Massage Guns – Our view on the latest trend in fitness and recovery
Do you ever wonder how some people continue to push harder when stretching and doing their daily exercises? Ever wonder why some gym bunnies never seem to be sore or tight? Is your workout partner annoyingly smug and patronising whilst you groan in discomfort?
It’s just possible that they’ve discovered the benefits of using a massage gun. These nifty devices are the current darling of the fitness industry and the subject of multi-million dollar advertising campaigns (hello Cristiano Ronaldo…).
For enthusiasts, percussive massage guns are their secret weapon for overcoming swelling, discomfort, and pain without going in for a physio visit.
We’ve decided to investigate the myths and realities of massage guns and to give our opinion of their efficacy. And whilst we’re at it we’ll highlight what we consider to be the best massage gun (or massage guns) in Australia.
Using percussive massage guns for self-care, along with proper rest and recovery, helps make sure you’re always ready for the next workout without putting yourself at risk for injury.
As the massage gun trend grows and the niche becomes more attractive to new entrants, additional brands and models enter the market. Competition is healthy, in that it grows the category, but it does also confuse as each new entrant fights for your attention and money.
The number of models and devices available at the time of writing in July 2021 is much higher than 18 months ago. And many overseas models launched with much fanfare and expense are still not available locally for Aussies.
That’s why we’ve put together this review. It helps narrow the selection down to only the best massage guns in Australia.
You’ll learn the following in this review:
- What is a massage gun?
- What should you use one for?
- How to choose the best massage gun in Australia
Let’s get started with the top 2021 massage gun picks!
What Is a Massage Gun?
You’ll hear various names when it comes to these devices:
- Massage gun
- Percussive massage gun
- Percussion therapy massage gun
Massage gun devices come in many shapes and sizes. They’re portable devices that provide deep tissue massages no matter where you happen to be. Many fit into a tiny gym bag so that you can take them anywhere.
Why the term “gun”? Well, most of these amazing devices possess the shape of a gun due to a percussive ball that protrudes from the tip. The ball is what achieves the rapid pulsation actions required to provide your tissue and skin benefits such as:
- Improved circulation
- Increased blood flow
- Soft tissue repair
Are you looking for the ability to achieve a deep tissue massage without needing to walk out of your home or gym? You’ll want to pick up what you consider to be the best massage gun in Australia.
What Exactly do You Use a Massage Gun for?
The main reasons to use your favourite percussive massage gun include:
- Lessen muscle soreness
- Prevent injury
- Relax fascia tissue
- Disperse lactic acid build up
- Aid tight muscles
Avoid the tendency to think that it sounds too good to be true that one small device like a massage gun can perform all these benefits for you. On the whole we’ve been mightily impressed by their comfort and convenience. Using these devices makes for an excellent solution if you’re struggling with sore muscles during and after workouts or even simple neck and back tension at work.
Although most of the guns you’ll find below don’t include detailed instructions for optimal use, they’re relatively simple to put into use. If you suffer from general back problems, for example, it’s a matter of placing the tip’s ball on the affected area and letting it massage you.
If you’re a workout warrior, on the other hand, here’s a simple way to get started:
- Warm up your muscles with it during your workout routine
- Lessen soreness and tightness after each workout
- Use it later if soreness returns
That’s it! Relatively simple, right?
Let’s Review the Lactic Acid Issue
You should know that many massage guns make claims about the ability to release lactic acid. Is lactic acid an advantageous or disadvantageous result of high-level cellular activity? Well, that’s a hot debate, and some studies suggest that lactate production isn’t the “bad guy” it’s been made out to be by some fitness professionals.
In a nutshell, anaerobic respiration causes lactic acid. It’s the byproduct that occurs when a lack of oxygen causes cells to produce more energy.
Going a bit deeper, your cells work to break down glucose during high-intensity workouts. This process results in the production of a substance called pyruvate. Your body next converts pyruvate into lactate, meaning that lactic acid isn’t the cause of acidosis in the body. Instead, it’s a consequence of acidosis in the cells.
Why is this important to know when deciding on the best massage gun in Australia?
It’s vital to understand so that you don’t buy your next massage gun based solely on claims about how it can remove lactic acid from your body. Instead, keep your buying decisions attached to how well your percussive gun will help soreness, tightness, and injuries.
Top Considerations When Buying a Massage Gun
Pay attention to issues such as noise, battery life, reliability, and weight when looking at each massage gun’s specs.
Previous versions of some massage guns caused irritation because of their high noise levels. A few were criticised for being so loud that they caused problems for not only their users but also their user’s neighbours! However, newer generations don’t typically have this issue anymore.
Battery life doesn’t need too much explanation. The last thing you want to experience is the motor cutting off just as you’re about to feel your best. Some models come with a spare battery that you can keep charged for this exact situation. Overall, it’s pretty much a given that the best massage gun comes with a decent battery life.
Reliability relates to how long your model lasts, based on how often you use it. Of course, you’ll find that cheaper brands disappoint in this area.
