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In lieu of a basic foam roller, some have taken to using percussive handheld massage guns that deliver rapid, vibrating bursts of pressure to work away aggravating knots and boost circulation. These tools look a bit like a power drill and come with multiple interchangeable heads to target different areas of the body. They’re believed to help speed up muscle recovery, reduce soreness and increase range of motion, which makes them especially great for athletes.
How do you use one? Well, it’s pretty simple. Holding the device with one hand, you aim the head of the gun at the area of your body you want to target. Then turn it on, and from about an inch away, simply let it pulsate back and forth. You don’t have to press down hard for it to get the job done. Instead, you just move the gun along the muscles slowly, letting the pulses work their magic.
When shopping for one, you should take into account how much noise it makes and the battery life. Ideally, it won’t sound like a power tool or run out of steam mid-treatment. It should also be easy to grip for maximum control.
You’ll want to consider how powerful of a massage you want, too. This is determined by the device’s speed and amplitude, which influences how deep the gun drills into your muscles. The higher the amplitude of force, the more the device will help loosen things up.
Considering all this, we rounded up a range of massage guns from respected brands, so you know you’re getting the real deal. Shop our list ahead.
Hyperice Hypervolt Plus With Bluetooth
The Hyprevolt Plus utilizes patented QuietGlide technology to provide three speeds of rapid percussion with almost no noise. Featuring a 13-millimeter amplitude, it drills into your muscles with 30% more power than the brand’s original gun, and the highest speed setting delivers 3,200 percussions per minute. It comes with five interchangeable head attachments, an easy-to-handle T-shape design, and should offer about two hours of use per charge. Plus, it syncs with the Hyperice app to help guide you through routines designed for specific muscle groups and body parts.
Therabody Theragun G4 Pro
Theragun’s latest model boasts an impressive five-hour battery life and can be used with four arm positions to create ideal angles for reaching any part of the body. The brand’s patented triangle ergonomic handle allows you to hold it in a number of ways while minimizing strain on your wrists, hands, and arms. It also features QuietForce Technology and five different percussion settings with up to 2,400 percussions per minute. A 16-millimeter amplitude delivers a deep massage with up to 60 pounds of force. It connects to the Therabody app, which offers three built-in app-guided preset routines, where you can track your progress and data via Bluetooth connectivity. And the OLED screen displays your current speed and a force meter.
TimTam Power Massager Pro
Delivering 2,400 percussions per minute at an amplitude of 16 millimeters, the Power Massager Pro gets the job done. A major highlight of this gun is its heated tip that automatically provides heat at the optimal temperature for targeted, deep tissue relief. It comes with three round tips in different sizes. A special skin temperature sensor helps identify the optimal muscle temperature for performance. It features a quiet brushless motor as well as a 175-degree articulating arm for easy self-use. It also supplies one full hour of continuous use per charge.
Power Plate Pulse
This device offers four vibration intensity levels up to 3,300 percussions per minute, at a stroke depth of 12 millimeters. It also comes with six different attachments to target various muscle groups and create different sensations. Available in either matte black or red, the device is designed to be whisper quiet with a battery that should last up to five hours. On top of all that, it includes a convenient travel case for easy portability.
Opove M3 Pro
The M3 Pro features five attachments, four speeds up to 3,300 percussions per minute and 15-millimeter amplitude with a maximum of 50 pounds of force. The brushless motor is designed with QuietGlide technology to keep the noise level between 45 and 65 decibels. It also comes with a carrying case and should work for up to three hours on a full charge. The comfortable, non-slip ergonomic arm allows users to reach hard-to-reach areas.
This model features five customizable speed settings ranging from 1,700 to 2,800 percussions per minute and is built with a 16-millimeter stroke depth for a deep massage with up to 80 pounds of force. It comes with four attachments and a travel case and is said to be able to last for up to five hours on a single charge.
One of the more affordable options on our list, the bright blue Vybe offers up to 2,400 strokes per minute, six speeds, a 16-millimeter amplitude with up to 60 pounds of force. It also comes with three attachments and an adjustable arm so you can get those hard-to-reach spots and should last about two hours on a single charge. Note: it may be noisier than the other guns we included.
Sportneer Massage Gun
This lightweight device comes with six different head attachments and should last around five hours before an indicator light lets you know it needs recharging. It also features five intensity settings with the highest offering 3,200 strokes per minute and an 11-millimeter amplitude. It will only reach 35 to 55 decibels, making it decently quiet. It also includes a carrying case and is more compact than others at just 1.8 pounds.
While not the most powerful option on our list — it’s designed with a 6-millimeter stroke depth and up to 27 pounds of stroke force — It’s small and lightweight, making it super easy to pack and use on the go. It offers three speed levels to cater to your liking and is relatively quiet, as it only reaches 40 decibels. Plus, it comes in two cute designs: a shiny pink or blue option.
This tool comes with five different levels of percussions per minute, from 1,200 to 2,800; a 12-millimeter amplitude and five massage heads of different shapes to target different areas of the body. It also features a brushless motor to help keep noise to a minimum and a grippy handle for easy use. It conveniently displays your data and can run for up to six hours of consistent use. Plus, it comes with a convenient carrying case, so you can take it with you wherever you go.