I’d been utilizing the Theragun Elite on my mum for possibly half a minute earlier than she began musing aloud about shopping for one.
“It’s bliss,” she enthused, eyes closed to benefit from the percussive drive on her again.
My mum loves massages. To her, they’re probably the most exorbitant, coveted luxurious on the earth. She’s repeatedly mentioned that if she gained the lottery she’d deal with herself to a therapeutic massage every single day, together with a private chef and a home with water views. Sadly, the companies of knowledgeable masseuse are too costly to take pleasure in usually, and the coronavirus pandemic has saved her from venturing out for such functions anyway.
As such, a handheld therapeutic massage gun looks like a sensible different, providing percussive remedy although pounding muscle groups with a quickly oscillating piston. Whereas these instruments are sometimes marketed towards athletes, there’s no purpose you may’t use them to ease shoulders stiffened by different means. They might not be as tailor-made to your private wants as a educated therapeutic massage therapist could be, however they’re a wonderful choice if you happen to simply desire a fast hit to loosen these knots.
Hyperice and Therabody
If you happen to’re wanting into therapeutic massage weapons, two of the primary manufacturers you’ll hear about are Therabody and Hyperice. Principally the iOS and Android of therapeutic massage weapons, each of those huge names have been within the sport for round a decade, and provide a number of gadgets at completely different worth factors to cater for various wants.
Therabody has : The $599 Theragun PRO, the $399 Theragun Elite, the $299 Theragun Prime, and the $199 Theragun Mini. In the meantime, Hyperice has three massage guns: The $399 Hypervolt Plus, the $349 Hypervolt, and the $199 Hypervolt GO.
Mashable was despatched the $399 Theragun Elite and Hypervolt Plus to place by means of their paces, in addition to the $199 Theragun Mini and Hypervolt GO. All have a one 12 months guarantee and can enable you deal with stiff, sore muscle groups, however which one is best for you will depend on your priorities.
Kind and weight
From an instantaneous aesthetic perspective, the Theragun Elite has a definite edge over the Hypervolt Plus. The Theragun’s ergonomic triangular kind and slim deal with are rather more visually interesting than its stocky rival, whose thick trunk is double the scale of the Theragun’s. In truth, the Hypervolt’s deal with is so cumbersome that my fingers simply barely attain all the best way round it. I do have comparatively small woman palms although, in order that’s one thing to keep in mind.
The Theragun Elite can also be extra light-weight, weighing round 1 kilogram (2.2 kilos), whereas the Hypervolt Plus clocks in at 1.2 kilos (2.6 kilos). Each therapeutic massage weapons may be operated single-handedly, however these variations make the Theragun significantly simpler to wield.
The Hypervolt does promote 2.5 hours of battery life in comparison with the Theragun’s 2 hours, but it surely’s an insignificant distinction because you shouldn’t use a therapeutic massage gun for various minutes anyway.
Really feel the facility
If we’re evaluating pure pounding energy, although, the Hypervolt Plus comes out forward. In truth, the Hypervolt’s lowest pace is the same as the Theragun Elite’s highest. Whereas the Theragun has a high pace of 2400 percussions per minute (PPM), the Hypervolt tops out at 3200 — a full 800 PPM extra. This had the most important impact on how the weapons felt, with the Hypervolt’s fast pace providing a good smoother and extra intense pounding than the Theragun.
Pure pace isn’t the most suitable choice for each scenario, so each therapeutic massage weapons mean you can modify the energy. The Theragun has a pace vary of 1750-2400 PPM, which may be manually customised through the app, in addition to 5 preset speeds that may be accessed utilizing its buttons. In the meantime, the Hypervolt solely has the three preset speeds of 2400, 2800, and 3200 PPM, with no choice for additional adjustment.
Pure pace isn’t the most suitable choice for each scenario, so each therapeutic massage weapons mean you can modify the energy.
It might have been good to have extra management and customisation on the Hypervolt, however its restricted pace choices weren’t a difficulty for me in any respect. I favor my massages as onerous and quick as doable, so I merely set the machine to its highest pace.
