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Sportneer

This $130 percussive massage gun from Sportneer works surprisingly well for the price. It delivers six speeds of percussive therapy and reaches up to 220 watts of power and 3,200 repetitions per minute. 

Depending on what power setting you use, the battery life on this massage gun can last from two to six hours. I used the Sportneer device before and after workouts, as well as on rest days, and I never felt dissatisfied with the experience.  

The Sportneer massage gun comes with six head attachments, two of which have metal tips. You can use the metal attachments to massage yourself with CBD oil or essential oils, or pop them in the freezer for a touch of cryotherapy. 

This percussive massager is also relatively quiet: The website claims the massage gun reaches a maximum of 40 decibels, which is softer than the volume at which most people listen to music.

I previously reviewed the Sportneer K1 massage gun, which is another good value pick from this brand for $30 less.

Ekrin Athletics

In the percussive therapy arena, there’s a common trade-off: power for sound. It’s tough to find a moderately priced and quiet yet powerful massage gun. Ekrin Athletics has created just that with its B37 massage gun. 

The Ekrin Athletics B37 massage gun packs all the leading industry standards, including an ultra-quiet motor (even quieter than the Hypervolt, in my opinion), multiple speed and pressure settings that deliver up to 56 pounds of force, an eight-hour battery life, an ergonomic design and a convenient carrying case with several massage head attachments. 

At a list price of $230, the value is phenomenal — it’s a low price for the value you get, as the Ekrin massage gun compares to the well-known and highly desired brands in the percussive therapy arena. And, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty, so there’s really no reason not to at least try the Ekrin Athletics B37 massage gun. 

Ekrin Athletics is a relative newcomer on the scene, but make no mistake: This brand, founded by two former collegiate athletes, is raising standards and lowering prices for percussive therapy.

Hyperice

The Hypervolt Go is the newest launch from Hyperice, and it’s lighter, smaller and the most affordable gun in the Hypervolt line. At $200, it’s a great deal for a gun that’s nearly as powerful as the full-size models that retail for $300 and up. It weighs 1.5 pounds, making it ideal for travel when you don’t want to compromise precious space in your carry-on or gym bag. 

I tested the Hypervolt Go and was seriously impressed at how powerful the gun felt. Compared to the Hypervolt (which I also tested), I almost could not tell a difference in terms of force. The full-size Hypervolt does come with more attachments (the Go has two), but the Go also has three speed settings, which is still impressive for a small gun. If you’re new to massage guns and are looking for a solid product to try at a lower price, the Go is a great product to start with. 

— Mercey Livingston, CNET contributor

Achedaway

The Achedaway Pro is a favorite for super-sore days. Quiet and easy to handle, this massage tool features five power and speed settings ranging from 1,700 to 2,800 rpm, which according to the website are suited to wake up muscles, release fascia, eliminate lactic acid, provide deep tissue massage and facilitate muscle recovery.

Its list price of $539 is on the high end — actually, it’s up there with the top-level Theragun Pro G4 — but the Achedaway Pro often goes on sale for $299. The Achedaway massager feels very sturdy in hand, doesn’t make the inside of your head rattle, and provides varying levels of muscle relief massage that are suitable for sore muscles. 

The higher power settings felt great when I wasn’t sore, but didn’t hurt tender muscles, either — a perfect combo in my book. Like many other massagers, the Achedaway Pro comes with multiple head attachments for massaging different muscle groups. The rechargeable battery is removable for easy and portable charging. 

Previously, I reviewed the Achedaway Vibration and Percussion Massager (the predecessor to the Achedaway Pro) and I liked that one, too. There are only minor differences between the two (the amplitude and force are greater on the Pro), so the original Achedaway is still a good choice for a lesser price.

Also tested

We tested the following percussive massage guns over the last two years. Though they didn’t make the cut for the above categories, many of these are still great products. Check them out and see if one might be the right choice for you.  

Theragun Elite

If you’re looking at a $400 massage gun already, you may as well get the most powerful massage gun out there and go for the Theragun Pro. 

Theragun Mini

Though mighty (and mighty convenient), the Theragun Mini is louder than anything I’d want to use on a plane. My experience is that the Hypervolt Go has the most settings with the most travel-friendly features. 

Hyperice Hypervolt Plus With Bluetooth

A solid massage gun, the Hypervolt Plus rivals the Theragun in functionality and effectiveness, but the Ekrin Athletics B37 swiped its spot as “most quiet.”

Hyperice Hypervolt

Hyperice’s original massage gun is still good, but I’d personally spend the extra $50 to get the Hypervolt Plus if this was the brand I was after. 

Ekrin Athletics Bantam 

This is a solid mini massage gun, but it doesn’t pack as many features as the Hypervolt Go. It is $40 cheaper, though, so it could be the right choice for you.

Ekrin Athletics B37S

Another great product from Ekrin Athletics, the B37S is nearly as quiet as its sibling the B37. My experience with the B37S is that it’s similar to the Hypervolt in terms of power, design and noise.  

TimTam All New Power Massager

This massage gun is probably too powerful for the average person. It literally sounds like a power drill. But it’s a great option for brawny people with a high pain tolerance. 

TimTam Power Massager Pro

Similarly, TimTam’s other massage gun is super powerful, but it does have some gentler settings — it has five settings versus the All New Power Massager’s two settings.

