The Theragun is arguably the massage gun that started the self-administered percussive therapy craze. Flooding Instagram feeds and spotted in the hands of celebrities and pro athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo, the device has come a long way since its inception, now available in four iterations for different price points and part of a wider roster of products including facial health device, the TheraFace and compression-powered RecoveryAir boots.
In fact, so expanded is the brand’s ecosystem that Theragun is now Therabody, signaling that it is a company for everyone. Still, its bread-and-butter business remains its power drill-looking massager that promises to pound away soreness just like a Swedish massage.
Of this family of devices, Therabody has now grown to include the $199 gym bag-friendly Theragun Mini to help tackle muscle tightness on your travels, the simplified Theragun Prime ($299), the best-selling Theragun Elite ($399) and its top-flight, all singing, all dancing Theragun Pro, which we’ve been lucky enough to get hands-on with.
Turning the volume down
We’re many generations into the Theragun, and with countless affordable imitators available via Amazon, the Theragun Pro sets itself apart by going about its business without sounding like you’re indulging in some HGTV DIY. The motor now offers a noise output not far off from an electric toothbrush, which we put to the test with a literal toothbrush test. It makes usage much less of an antisocial chore, and something you can feasibly whip out in front of your post-workout Netflix binge.
From the Prime up to the Pro, the look is still very much the same with attachments to help you effectively massage different areas of your body and better target tender parts. The Mini comes in a more weekend bag-friendly form if you don’t want to free up more space to carry around the top-end guns. That said, the Pro is also easily transportable, coming in a neat, briefcase-like carry case to stow its many more attachments while benefiting from its 16-millimeter amplitude and up to 2,400 percussions per minute.
The Theragun Pro is also the only model with a rotating arm to make it easier to angle it into those harder-to-reach areas without the assistance of a partner or roommate. It also adds an OLED display to show how much force you’re applying and display how much massaging time you have left. Therabody still has those swappable batteries for its pricier models and now adds wireless charging via a stand you’ll need to spend on separately.
A massage for all occasions
The concept of how Theragun works hasn’t changed. Replicating the Swedish massage technique of tapotement, it uses percussive therapy that pummels soft tissue to deal with pain and stiffness. Its uses definitely lend themselves to scenarios like grabbing it after a marathon training run or a tough gym session, and there’s even a case to be made for using it during a workout between sets to better activate muscles and reap the highest reward. Not such a fitness obsessive? Therabody also wants you to use your device to relax muscles before you go to bed or after a long-haul flight.
In the time we tested, we used it mainly pre- and post-workout, taking advantage of the added smart powers that lets you pair up the Theragun Pro to the revamped companion smartphone app. The app provides dedicated “routines” for different scenarios where it can be of use, unsurprisingly dominated by activities such as running, strength training, and interval training. There are also routines for sleep, targeting specific areas of the body such as the glutes, or even addressing ailments such as tech neck—each of which takes you through the correct attachments to use, how to use them, and for how long.