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Best Massage Guns of 2021-22

Just what is a massage gun, and why are they so popular right now?

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Massage guns are handheld, battery-operated devices that are made to vibrate or massage your muscles to help relax them and provide pain relief. They usually have different attachment heads to help you reach certain areas of the body or to adjust your massage experience.

A massage brings fresh blood to the affected body part, and that helps to get rid of waste in the muscles. It also helps reduce painful muscle contractions.

Compared with basic, less expensive massage tools like inexpensive shiatsu massagers you often see for sale around the holidays, massage guns are able to reach deeper levels of the muscle tissue.

You might use a massage gun for a few different reasons:

  • For stress recovery. This could be day-to-day stress felt in your neck and shoulders based on your body positioning. Or, it could be for athletic recovery from heavy workouts that may cause delayed onset muscle soreness, says Daniel DeLucchi, chiropractor and co-owner of Tuttle DeLucchi Chiropractic Seattle in Seattle.
  • For tight muscles.
  • To reduce the need for or supplement in-person massage treatments.
  • To increase blood flow in specific areas of the body, which is helpful because enhanced blood circulation helps to remove waste products in the muscles.
  • If you have limited mobility or balance or if you’re post surgery, as massage guns are easy to hold in your hand without moving around a lot, says Heather Jeffcoat, a physical therapist and owner of Femina Physical Therapy in the Los Angeles area.

You might choose to use a massage gun in addition to or in place of a foam roller, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (or TENS unit) or a massage therapist. “If you use these other therapies more often, you can easily add a massage gun into your rotation of recovery tools,” DeLucchi says.

How to Choose a Massage Gun

Because massage guns are more expensive than the basic massage devices you see at retail stores – higher-end models can run upwards of $300 – you’ll want to choose one carefully. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help choose the best massage gun for you.

The Five Best Massage Guns in 2021-2022

  1. Hypervolt 2 by Hyperice ($279 to $299 on Amazon). This versatile model is lightweight (1.8 pounds) and has three hours of battery life. It includes three speeds and five attachment heads, plus it’s a good size for travel. One potential drawback: Its larger handgrip may be harder for smaller hands to hold, DeLucchi says.
  2. Theragun Prime by Therabody ($299 on Amazon). The Prime model has five speeds, five attachments, and two hours of battery life. It weighs 2.2 pounds.
  3. Hypervolt Go by Hyperice ($179 to $199 on Amazon). One advantage with the Go model is its light weight – only 1.5 pounds. The weight distribution makes it easy to use for patients with chronic pain, Jeffcoat says. It comes with two attachments. It’s not as powerful as pricier models but is sufficient for most of her patients.
  4. Renpho R3 Massage Gun by Renpho ($99 on Amazon). This more affordable model has five attachments, five speeds and weighs 1.5 pounds. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “My legs were aching from an intense workout so I used the gun on only my left leg to see what difference it made. Instantly the muscles felt less tight as if I hadn’t exercised.”
  5. Fusion FX Heated Heated Percussion Massage Gun by LifePro ($229 on Amazon). A unique feature of the Fusion FX is that it provides heated massage for extra relief to sore muscles. It comes with five speeds, five attachments and three “bonus” modes to change up the massage approach. It weighs 2.16 pounds.

How to Get the Most Out of a Massage Gun

Once you find the right massage gun, keep these tips in mind so you can get the most out of using it:

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