Massage Guns 101: What You Need to Know
If you are a gym rat, a garage gym warrior, or have a busy, on your feet all day kind of job, you are eventually going to want a massage gun to work out the aches and pains that plague your body. Did you know that a massage gun can actually help your gym performance if used before a workout, too? Let’s find out more about these amazing devices.
What is a Massage Gun?
A massage gun is a tool that can help you with muscle soreness but delivers other benefits as well. A massage gun can:
- Increase blood flow to your muscles before or after a workout
- Relieve muscle soreness and muscle tension
- Provide pain relief for some chronic conditions
- Help you relax when used as a deep tissue massage
- Help with better, deeper sleep
- Aid in muscle recovery and healing
Every muscle gun is different with some providing hot and cold massage, different speeds, different attachments, and very different price ranges.
How Much Are Massage Guns?
Because there are so many massage gun options out there the price range is vast and can go from $49 for the unbranded/off-branded basics to $600 or more for one with all of the bells and whistles.
Prices vary based on a number of factors such as:
- Whether the massage gun is corded/cordless or uses batteries
- How many head attachments the massage gun comes with
- The size and power of the unit
- The number of speeds that the massage gun may provide
- If the massage gun has any special features such as a storage case
- Name brands and availability may also impact the prices you will pay for these massage devices
Brands, Options, and Prices to Consider
The Theragun massage device is sold in Therabody retail locations across the US as well as on their website (therabody.com). Military and First Responder discounts are available.
- Theragun Mini: Smallest massage gun in their lineup weighing only 1.5 pounds ($199.99)
- Theragun Prime: Quiet technology, 4 attachments, speed can be customized, 120 minutes of battery life, bluetooth compatible to use with Theragun/Therabody apps ($299.99)
- Theragun Elite: Available in red or black, quiet technology, speed is customizable, bluetooth compatible ($399.99)
You can also buy Theragun products at Best Buy or Dick’s Sporting Goods. Purchased at either retailer, you can earn cash back rebates of up to 2% to 8%.
Other Brands and Styles:
- Sonic Handheld Massage Gun: 8 interchangeable massage heads, variable speed (Available at Walmart for $99)
- Vybe Pro: 9 speeds, 8 attachments (Walmart, $151.99)
- Pure Wave Generation II Dual Massager: 7 attachments, 12 speeds, percussive and vibration therapy capable, long handle (Padousa.com $149.95)
How Do Massage Guns Work?
Massage guns work by using a movable head that pumps back and forth (or up and down) very quickly. Most have variable speeds, changeable heads, and may have different pulse patterns or power capabilities.
As the head moves blood flow is stimulated to that muscle group providing heat and increased flexibility.
Some provide either hot or cold massages. Use heat to increase blood flow such as during a warm-up before workouts to boost flexibility and performance and use cold to help reduce swelling on a non-injured muscle group.
Percussive Therapy vs. Vibration Therapy
Most massage guns provide vibration which is perfect for deep tissue massage. Percussive therapy may have fewer benefits and is available on fewer massage guns.
Vibration and percussive therapy both increase blood flow to most major muscle groups.
Vibration is more relaxing and can help with issues such as sleep and mild worry. Both do promote increased blood to the muscles, may be used for muscle fatigue and post-workout recovery, and deliver an effective massage to treat delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Used immediately after a workout, these massage guns may help prevent DOMS altogether.
What Are Massage Guns Benefits?
Massage gun benefits include:
- Pain prevention and relief
- More flexibility
- Better performance for some athletes
- More body awareness
- Faster recovery
What are Massage Gun Risks?
Used incorrectly, massage guns can pose risks that include:
- Prolonged recovery time from a sprain or strain
- Further injury to a joint if improperly positioned
- Increased soreness
It is important to understand basic anatomy and to know how to use your massage gun correctly. The more powerful it is, the more important that this knowledge becomes.
Where Can I Find a Massage Gun Cheap?
You can find fair to good quality massage guns at lower prices in many retail stores especially sporting goods stores. You can find at least a few models at:
Pro Saver Tip: Shop online and earn cash back rebates. Shopping rewards sites like Rakuten, MyPoints, and Swagbucks offer cash back rebates of 1% to 20% at 1000’s of featured stores.
What Are the Best Massage Guns?
The best massage guns are the ones that will provide the best benefits, have long battery life, and still fit within your budget.
Theragun is a popular name brand and has been highly reviewed. Options include a Mini and Pro model but they are pricey with even the Theragun Mini priced at $199.99.
Name brand aside, you want to choose a model that has several speed settings, at least four massage heads, and a decent battery life
A budget massage gun can work for the average person and will provide muscle relaxation so don’t get hung up on names.
Also be sure to read reviews (positive, negative, and neutral) and check the return policy for the portable massage gun you are considering, especially if it is on the “cheap” side.
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