If you are in the fitness world at all, you have definitely seen someone sitting around with a little massage gun vibrating and buzzing away like crazy. Maybe you have even tried one!
If you do not know what I am talking about, take a look at this:
This brand specifically is called a Theragun and is the creme of the crop these days in the percussive massage gun world. There’s one small problem, they range from $200-600! I do not know about you, but that seems a little steep to me. So what about the off-brands? Are they worth it? How do these things even work?
Percussive Massaging 101
For the uninitiated, percussive massage guns pulse a little rubber or plastic bit at an incredibly high speed. The top end of these massage guns is about 40 pulses a second. Although I do not have a source to back this up, I have heard it been said that using a massage gun on a specific area for 10 minutes gives you the equivalent of a 90-minute massage. Now, I am not absolutely positive on that, but as a massage gun user, I can tell you that 10 minutes on a single spot does feel pretty damn good.
Here’s what they look like in slow-mo action:
This video is very slowed-down in order for you to see what happens, but it’s pretty simple to understand: the attachment pulses on your skin and impacts the muscle underneath at a very high speed.
Are they worth it?
I cannot sing the praises of these little devices enough. I have tested many different brands ranging from the big boys like Theragun and Hypervolt to the much cheaper off-brands you can find on Amazon. As an owner of an off-brand massage gun, I can tell you that it provides me with great relief from sore muscles, is not very loud or heavy, and has good battery life.
If you go to Theragun’s or Hypervolt’s website, you will see claims that they penetrate 60% deeper than off-brand models. I do not know if that is true and have not seen any studies to back that up.
I would tell you the one that I have, but it just so happens that it was a Christmas gift and in the spirit of good manners, I will not ask for the link. However, I can tell you that my parents have this one and it works great for them.
None of the links in this article are affiliate links, so I am not just saying this to make some money off you guys, but you should definitely get one. Seriously, for $50-100 you can massage away tight muscles literally anywhere. Sitting on the couch watching a movie? Massage. Riding in the car? Why not get a massage? It really is that easy and useful.
Do you need to splurge on a name brand? I’m not so sure. If you have the money, then why not? However, I have not seen any studies backing up what the name brands say. One thing I will say is that they are definitely quieter. This is purely anecdotal but in using several different brands over the years, the name brands tend to be less “buzzy” than the off brands. So, if noise is a big deal to you, go with the name brand. If you do not really care about that, then I would definitely buy an off-brand model!
Cheers and happy massaging!
Jordan Tank, Personal Trainer, Columbus, Ohio
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