This guide covers TOP-6 best percussion massage guns currently available on the market, from the most powerful professional-grade deep tissue ones to lightweight models that effectively combine percussion and vibration types of massage. There are models that were developed for athletes and have proven to be most effective for recovery after workouts and rehabilitation. You will learn about how percussion guns work and what they are used for. The guide analyzes all strong points of this method, elaborating on the benefits it offers. It also offers valuable recommendations on using this kind of device, what areas of the body you can treat with it and in what sequence.
We think that PlayMakar MVP is the best trusted percussion massage gun for the money. For $179, you receive a professional medical-grade, high powered percussion massager, equipped with a high-torque motor (up to 5400 percussions per minute).
2. Theragun G3PRO
Here You Will See The Best Percussion Massagers:
This is a portable electric device that delivers strokes, sending pulses of pressure into the muscles. These are deep tissue percussion massagers that enhance blood flow and range of motion as well as help to get rid of muscle knots and relieve tension. This treatment also contributes to more rapid recovery, mitigating pain and muscle soreness.
The pulsations it produces soften stiff muscles and soothe the tissue around them, which results in a relaxing effect in the treated area. Although percussion massagers are particularly advertised for home use, they are also in demand among professional physical therapists who apply these devices to their patients with a view to reducing pain sensations. As a rule, we feel pain in muscles in several areas of our bodies, and this is where the electric massager will come in handy.
Percussion massage is different from a traditional one in that it reduces sensitivity in the area around a sore muscle by affecting its fiber gradually until the area is penetrated. In a traditional massage, a therapist oftentimes may not penetrate deep enough to reach the needed areas. Moreover, the massage itself can be painful, while percussion therapy involves only relief.
Percussion therapy offers a wide array of benefits for the user. Now, let’s take a closer look at them.
Health benefits. This treatment can be recommended as part of rehabilitation in the postoperative period because it is able to enhance lymphatic and blood circulation, which hastens the healing time. Besides, percussion therapy is helpful for stiff joints and spasms of muscles, as it stretches out their fibers. All this is particularly beneficial for those who for some reasons cannot attend a physical therapist or cannot do it regularly enough. With this kind of massagers, patients suffering paralysis will benefit from muscle stimulation that will prevent atrophy and improve reflexes.
Reach your athletic goals. Percussion massagers are used by professional trainers as they are known to help athletes enhance their performance. After intense workouts, they have to deal with sore muscles, which is why recovery is an integral part of professional-level workouts. Providing stronger muscle contractions, these devices reduce recovery time, while the enhanced blood flow decreases fatigue. All this makes the athletes stronger and more durable.
Wellbeing. Even though you don’t suffer any disorder or disease, a percussion massager can be useful for you. By improving blood circulation, it will make you feel better and relax. This therapy is also applied to help reduce the amount of toxins in the muscles. On top of that, this is a good way to boost your immunity, improve digestion and even sleep better.
Coping with stress. With the enhanced blood flow, oxygen consumption is improved, which results in better breathing. The latter, in its turn, brings down stress and relieves anxiety.
Pain alleviation. One of the essential benefits of these devices is that they are able to decrease pain. The higher amplitude the massager has the more effective it is in pain management. And yet, there is not enough scientific evidence proving that percussion massagers can really alleviate pain. According to Dr. Charles Kim, assistant professor at NYU Langone Health’s Rusk Rehabilitation, while different frequencies are known to have an impact on the muscular healing process and relaxation, there is no convincing study in the field of pain management.
Before anything else, plug the unit if it is corded or insert batteries in a cordless model. Put the required attachments following the label direction and turn on the massager. Unless the doctor recommends otherwise, the first place you should treat with the massager is your shoulders and the back of your neck. Move the device from one shoulder to another as it is the region where the muscles are often tense. Do not apply it to the areas where bones protrude.
Start with the lowest setting, gradually increasing the speed. Keep in mind that most units can be adjusted over the course of a session so that the user could choose the most comfortable setting. Then, massage your back, moving along your spine. Never put the device directly over your spine, instead, massage the muscles on either side of it. When you feel that your muscles start to relax, switch to the lower back where the muscles are usually stiff.
