Massage guns conveniently provide all the health benefits of traditional massages anywhere and at any time. Learning more about massage guns can help you become your own physical therapist!
Which Massage Gun is the Best for Me?
Massage guns are wonderful tools for anyone looking to do some at-home physical therapy. They’ve risen to fame rather quickly thanks partly to their widespread use by professional athletes and health & fitness influencers.
We say ‘partly’ because promotion can only go so far. The true testament to why they’ve gained such popularity is thanks to their health benefits. These electric massagers help relieve muscle soreness, increase blood circulation, reduce stiffness, reduce recovery time after strenuous exercise, and the list of benefits goes on.
It’s thanks to all the health benefits they provide that athletes, influencers, and even physical therapists themselves choose to keep one or more of these in their personal toolkit. Nevertheless, it’s not wise to purchase just any massage gun because increasing competition has created many subpar replicas.
Learning a little more about massage guns and how to differentiate the good ones from the not-so-good ones can make the difference between a disappointing experience or one that leaves you thinking, “How did I ever get by without one of these?”
What Exactly are Massage Guns (and How do They Work)?
Let’s start with the basics: what exactly are these things? Well, these small gun-like machines are known as percussion massagers. Like an electric drill-sized jackhammer, percussion massagers deliver a vigorous massage through rapid “hammering.” These kinds of massages are known as percussive therapy or vibration therapy.
The difference between percussion or vibration is simply a matter of amplitude. Amplitude is the distance the gun’s head extends out. The farther it extends, the deeper the massage, ergo ‘percussion.’ A shorter amplitude won’t go as deep and will therefore provide a more superficial ‘vibration’ massage.
Aside from this, two other important factors to consider are RPM and torque. RPM, or revolutions per minute, is how fast the arm extends and retracts in a minute (how many times it hits!). The majority of guns will typically have an RPM range of anywhere from 2000 to 3200. Finally, torque or stall force is the weight you can exert on the gun before it stalls or stops moving.
Naturally, the higher the torque, the deeper and more intense the massage. A gun with high amplitude and high stall force but lower RPM will still feel significantly more intense than a gun with high RPM and low amplitude and torque. Athletes will typically have a higher pain tolerance and will opt for the former: massage guns with more amplitude and torque that can supply deep-tissue massages.
Other aspects you may wish to consider when purchasing a gun are the gun’s noise level, battery life, attachment heads, weight, design, and warranty. Luckily, once you know your desired amplitude, RPM, and torque, the rest is much easier to compare among the brands you’ve narrowed your search down to.
Can I Benefit from Using a Massage Gun?
In short, yes. The best part is you don’t have to be a professional athlete or health guru to reap the benefits of a personal massager! Increased blood flow to muscles, breaking down knots in uncomfortable areas, and massaging areas that feel tight are all things that an office worker might need just as much as any athlete.
Working from a seated position all day can also create soreness that needs attention. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or budget to visit a physical therapist regularly and ensure muscles are getting the care they deserve. This is exactly why having a good quality massage gun can be an invaluable tool for our health and wellbeing.
Which is the Best Massage Gun Brand?
Though there are many brands that exist for massage guns, they all vary in their specifications. Some guns will feel significantly stronger, however, it might also be that much more expensive. One brand we’ve listed below is tried and proven: great quality at a very affordable price. We can personally recommend Bob and Brad as one of the better and more cost-effective options available on the market.
Remember to always do your own research, though. Especially check before purchasing any other brands that are more expensive, as there are many ‘knock-offs’ out there. As with anything, it helps to read the reviews and see what others thought of it before pulling out your credit card.
Physical therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck have over 60 years of combined experience in the physical therapy field. Having helped numerous patients with their pain, they teamed up to form their own YouTube channel in 2011 with the aim to help as many people as possible worldwide. Today, their mission continues strongly as ever, to provide the tricks, tips, and tools for better personal care. Their expertise has helped them develop a wide array of high quality products to further help people around the globe looking to ease their pains and reach their personal physical goals.
Remember, the Best Massage Gun is the One That’s Best for You
Now that you’re well versed in “all things massage guns,” you’re ready to browse through the different options available and choose the one that’s best for you. You might prefer something light, with a lower amplitude and torque. Alternatively, you might have some experience in treating your own muscles already and want something with a little more power.
Regardless of your personal preference in those smaller details, do make sure to take your time and have patience in your search. Those hidden gems come to those who are most patient and care to look through the different options. What’s most important is once you’ve made your choice and purchased one you like, find a system that works for you.
Experiment with different intensities, different attachment heads, different muscle groups, and different lengths of time for massaging each individual muscle or muscle group. You’ll eventually be able to hone in on what works best for your body and will feel better than ever. Best of luck in your pursuit for a lifelong enjoyment of relaxed and healthy muscles!