The Theragun can boast a barely deeper 16mm amplitude, whereas the Hypervolt sits at 14mm. That is the space the gun head travels with every pound, and is mainly an indicator of how deeply into your muscle groups it penetrates.
Nonetheless, pace has a bigger affect on how they really feel than the 2mm amplitude hole. The Theragun’s high pace is assertive and agency, however appears virtually mild compared to the Hypervolt’s most powerfully aggressive pounding. In truth, it was so robust that a few of my relations discovered it mildly regarding. You would possibly take into account bracing your self in opposition to a desk whereas somebody applies it to your again.
Controls and studying curve
Each therapeutic massage weapons are simple to make use of, however the Theragun Elite is extra intuitive to choose up. Lengthy press the massive button on the again, and it’ll instantly activate on the highest pace setting. One other lengthy press will flip it off. Shorter press to show it on, and use the buttons above and under to flick by means of preset speeds, with the PPM displayed on an LED display screen. I might have achieved with out the left and proper buttons to toggle by means of preset remedies, although I think about that may be extra helpful to athletes with set remedy plans.
In distinction, beginning up the Hypervolt Plus requires you to flick an on change situated at its base earlier than hitting the one energy button to start out it up. You possibly can press the button once more to cycle by means of the Hypervolt’s three preset speeds, with a fourth press slowing the Hypervolt to a cease so you may flick it off once more. (Not like the Theragun, the Hypervolt takes a second to wind down as a substitute of stopping instantly.) The Hypervolt has no preset remedies, to confuse issues, however you can also’t simply hand it to a buddy with none directions.
There’s an app for that
Therabody’s app beats out Hyperice’s, but it surely’s a minor level because you may not even set up both. The Theragun and Hypervolt can simply be operated with out their apps, although they do present some further options.
Most importantly, the apps provide guided therapeutic massage routines, which inform you the place to put the gun and for a way lengthy. The Hypervolt’s app illustrates its routines with demonstrative movies and complete audio directions, whereas the Theragun has clear illustrated diagrams and written directions. Each therapeutic massage weapons may also connect with your cellphone through Bluetooth, and mechanically change pace to observe the set routines.
Sadly, the Hyperice app feels extra cluttered and complicated than the Therabody app, and I discovered it tough to search out therapeutic massage routines related to me. (What does “Decrease Pinpoint Unlock” imply and why are there two routines with this title?) It additionally beneficial routines for Hyperice devices I didn’t even have.
The Therabody app additionally gives suggestions throughout your therapeutic massage, which the Hyperice app doesn’t. A bar signifies whether or not you’re making use of the “optimum” quantity of strain throughout therapeutic massage routines, offering comforting reassurance that you simply aren’t doing something drastically flawed. (The Hypervolt does have a strain sensor on the machine itself. Nonetheless, the three white lights don’t inform you if the strain is perfect, and you’ll’t see it if you happen to’re utilizing the machine by yourself again.)
Attachments and equipment
Each the Theragun Elite and Hypervolt Plus include 5 head attachments, each providing completely different shapes meant for various functions. Whereas the Theragun’s heads are barely spongier than the Hypervolt’s onerous ones, it’s their shapes which have the larger affect. Which set is best merely will depend on your private choice.
In my mum’s case, it was the Hypervolt’s Fork that captured her consideration. Meant for the paraspinal muscle groups in your again, the two-pronged head is now the one attachment she makes use of, and the rationale she retains sneaking the Hypervolt from my desk. She says it’s glorious for moving into her sore spots, and appears like therapeutic massage from her physiotherapist.
Therabody does promote a that permits you to use two heads without delay, which is its closest equal to Hypervolt’s Fork head. Sadly the individually offered set prices $49, which is a fairly vital further outlay.
I did love that the Theragun comes with a carry case although, which makes storage simple. In distinction, the individually offered will set you again $49. The Hypervolt’s cumbersome kind means it might simply be rested on its head to retailer, however I a lot favor having the peace of thoughts and safety of a devoted case.
