Best Massage Guns

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Here’s our pick of the best massage guns to boost your post-workout recovery…

Any athlete or coach worth their salt will tell you regular stretches and good recovery are critical to achieving peak fitness. But you don’t have to be a world-beating elite to reap the benefits of smart post-workout rituals. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to the best massage guns. Also check out the best foam rollers for post-workout recovery.

If you’re pushing your body to the limits, your muscles will let you know about it. If you’re doing that regularly you’ll need to develop a tried-and tested recovery routine. One option would be to shell out £50 a week for a sports massage. Another would be to spend hours balancing on a foam roller.

On the other hand, percussive therapy tools, such as the best sports massage guns, offer a convenient alternative for teasing out your tight bits, delivering rapid DIY treatments that are like sports rub-downs from the comfort of your own home.

The best massage guns

Every massage gun in our list does a good job at quickening post-workout recovery. But in our opinion the Theragun Elite, with its OLED screen, force sensor and comprehensive app support, stands out as the one to beat. OK it’s expensive, but what price can you put on on dependable recovery?

Other massage gun recommendations

Best for portability Only the Bob and Brad Mini Massager comes close to the Theragun Mini in terms of size and portability. But Theragun’s minimal model edges it, we think, because of its greater massaging amplitude (12mm instead of 8mm).
Best for silent operation If unobtrusive operation is an important factor in your buying decision, the HyperIce HyperVolt 2 Pro beats the bunch with near-silent operation. A three-hour battery life makes it an even more appealing option.
Best for battery life The longest battery life of them all, though, belongs to the Nordic Lifting Fuego X9. A five-hour run time, as well as a useful heated flat head accessory and two-year warranty, are highlights of this great-value package.

How we test the best massage guns

Our testers used every massage gun over a period of at least a month. They would use their full range of accessories as part of a recovery protocol after strength sessions, cardio work, bodyweight and extended mobility sessions. They judged each massage gun on ease of use, features and restorative power, taking force, percussive speed, battery life, charging time and variety of accessories into account to come up with a final score.

Theragun Pro

1. Theragun Elite

Men’s Fitness verdict

Theragun has improved on older models to produce a dependable and customisable massage gun. The new OLED screen makes it intuitive to use too.

Pros

  • Effective 16mm pummelling amplitude
  • Useful app insights
  • Customisable
Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not the best battery life

This latest generation Theragun Elite is the smartest massage gun we’ve used. Its pummelling head has a 16mm amplitude that gets deep into muscles and sees off knots and tight spots with 40 percussions per second and up to 40lb of force.

With older models it wasn’t easy to know when you were using them right, but the new Elite now comes with an OLED screen, a force sensor, and syncs to a smartphone app that tells you if you’re applying the right pressure. It also serves up real-time move-by-move app guides for everything from easing tight hamstrings to unstiffening shoulders.

And while older Theraguns made it sound like you were taking a pneumatic drill to your quads, the Elite is much, much quieter. It’s more customisable, too: it comes with five built-in speeds, but you can also use the app to set the percussions per minute anywhere within the 1,750-2,400 range.

You get 120-minute massage time on a single charge and just two minutes’ attention to each muscle group can help stifle post-workout soreness.

Product image of Hyperice Hypervolt Pro 2

2. HyperIce HyperVolt 2 Pro

Men’s Fitness verdict

The HyperIce HyperVolt Pro 2 is the quietest massage gun we’ve come across. But don’t mistake a lack of noise for a lack of power – it delivers plenty of contolled punch to the biggest muscles.

Pros

  • Powerful 90W motor
  • Five interchangeable heads
  • Near-silent operation
Cons

  • Expensive
  • One of the heavier options

The quietest percussive massage gun going, the HyperVolt 2 Pro is heavier than the Theragun Elite but still easy enough to wield effectively.

Its 90-watt high-torque motor hits speeds up to 3,200 RPM, and five interchangeable heads cover everything from working the bulk of your quads to the smaller, more sensitive muscles.