After that, move down to your buttocks, focusing on the hamstrings, which are oftentimes the cause of lower back issues. Massage your calves and the ab region, the latter should be treated using the lowest setting. You can apply the unit to your chest as stimulating the area around the heart enhances the blood flow while massaging the lymphatic nodes improves your immunity. And finally, move to your arms and wrists.
Since a percussion massager isn't a cheap gizmo, you should consider some aspects before you part with your money.
One-person/two-person. There are models that are larger in size and require someone to move the unit along your body. For some people, this is not a problem as they can ask their partners to do so, while others prefer massager that can be used without assistance. For example, if you have to travel a lot, the latter type will be the best option for you.
Weight. Keep in mind that the heavier the device the more intense pressure it can apply. On the other hand, lightweight models are easier to maneuver and reach specific areas of the body.
Design. Apart from being a nice-looking product, it should have an ergonomic design. The device should be easy to grasp and operate, and simply feel comfortable in your hand. Keep in mind that the model with a long handle is more convenient.
The number of heads. For the most part, the more heads are built in the unit the better. However, if you want to treat only one spot, a single-head model will work better for you.
Features. The therapy effectiveness is directly dependent on how many features the product has. By adjusting the speed, you are more likely to achieve your goal.
Material. Your massager will last longer if it is made from a durable high-quality material. Make sure that the unit aluminum or stainless steel parts. High-quality material is also safer in case the device overheats.
Pedro Bernardes, an expert on fitness and sports equipment at Gadget Reviews, explains what factors contribute to developing strength.
When you do massages, even with these gadgets, you should know always what you are doing, otherwise, you take a very big risk of doing more bad than good. This being said, this is a gadget that should only be used by certified professionals.
Like most machines, the more adaptations the better. In this case, the more speed, strength, and heads option, the better. Be careful because cheaper isn’t always the better option and, sooner or later, you will find yourself in the need to buy another one. There are some other options you should look for like weight, head articulation, temperature sensors, displays, motor options or battery usage.
TOP Best Massage Gun Reviews | 2020
Below, you will find the best products at a price ranging from $150 to $600. These models have different design, weight, and size as well as exert a different amount of force. The number of percussions varies from model to model, as well as the number of speed options. Some items have as many as 6 attachments for various parts of the body — from the large muscle groups to tender areas — something that will make the massage more accurate and efficient.
1. PlayMakar MVP Wireless Percussion Massage Gun | Best Trusted for the Money
Recommended by professional bodybuilders, this powerful percussive therapy tool will recover your muscles and relieve muscle strains. Manufactured by a Texas-based company with 20-year experience in the industry, the PlayMakar massage is a high-performance, medical-grade device delivering impressive results. While being powerful, it boasts low-noise operation, with the noise level not exceeding 58dB.
Equipped with a high-torque motor (up to 5400 percussions per minute), the device allows you to choose between six speed settings so that you could select the most comfortable deep-tissue massage. With a weight of 2 pounds, it is more lightweight than many other competitive models and, therefore, easier to hold and operate. Besides, the massager is cordless and comes with a 2400mAh Li-ion battery, which lasts for more than 3 hours on a charge.
What we like about this model is quality assembly, power, convenience, fair — and not inflated — price ($179.95
If you want to learn more about how we tested it, check out our PlayMakar Massage Gun Review.
PlayMakar: Check the current price
2. Theragun G3PRO Percussive Therapy Device | Best Professional Deep-Tissue Percussion Massager
Take a look at this stylish and super convenient device! This brand is a leader on the market and is well known for its professional-grade products. The Theragun company was set up in 2007 by Dr. Wersland, a chiropractor who made a decision to develop his own product after he had suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident. G3PRO is the most powerful model of the brand that is used to treat muscles, assist recovery, and relieve pain.
One of the main advantages of this model is that it was designed for professional use and is the most advanced model on the market. It will take you less than a minute to work one muscle group, making it more flexible and stronger. This unit is a real beast as it exerts about 60 pounds of force. The massager offers 2 speed options — a standard one and a lighter one, with the former producing up to 40 percussions per second.