ExoGun DreamPro 

With all the massage guns out there these days, the ExoGun DreamPro isn’t one of our top picks, even though you can get it at a steep discount right now. It offers lukewarm power, and the design is somewhat clunky, making it uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time. 

NordicTrack Percussion Recovery Gun

This massage gun didn’t impress: It’s not very powerful, yet it’s still louder than many models on this list. The sensation feels more like vibration than percussion. 

TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun

Coming from the company that makes the bright orange foam rollers found at every gym, I had high expectations for the TriggerPoint massage gun. They weren’t quite met, as the massage gun comes with just one attachment and is not as powerful as I expected. 

Compex Fixx 1.0 Massager 

The Compex massage gun feels like a cross between TimTam and Theragun. It has an adjustable head and three speeds, so while it’s nothing spectacular, it gets the job done. 

Sportneer K1 Percussive Massager

This massage gun was a top pick until Sportneer came out with a new version. I still think this is a high-value massage gun and it’s worth trying if you want something in the $100 range.

Recoverfun Mini Massage Gun

At only $79, this massage gun is a great entry-level option for anyone scared to pay for a full-sized massage gun or higher-end portable massage gun.

MuscleGun Carbon 

This massage gun doesn’t offer anything that other massage guns at the $200-$250 price point don’t offer. For that price, I’d choose the Ekrin Athletics B37 or the original Achedaway. What I do love about the MuscleGun products, though, is that your purchase gives you access to the app, which has video- and audio-guided massage gun protocols.

MuscleGun X

A less expensive product from MuscleGun, this device is on par with others in its price range. It’s comparable to the Sportneer Elite K9 massage gun. The aluminum attachments are a nice touch. 

Vybe Pro 

With nine speeds and eight attachments, the Vybe Pro is a great option for people who want a lot of versatility. 

Vybe V2

This one matches the TimTam massage guns in terms of power, noise and design, so I wouldn’t recommend it to the average person. However, if you want something very intense, go for it.

HoMedics Thera-P Heated Massage Gun

The heating element on this massage gun is a nice touch and it’s very soothing. However, the cord and minimal power output will outweigh that effect for many.

Vivreal Handheld Massager

This budget option feels clunky in-hand, but it does allow you to hit hard-to-reach spots, such as your mid-back. 

Renpho Handheld Back Massager 

Another budget-friendly pick, the Renpho Back Massager definitely makes full back massages easy and doable on your own (whereas many other devices require a second person). It’s not very powerful, but it is relaxing. 

Wahl Deep Tissue Percussion Therapeutic Massager

My original “best budget pick” from two years ago has since been replaced, as masses of massage guns have appeared on the market. This is still an inexpensive and solid option, as long as you’re okay with a cord (I know, blasphemy). 


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What to look for in a percussive massage gun

Speed and power: These two elements are definitely the most important. Everyone’s pain tolerance and massage preferences differ, but anyone can benefit from a massager with at least two settings: one being less intense so you can still use the gun on very sore muscles where you are experiencing muscle tension or pain.

Type of motion: As discussed in the Nordictrack description, percussion and vibration are very different. When shopping for a massage gun, consider which mechanism is more important to you. 

Portability: If you’re going to be traveling with your massage gun, you’ll want one that can easily fit into a bag or suitcase, or one that has its own carrying case. Though most are indeed handheld massagers, some units are rather bulky, such as the TimTam models.

Attachments and accessories: Where on your body will you use the massage gun? If you’ll only use it on just your large muscles, such as your back and legs, you probably don’t need many attachments or accessories. But if you intend to use it on specific areas and trigger points, such as the arch of your foot or your neck, you’d benefit from smaller attachments intended for those specific areas.

Battery life: Pretty self-explanatory — the longer the battery life, the better, as with all electronics.

Cost: Of course, you’ll want to look for a therapeutic massager device within your budget. The most expensive massage guns usually offer more adjustable speed, power and motion settings, but less expensive models can certainly get the job done. 

Other great ways to recover from tough workouts

If you’re not exactly into the idea of punching your muscles — which can be painful if you’re really sore and tender — you should know that massage guns aren’t your only option for post-workout recovery.

Cryotherapy: Ever wonder what it’s like to submerge your body in subzero temperatures? With the growing popularity of whole-body cryotherapy, you can try it out pretty much anywhere.

Far-infrared therapy: Tom Brady uses fancy infrared-infused pajamas and bed sheets to keep himself in tip-top shape. It’s supposed to induce the same benefits as heat therapy, but without actually making you sweaty. Find out if it works

Compression therapy: What’s been around for ages as a medical therapy has made its way into the fitness world as a recovery mechanism. You might feel silly wearing big inflatable boots, but there’s some pretty convincing science behind compression therapy for muscle recovery

Using a foam roller: You can always stick to the basics. Science says using a foam roller is great for tight muscles and joint mobilization, which may help relieve some soreness — or at least make it easier to move around when you’re already really sore. Hyperice, the company that makes the quiet Hypervolt massage gun, also makes a vibrating foam roller, so you can get the effects of percussive therapy and foam rolling at the same time. 

Recovered and ready to hit the gym again? Beat boredom on your next treadmill run and find out if Orangetheory Fitness is worth the hype


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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.





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