You can sync to the Hyperice app for automated speed control, and the three-hour battery life beats most.

Product shot of Nordic Lifting massage gun

3. Nordic Lifting Fuego X9

Men’s Fitness verdict

The Fuego X9 is a great value gun with a super-effective heated head in its arsenal. Excellent run time and four massage modes round out an impressive package.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Heated head and 4 others
  • Effective pulse mode
Cons

  • No app compatability

Versatility is the name of the game with Nordic Lifting’s Fuego X9 massage gun. Not only does it have five interchangeable heads for targeting any muscle group, it also boasts four massage modes (uniform, wave, climb and heated) and five massage speeds.

Whether you’re getting into deep tissue with the round head, tending your Achilles with the spinal head or massaging sore muscles with the heated flat head, you can set your speed from 1,600rpm to 3,200rpm in roughly 400rpm increments.

Its brushless motor guarantees a quiet massage and on the lowest level you can expect to get 5 hours use from a single charge. The Fuego is available in three colours, comes in a neat travel case and has a two-year warranty.

Pulseroll Massage Gun

4. Pulseroll Pro

Men’s Fitness verdict

The Pulseroll has a lot of things going for it: low weight, decent power, long battery life and a good range of attachments. It offers fairly good value too.

Pros

  • Light weight
  • Decent battery life
  • Most attachments of any gun on test
Cons

  • Not quite as much punch as the big guns

With quiet-noise technology and four-hour battery life, Pulseroll’s massage gun is super lightweight, making it easily stowed in your gym bag or backpack (although it does come with its own carrying case).

Six attaching massage heads make it easy to target any sore point.

Product shot of Theragun Mini

5. Theragun Mini

Men’s Fitness verdict

This mini marvel may scrimp on size but it doesn’t hold back where features are concerned. Three preset speeds, 12mm amplitude and 2½ hours run time are better than some bigger models.

Pros

  • Good battery life
  • Decent value
  • Now app enabled
Cons

  • Three heads are quite similar
  • Not as easy to grip as pistol-shaped guns

At 650g, the mini is a more portable – and wallet-friendly – option that’s better suited to being stuck in a gym bag, taken to finish lines or even the office.

That 12mm amplitude pummelling head won’t go quite as deep into your muscles as the bigger models but you still get 150 minutes of massage time, three preset speeds, and it means you get onto your recovery quickly, no matter where you are.

The Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun in a garden

6. Bob and Brad C2 Mini Massager

Men’s Fitness verdict

Though a fair bit cheaper than the Theragun Mini, the C2 can’t quite steal its throne. It’s a simpler unit with no adjustability but it’s easier to hold and has a better battery life.

Pros

  • Comparatively quiet even at top speed
  • Gym bag portability
  • Great value
Cons

  • No Bluetooth app
  • Lack of adjustability

The Bob and Brad C2 Mini Massager is obviously going head to head with the Theragun Mini and provides some stiff competition. At 8mm, the amplitude is a little on the low side but it boasts a better battery life than the diminutive Theragun and is much easier to hold.

Although it can’t quite compete with the big guns in terms of power, that does make the C2 adept at treating more sensitive spots – and there are five heads in the case to help you do that. There’s no Bluetooth for pairing with a companion app but when you consider the price you’re still getting a lot of bang for your buck.

5 Of The Best Massage Guns For Rapid Recovery | Men's Fitness UK

7. Compex Fixx 1.0 Massager

Men’s Fitness verdict

Decent speed variability and changeable arm positions make the Compes Fixx a decent pick. Battery life and features are the weakest on this list though.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Changeable arm position
Cons

  • Only 90 minutes per charge
  • Expensive given lack of features

Compex’s first ever deep-tissue massage gun doesn’t pack the app and coaching smarts of Theragun’s top models, but this simplified tool does come with three speeds – 25, 33 and 46 strokes per second – for tending to different muscles, and three different arm positions that help you reach the trickier body parts.

You also get 90 minutes of massage time on a single charge.

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