The product comes with six attachments, which can be used depending on your needs. Whether you want to treat tender areas, large muscle groups, shoulders or the lower back, you will find an appropriate attachment in the kit. The product features a comfortable design with an ergonomic handle, while the arm can be adjusted to 4 angles.
Since this percussion gun is so powerful, no wonder that is operates on two rechargeable batteries. This means that you will not have to spend extra money on purchasing new batteries. Customers rate this model highly, saying that this is an awesome device that provides immediate relief, helping with tight muscles and cramps. Some of them recommend taking advantage of the app that can be used as a good guide. Although this percussion gun is the priciest on the list, it is really worth buying!
Theragun G3PRO: Check the current price
3. VYBE PERCUSSION Massage Gun | Cheap Theragun Alternative
If your budget is limited, you may opt for this item as it is the most affordable percussion massager in our review. It cannot boast the performance of Theragun, produces much noise, and comes only with 3 attachments. Still, there is a number of strong points that are worth mentioning.
With a weight of about 3.5 pounds, this unit is lightweight enough. I like its compact and ergonomic design, particularly the massage arm that can rotate 90 degrees. Surprisingly, for the price, it offers more speed levels (6) and is able to give you up to 2400 strokes per minute. The manufacturer promises that you will feel real percussion that penetrates deep into the muscles. This model also runs on two rechargeable batteries.
Well, judging by the feedback, this thing does the job, helping to cut the time spent on recovery. Customers also speak well of the trigger button, which is very convenient to use as you will not have to hold it down during the treatment. With one click, you will turn on or turn off the unit. But this percussion gun is really very noisy as some customers say that they have to put on their earbuds while using the device.
Exerscribe: Check the current price
4. TimTam Power Massager v1.5 Deep Tissue Massage Gun
In addition to Theragun, there is another reputable brand of high-end massagers — TimTam. Why trust this brand? Well, just look at who the founders of TimTam are — Georges St-Pierre, Canadian professional mixed martial artist and UFC world champion, and Kelly Starrett, physical therapist and coach. No wonder that they have created truly professional-grade massagers! Notably, the company’s clients include trainers, athletes, therapists as well as ordinary consumers. That is why those looking for a reliable and powerful massager, can safely choose TimTam products.
There are two most popular models from TimTam — PowerMassager™ Pro Handheld Percussion Massager and Power Massager v1.5 Deep Tissue Massage Gun. The first one has a unique feature — a heated tip, which significantly enhances the effect of deep tissue massage. The machine has 3 speed settings and delivers up to 2,800 strokes per minute. It comes with a built-in temperature sensor and an LED display. Due to the adjustable arm, you will be able to reach any area of your body without effort. The device has a durable battery that can last up for an hour of continuous operation. With a weight of 4 pounds, it is portable and convenient to use.
The second option, TimTam Power Massager v1.5, is less expensive but also less powerful as the device will give you 2000 strokes per minute. Nevertheless, this product has its own strong points. Its 90-degree articulating head and interchangeable tips will provide you exactly the massage you want.
TimTam: Сheck the current price
5. PUREWAVE™ CM-07 Dual Motor Percussion + Vibration Therapy Massager
A nice sleek design is the first thing that jumps out at you but is by no means the only benefit. This product is recommended by sports trainers and professional therapists, and there are reasons for that. It comes with two motors — the one for percussion and the other for vibration. Vibration delivers a soothing massage while percussion gets deep into the muscle tissue.
Its ergonomic design will allow you to effortlessly treat hard-to-reach areas of your body. Another peculiarity that distinguishes this item from the other ones on the list is that it can be applied directly to the face. This will help to reduce stress and the tension in the jaw muscles. There are five attachments for the percussion end, while the vibration side is designed only for a facial attachment.
Customers say that this massager is even more powerful than those used by therapists in clinics. They use it for pain relief and recovery, noting that it works well but the battery dies too quickly. Some buyers complain that attachment fall off the vibration side of their massagers, but these are individual cases. Their other gripe was about the unit turning off, once the pressure is applied.