Consider weight if you want something light and easy to carry with you. Think about buying a massage gun that also comes with a carrying case in Australia. These devices have an odd shape that can make it hard to pack well in your gym bag. A carrying case helps turn your massage gun into a better option for travel.
Percussive machine guns often come with multiple head attachments. Consider these options carefully because additional attachments enable your massage gun flexible enough to reach all muscle groups. Look for devices that offer at least four or five attachments and you’ll be fine when it comes to giving yourself what amounts to a full-body massage.
Best Massage Guns in Australia
Here’s a quick list of the nine percussive massage guns that merit your attention:
- Hydragun Massage Gun
- Theragun Pro
- Hyperice Hypervolt Plus
- Revitalgun RG3E V2 Pro
- Renpho R3 Massage Gun
- TimTam Power Massager Pro
- Trigger Point Impact
- Exerscribe Vybe PRO
- Homedics Physio Massager
“Quiet” Hydragun Massage Gun
Remember when we mentioned above that many older hand held massage gun models hurt your ears after putting them into action? The newest Hydragun model offers what they claim is the quietest massage gun on the market. There is an argument that noisy guns (even at high speed) mean that the manufacturer has squeezed costs on the quality of motor or components or construction (or all three).
The media jumped all over the ‘quiet’ Hydragun on release. Look at what some media sources say about the Hydragun:
- Forbes says most users find the lack of noise impressive
- Popsugar says it’s the perfect gift for mum
- GQ says the “quietest massage gun” is a “favourite of Olympians”
User review comments:
- Improves my blood flow enough to repair muscle cells
- Easy to use and helps with my rehab
- Great for your recovery process
- The most effective recovery tool I’ve ever tried
- It’s the quietest machine gun and does wonders for me
While less expensive than other options like Hypervolt or Theragun, the Hydragun offers you a comparable option in terms of quality.
It weighs just a bit less than 1 kg, making it simple to handle and use. Its amplitude is 12mm and its stall force comes in at 30 pounds.
Does it come with attachments? You bet! You’ll receive six total head attachments in your package, along with a nice carrying case. The head attachments fit each area of the body well. You’re protected by a 30-day guarantee.
By the way, it’s quiet and well worth it!
Made by Therabody, the company says they invented this model because the motor that they needed to make an effective, yet quiet, massage gun didn’t exist. Their proprietary motor uses what they call QuietForce Technology and comes in as quiet as an electric toothbrush.
The Theragun Pro model offers a battery life of 300 minutes. It also comes with a spare battery and provides you with an OLED display. This is an impressively well-made machine. It feels strong and sturdy in the hand.
Six foam roller head attachments come included with the following speed settings:
This model provides 60 pounds of force and weighs only 1.3kg.
User review comments:
- An incredible tool for recovery and preparation
- I take it everywhere: away games and into the locker room
- Theragun helped me deal with a rare bone cancer
- It’s quiet, powerful, and an essential part of my recovery
- I couldn’t perform my best without it
Therabody offers a complimentary app that learns more about you over time. It becomes familiar with your unique preferences and behaviours and integrates with Google Fit and Apple Health.
Connect your new Theragun Pro to the app via Bluetooth technology and control many of its features straight from the app. The app also offers a nice set of easy-to-understand instructions.
Hyperice Hypervolt Plus
While not quite as versatile as the Theragun Pro, this model still deserves its place on the best massage gun list as it offers an intensity and power improvement of 30% over the original Hypervolt. It comes with a top speed of 3200 percussions per minute and easily massages out any soreness.
Its comfortable grip and the fact that it weighs only about 1kg make it easy to use, and each charge of the 24-volt battery gives you about two hours of use.
Expect the Hyperice Hypervolt Plus to come in a bit louder than the first two options on our rundown. However, this is one sturdy and impressive massage gun that stands above most other models on the market.
User review comments:
- It’s heavy duty, stable, and powerful
- Does a great job at relaxing my muscles and relieving soreness
- Give yourself a massage without wearing out your hands
- Thank you for the step-by-step instructions
- I felt like I had a new set of legs after using the Hypervolt Plus
Revitalgun RG3E V2 Pro
Using the Revitalgun RG3E V2 Pro should have you convinced that you selected one of the best massage guns in Australia.
This new model offers you eight attachments so you can reach all the important muscle groups.
It has 30 different speed levels, and these range from 1200 to 3200 percussions per minute. The 2600 mAh battery takes two hours to charge and then provides you with more than five hours of consistent use. If you run it for more than 10 minutes, then a convenient safety feature powers it off for you.
The Revitalgun RG3E V2 Pro comes with a carrying case so you can take it anywhere you need to go for workouts or travel.
User review comments:
- This is one impressive cordless product
- It provides a deep massage for my muscles
- Great battery life and it lasts a long time
- Its display makes it easy to see speed settings
- Makes it simple to reduce speed for more sensitive regions
Renpho R3 Massage Gun
Consider this power-packed massage gun if you’re on a more limited budget. They’ve recently upgraded it with an extremely powerful brushless motor encased inside its attractive metal housing.
