The ultimate recovery starts with the best percussion massage gun on the market, at least, that’s the theory at the moment. Over the past few years, massage guns have become more and more popular in gyms and homes across the world. With personal appointments and touching strangers now taboo, the solo approach is generally the best, and more people are turning to safe, in-home alternatives to massage therapy. So, what is a percussion massage gun, and how can it help you? We’re glad you asked because we’ve got all the ins and outs, as well as a list of the best massage guns ready for you.
What Does a Percussion Massage Gun Do?
A percussion massage gun is the fast, efficient alternative to the foam roller. Imagine an electric hand drill, but with a vibrating head on the end. This type of massage provides rapid bursts of pressure into the body’s muscle tissue, differing from the light strikes used in traditional massage. Even better, unlike myofascial massaging tools, such as foam rollers, that can yield similar results, massage guns can hyper-target a specific problem area.
While definitely effective, it must be said that percussive therapy doesn’t completely eliminate muscle soreness. Instead, percussion massage guns increase blood flow to a specific muscle area, which can help reduce inflammation and muscle tension. Further, this function can helo to break up knots. Percussion massage guns are perfect for pre and post workout warm-ups/cool downs, and will alleviate soreness over the following rest and recovery days.
Health Benefits of Percussion Massage Guns?
While users often report massage guns as being essentially a cure for any sore muscle, the basic science behind the fitness equipment is strong. A 2014 study suggested that vibration therapy and massage (both of which are part of percussive therapy) are equally effective methods to prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), implying that you are less likely to feel muscle pain or tightness in the 24 to 72 hours after an intense workout.
While there isn’t a lot of medical research on massage guns specifically, the anecdotal evidence is encouraging. According to Jason S. Wersland, the man responsible for the Theragun, the product has been endorsed by several physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors around the world.
A percussion massage gun may help to:
- Decrease Stress
- Reduce Pain and Tissue Tension
- Circulate Blood
- Increase Your Range of Motion
What to Look For in a Percussion Massage Gun?
From a basic perspective, reliability, noise, and battery life are the three most important factors of a percussion massage gun. Noise is particularly important for discretion. You don’t want it to sound like you’re working with power tools while you try to relax. You’ll want a percussion massage gun with a long lasting battery life, so that the tool doesn’t cut out halfway through your massage. And finally, you’ll want to invest big in a percussion massage gun. Cheaper tools are more likely to break down more often over time. Not only could this hurt your wallet with repeat purchases, but these cheaper tools could also damage your body.
Best Percussion Massage Guns
With these factors in mind, let’s have a look at the 13 best percussion massage guns for your next recovery session.
1. Theragun PRO
Kicking off our list of the best percussion massage guns in the Theragun PRO. The PRO’s ergonomic grip allows it to reach all your nooks and crannies, and with five percussion settings, you can ease your way into relief. Pair all this with a 300-minute battery life, and you’ll be enjoying your recovery periods more than your workouts.
Battery Life: Five hours
2. Hyperice Hypervolt (With Bluetooth)
One of the key selling points of the Hypervice Hypervolt (With Bluetooth) is its compactness. This Hypervolt is a smaller model from the line, but doesn’t compromise on its recovery capabilities. This massage gun is exceptionally quiet, and with its range of speeds and motions, you’ll be covered from warm-up to cool down. The Hypervolt’s Bluetooth capabilities will also allow you to track sessions and preferred motions in the Hyperice app.
Battery Life: Three hours
3. Theragun Mini
As the name suggests, the Theragun Mini is small. This compact, travel percussion massage gun is ideal for relief on the go. With 150 minutes of battery life and three speeds for varying massages, the Theragun Mini isn’t too far from its larger counterparts. If you’re constantly moving and have limited bag space, this is a great, space saving percussion massage gun.
Battery Life: Two and a half hours
4. Hypervolt GO
From Theragun’s mini model to Hyperice’s Hypervolt GO. While not as compact as the Theragun Mini, this percussion massage gun is still 30 per cent smaller than the Hypervolt model we discussed earlier. This smaller, lightweight model again is great for travel and transport, and is basically as strong as its bigger siblings. With three speed settings and two interchangeable heads, you can’t go wrong with a Hypervolt GO.
Battery Life: Two and a half hours
Performance technology start-up, Hydragun is one of the newest brands on the market, but the early signs are encouraging. The Australian company offers a massage gun that is far quieter than some of the other options on this list, while still belting out an impressive 3200 pulses per minute.
Battery Life: Six hours
6. Homedics Physio Massage Gun
The Homedics Physio Massage Gun is an ideal entry level, percussion massage gun. This Homedics model is an option that won’t break the bank and has all the bells and whistles other massage guns like to boast. Three settings, multiple massage heads, as well as being light and compact for storage and travel. Like we said, if you’re new to percussion massage guns, starting with the Homedics Physio Massage Gun.
Battery Life: One hour
7. Theragun Elite
From new to experienced, we have the Theragun Elite. If you’ve been using a massage gun for a while and you feel it’s time for an upgrade, you won’t regret the Thergun Elite. Integrating all the latest technology, from OLED screens to ergonomic handling, this massage gun may just change the way you recover. While it is a little loud compared to other models on our list of the best percussion massage guns, it’s the quietest of the Theragun brand, and is no less a great purchase.
Battery Life: Two hours
8. Myo-Trig Performance Therapy Kit
With the Myo-Trig Performance Therapy Kit you’ll have everything you need in your arsenal for pain and tension relief. Packaged with three different massaging heads, being a small ball, large ball, and pointed head, you’ll be able to combat every pain-point with the ideal head. The massage guns tilting head makes it easier to hit those hard to reach spots, for the best all body massage you could have by yourself.
Battery Life: 1 hour (depending on power setting)
9. Celsius Percussion Gun
The Celsius Percussion Gun is another great entry level tool on our list of the best percussion massage guns. This affordable massager is simple to use, with three levels of power controlled through one button. These power settings can be paired with the three included interchangeable heads, for an all over pleasing massage experience. For an affordable percussion massage gun that’s easy to use, you can’t go wrong with a Celsius Percussion Gun.
Battery Life: One hour
10. Sportneer Deep Tissue Muscle Massager
Rounding out our list of the best percussion massage guns is the Sportneer Deep Tissue Muscle Massager. With six different interchangeable heads, you’ll be able to relieve almost any pain or stress from your body. And with six hours of charge, you’ll be able to get the most of these different attachments for hours on end. While not as powerful as other models on our list, this is still an exceptional purchase if you suffer from low-level tension.
Battery Life: Six hours (depending on power setting)
11. TimTam Power Massager
While the name will remind Australian readers of a tasty chocolate treat, the TimTam Power Massager is far from it. Looking like something that you’d find in a toolbox, this massager gun has two powerful massage settings, hard and harder. Battery life isn’t the best here, but with its power, you won’t want long on those tender muscles. If you’re really tight and tense, and we mean really tight and tense, this percussion massage gun will break through your muscle pain.
Battery Life: Thirty minutes
12. Wahl Heat & Ice Massage Gun
Wahl’s foray into the massage gun world comes with five different levels of intensity, providing up to 3200 pulses per minute. The best function of this release is the heat and ice setting, which helps soothe stiff joints and relax muscles.
Battery Life: One hour
What is the best Theragun alternative?
Hypervice and Sportneer are great alternatives to Theragun percussion massage guns.
What is the difference between Theragun and Hypervolt?
Between different models, the battery life, ergonomic grips, and interchangeable heads differentiate Theragun and Hypervolt products.
Do physio's recommend percussion massage guns?
Yes, physio's believe that when used correctly, percussion massage guns can be used effectively from home.