The highs of working out often come with the lows: fatigue, muscle soreness and tightness. Luckily, your post-workout doesn’t have to feel this way. Massage guns have gained massive popularity in the past few years, and for good reason — they’re affordable, portable and provide (almost) instant relief after an intense workout. From the most advanced to the entry-level, here are the best massage guns you can buy on Amazon.
A Quick Download on DOMS
Believe it or not, that achy feeling you experience days after a hard – or brand-new – workout has a name. Delayed-Onset Muscle Syndrome, or DOMS, is the pain experienced after training. These aches typically show up 12 to 24 hours after a workout, peaking about three days after the initial activity and easing up thereafter. While some wear these DOMS as a badge of honor, they can sideline us from our favorite fitness routines, leaving us to deal with tender muscles, a decreased range of motion and other symptoms.
Percussive massage guns can be a great way to defend against the dreaded DOMS, particularly with post-workout recovery routines. Massage guns work by increasing blood flow to the targeted area, stimulating the muscles through rapid tapping and deep penetration, similar to the Swedish massage technique of tapotement.
Which Head Attachment for Which Modality?
One of the perks of percussive massage guns is their plethora of head attachments that suit multiple recovery needs and routines. You can cater each attachment to a specific need; from larger heads covering wider surface areas, to smaller attachments for precise, fine-tune therapy. While there’s no wrong answer when it comes to getting that deep-tissue treatment – and each brand offers their own individual package of attachments – here are five common head styles to look for when choosing your massage gun.
- Cushioned – Great for novice users just getting used to percussive therapy. Can also be a great option for sensitive areas, such as the neck.
- Ball/Round – Less rigid than other options, this attachment style can be a great warmup tool, combining the benefits of large surface coverage without the precision of narrower tools.
- Flat – A true workhorse, the flat head can be great for attacking large muscle areas, like the thighs and calves, in less time. Plenty of vibration and little give, expect to see some serious action with the flat attachment.
- Fork/Spine – An attachment style more catered to a specific area, the fork attachment can be perfect for spinal percussive therapy, working both sides of the spinal column at once. Some brands offer an arched head that works in a similar fashion, without the gap in-between the two narrow prongs.
- Bullet/Thumb – If you want to really dig into those knots and aches, this is the head to choose. A narrow design allows for optimal precision, but this pinpoint treatment can be a little much, especially for inexperienced users. It’s best to start slow and work your way up to this attachment style.
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We’ve had our hands on a number of the top picks below, highlighting key features like amplitude, stall force and general ergonomics. We also noted the included attachment options as well as the ease of storage, because let’s face it, a massage gun and companion heads can begin to take up some shelf space if not packed up neatly in a tote. Whether the needs entailed general relief after a long day’s work, or more specialized treatment after more strenuous CrossFit workouts, these guns were holstered to show their worth.
Now, let’s get up to speed and dive into the best massage guns from the A-to-Z retailer.
BEST OVERALL MASSAGE GUN
Lifepro Sonic X
BEST UPGRADE MASSAGE GUN
BEST BUDGET MASSAGE GUN
Kelices Percussion Massager
MOST ERGONOMIC MASSAGE GUN
Therabody Theragun Elite
BEST MASSAGE GUN FOR BEGINNERS
Flyby F1 Pro
MOST READABLE LED SCREEN
Fusion Black Pro
BEST EXTENDED DESIGN
Bondir R2 Relieve + Recover Percussive Massager
QUIETEST MASSAGE GUN
Sportneer Deep Tissue Percussion Muscle Massage Gun
MOST LEGIBLE BATTERY LIFE INDICATOR
Dacorm Y8 Pro Max
MOST PORTABLE MASSAGE GUN ON AMAZON
Yunmai Cosy Care Mini
The Best Percussion Massage Guns of 2022
Update your recovery routine with these heavy-hitting gadgets designed to massage away your aches and pains.
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