Purewave: Check the current price
6. OPOVE M3 Pro | Best Portable Deep Tissue Massage Gun
It has the compact design and weighs just a bit more than two pounds. It can operate for a long period of time — up to 6 hours while charging takes from 2 to 3 hours. There are three modes, with the lower one giving 1800 percussions per minute and the fastest one delivering as many as 3200.
The pack includes 4 attachments, one of which is good for all body parts, another is intended for large muscle groups, the third one is designed for the upper back, and the fourth one will deliver deep tissue massage. The downside is that the device may interrupt its operation if you put too much pressure on it. Customers suggest applying this massage gun to alleviate muscle tension after workouts or such outdoor activities as hiking.
Opove: Check the current price
Expert Opinion: Kelly Starrett, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Trainer
Kelly Starrett, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Trainer
Dr. Kelly Starrett is a trainer, physical therapist, and speaker. In 2007, he received a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Samuel Merritt University. In 2009, he launched his fitness website MobilityWOD. Kelly is among the TOP 100 most influential persons in health and fitness.
“What we do is addressing muscular stiffness or a trigger point. One of the things I can do easily to activate the brain to be part of the solution instead of just hammering away like a jackhammer on my soft tissue is that I can create a muscular contraction under the device. So what ends up happening now is as I timtam myself, I can contract — and I will hold that contraction for five seconds — and then I will be able to release. If I can’t come off tension quickly, it tells me maybe that the system is not clear. I should be able to push on the tissue pretty moderate pressure — and, by the way, that is how we know if tissue is normal or not. If I put some consistently moderate pressure into a tissue system, it should be painless. So if I push on something using percussion and it is painful, stop — you have just found a problem. When I locate an area that is stiff or it is painful, I am going to contract into the implement by creating resistance underneath that area. I am going to hold that for five seconds and I am going to release like a lightswitch”.
12 Best-Selling Massage Guns | Theragun & Alternatives | Comparative Table
Pros And Cons of Massage Guns
- A drug-free alternative in pain management. Although the treatment should be considered rather as a supplementary measure, it will allow reducing the consumption of medicines that usually have multiple side effects.
- Portability. These devices are mostly handheld and the user can typically do without someone’s assistance. This is particularly essential for those who have to travel a lot.
- Affordable price. Generally, the price isn’t more than $500, but you can easily find a cheap option under $100. All in all, owning an electric device will cost you less than attending a physical therapist on a regular basis.
- Jewelry and clothing can be entangled in the device and damaged.
- Energy consumption. Battery-run models involve extra spending, especially when used regularly.
- Contraindications. They are not recommended for pregnant women, diabetics, and people with thrombosis and epilepsy. You cannot use them if you have an implanted medical device.
Percussion penetrates deeply into the muscles. By using strikes and thumps, the percussion massager stimulates the skin, muscles, and veins. Shiatsu employs acupressure to release tension in the muscles and fix imbalances in the energy flow.
Theragun is definitely the best model I have reviewed. While being designed for professionals, it is very comfortable to use.
As to the good, reasonable price, I think that PlayMakar MVP is the best trusted massage gun for the money. For $179, you receive a professional medical-grade, high powered percussion massager, equipped with a high-torque motor (up to 5400 percussions per minute).
Read a detailed insight into trusted percussion massagers in our Buyer's Guide - Best Massage Gun Reviews.
Yes, it works on the areas affected by cellulite, such as the ab, buttocks, and legs. The kind of device is supposed to make your skin more elastic.
If you suffer from pulmonary diseases, a percussion massager can be very helpful as it facilitates loosening the mucus in your lungs. Debora Leader, a medical writer who specializes in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, suggests using electronic devices for chest percussion. She notes that the best time to perform this therapy is in the morning because your lungs build up mucus while you are asleep.
Yes, it is. There are professional-grade models available on the market and they have proven to help athletes recover faster and easier. By treating your muscles before and after workouts, you will make them more flexible as well as will improve the tissue connectivity.