The mini variations
If $399 appears a bit expensive, each Therabody and Hyperice promote smaller, transportable therapeutic massage weapons for $200 much less. Designed for journey, the Theragun Mini and Hypervolt GO (each $199) don’t give pretty much as good a pounding as their bigger siblings and have fewer bells and whistles. Even so, they nonetheless present some aid.
The Theragun Mini is the extra cell choice, as its compact triangular form makes it simple to pop in your bag. The Hypervolt GO is cumbersome as compared, sharing the identical chunky deal with width because the full-sized Plus. It’s considerably lighter than the Plus, thus much less cumbersome to deal with, however nonetheless not as small because the Mini.
The Hypervolt GO weighs round 650g, has an amplitude of 10mm, and set speeds of 2400, 2800, and 3200 PPM. In the meantime, the Theragun Mini weighs about 675g, has an amplitude of 12mm, and three set speeds: 1750, 2100, and 2400 PPM.
The smaller amplitudes are obvious in these fashions, which really feel like they don’t go deep sufficient into your muscle groups. These extra surface-level poundings are distinctly much less satisfying than these provided by the Hypervolt Plus and Theragun Elite, that are in a position to goal deeper aches. Utilizing the Mini and GO is a bit like having another person attempt to scratch your itch. It’ll do in a pinch, but it surely isn’t what you really need.
The Hypervolt GO and Theragun Mini are easy to make use of, although the GO has no seen indicator of which pace setting you’re on. Each are powered on with an extended press to their single button, which is pressed once more to cycle by means of the preset speeds, and neither have Bluetooth connectivity to their apps. You might nonetheless manually observe their therapeutic massage routines, however neither app really tells you what pace to set your machine at.
The Hypervolt GO additionally comes with solely two heads — the Bullet and the Flat. Fortuitously, you should purchase a set of , which offers you the Fork, Spherical and Cushion heads that include the Plus. In distinction, the Theragun Mini solely comes with the Normal Ball head, with its costly attachments promoting for . That is likely to be wonderful if you happen to solely use a few heads, however a primary time therapeutic massage gun person gained’t know which of them greatest go well with them, making the Hypervolt’s selection pack extra sensible.
I’ll notice that the Hypervolt GO doesn’t include a carry case, and Hyperice doesn’t promote a suitable one both. It’s a really unusual resolution for a tool designed round portability, and undoubtedly made me take into account leaving the GO behind once I left the home.
The Theragun Mini features a smooth case, which is rather more handy and safe, however doesn’t embrace room for the charger. Although the Mini and GO each declare 2.5 hours of battery life, I might have appreciated to have the ability to maintain the charger with my Mini to cease me from inevitably dropping it.
In the long run, which therapeutic massage gun you go for will depend on your wants.
If you happen to have been to place the Hypervolt Plus, Theragun Elite, Hypervolt GO, and Theragun Mini aspect by aspect, my mum will at all times attain for the Hypervolt Plus, which scores huge in an important areas. The superior PPM and Fork attachment handily make up for its smaller amplitude, and its cumbersome weight isn’t a giant deal when you’ve got a affected person pal prepared to manage it for you. But when self-application is a priority, otherwise you favor an assertive pound to an aggressive one, the lighter, extra ergonomic Theragun Elite is the higher alternative.
Personally, I’d disregard the Hypervolt GO and Theragun Mini. Their $199 worth tags could also be alluring, however you’d be higher off paying an additional $100 for the $299 Theragun Prime. If you happen to’re going to decide to a therapeutic massage gun it’s best to not less than get one which absolutely satisfies you. The Theragun Prime provides the identical amplitude and pace because the Elite, in addition to an virtually similar kind issue — it simply doesn’t embrace a drive meter or the Wedge attachment.
A few hundred bucks is admittedly rather a lot to pay for a gadget that isn’t technically important. Even so, the Hypervolt Plus gave my mum her first good night time’s sleep in years. That made it completely value it to us.