Weighing barely one half kilogram, this is a lightweight, yet firm, massage gun that’s simple to use. It comes with a “super grip” handle and is quiet, coming in at about 45 decibels.
Use your choice of five different speed settings that range from 1800 to 3200 percussions per minute and find the perfect rotation for your soreness relief and relaxation needs.
Does it come with attachments? You bet! Choose from one of the five attachments and apply them to where it hurts most.
Power up for a week’s amount of workouts on only one charge of its 2500 mAh lithium battery. It also comes with a safety feature that turns the massage gun off after 10 minutes of continuous use.
User review comments:
- A lifesaver….it helped me recover from severe soreness
- Relieves all of my body pain
- Solidly built, high-quality massage gun
- Easy to use
- Turn it on and it just works
TimTam Power Massager Pro
Not to be confused with Australia’s favourite chocolate biscuit, this model of massage gun even gets a nice endorsement from podcast king Joe Rogan. Created by Kelly Starrett (Crossfit coach) and Georges St-Pierre (MMA veteran), the TimTam Power Massager Pro comes with an extra heat feature.
It allows you to drive heat deep into your tissue and muscles as it accelerates its soreness and pain relief benefits. A skin temperature sensor ensures that you don’t injure yourself with temperatures that get too high.
The battery provides up to one hour of continuous use and it’s one of the quietest massage guns on the market. On its lowest setting, for instance, it comes in at just 10 decibels.
It’s easy to use because it continues functioning after you click on its one-touch trigger feature. The head rotates at 175 degrees, making it even easier to maneuver with one hand only.
The TimTam Power Massager Pro offers five pre-programmed settings like Warm up, Recovery with Lumbar, or Recovery with Neck. It gives you the choice of three different speed settings at strokes per minute that equal:
Three tip attachments come with this massage gun, along with a travel bag.
User review comments:
- Awesome product
- It works well to relieve tense or tight muscles
- I love all the attachments and heated tip
- The various speeds work great
- Works after long work days or post workout sessions
Trigger Point Impact
What makes this one a little different is the universal head design. It comes with one non-detachable head instead of offering several detachable and interchangeable heads. Trigger Point says everything was designed to work well with any muscle group and that’s why they went with this type of design.
The Trigger Point Impact massage gun gives you four different speeds that help with massage pressure and intensity. The four speeds offered are:
- 300 rpm
- 2100 rpm
- 2900 rpm
- 3300 rpm
The brushless motor offers quiet massage sessions and you’ll get over two hours of massage time with the rechargeable battery. You don’t need to worry about carrying it around because it weighs only about one kg.
The control panel uses a LED display, making it easy to read the four different speed options. The handle offers nice grip and control.
User review comments:
- It’s one quiet, yet powerful massage gun
- Perfect size and easy to hold
- I absolutely love this product
- Easily eliminates my muscle knots
- Helps my tendinitis issues
Exerscribe Vybe PRO
Are you looking for a quality massage gun that offers plenty of head attachments? Look no farther than the Exerscribe Vybe PRO. It gives you eight head attachments, three made out of metal and five made out of plastic.
The Vybe PRO comes with nine speeds and a powerful selection of strokes per minute that range from 1800 to 3400.
It’s a quiet device, due to its 24-volt brushless motor that combines with a double-bearing transmission. It offers high power for all of your muscle groups without the annoying noise that can easily ruin a relaxing massage session.
Consider this one because it’s quite versatile. The Vybe PRO can easily relax your muscles, break up tough knots, or increase your range of motion.
The battery lasts up to three hours, and this massage gun comes with its own carrying case.
User review comments:
- Effective device that works quietly in my chiropractic practice
- The vibration is powerful
- I’m satisfied with everything about it
- I love the versatility of all the attachment heads
- Outstanding battery life
Homedics Physio Massager
The Homedics Physio Massager works great if you’re on a very limited budget. This is right at the low end of the price range. It comes with three attachments and offers three intensity levels.
It has its own storage bag, a USB rechargeable feature, and it weighs only 1.1kg.
User review comments:
- Perfect speed for my muscles
- My back feels less tight
- Relieved my leg pain
- It even helped with my stress
- Great value for the money
There you have it! You really can’t go wrong with any of the nine solid choices that we’ve reviewed for you.
Do your due diligence, establish your price point, and feel confidant that each of the models is an effective massage gun. They all do what they say they are going to do on the label; but some do it quieter, with more variation, convenience and speed (and cost, inevitably).
What you consider to be the best massage gun might also be dependent on how quickly you want the device. Covid-19 has disrupted global supply chains and, at the time of writing, not every one of these guns was available for same-week delivery in Australia. This is why we suggest you check out availability as well as price in our links.
However long you wait, we’re confident that the wait will be worth it. We have not recommend a single device that would not be comfortable in owning ourselves. We love the benefits provided by a quality percussion gun.
And so will you, if you like the idea of giving yourself a deep tissue massage that eliminates muscle knots, helps you recover after tough workouts, helps with stretching exercises, alleviates tight muscles, and increases blood flow. What’s not to like?