Exercise is an important activity that helps keep you healthy and strong. It builds endurance, strength, and better cardiovascular and muscular movements. The only problem I have with exercise is the aftermath. If you have experienced working out, then you know how uncomfortable it is to experience muscle soreness.
This was when I found out about massage guns. Sure, muscle soreness is part of the whole road to fitness, but that doesn’t mean that you should always put up with it when there are alternatives to make it less painful. A massage gun is shaped like a gun or a drill that produces vibrating motions. It has a head that oscillates, and this is what you press down to your sore areas.
Here, I talk more about massage guns, why you need them, and the top picks I have tried and loved together with their pros and cons.
Top 6 Massage Guns in Australia 2020
|Rank||Model Image||Model Name||Max RPM||Massage Head||Battery Life||Speed Level||Where to Buy|
1. XMIAO Massage Gun
The XMIAO Massage Gun is a complete package for anyone who wants to have an extensive massage for all their muscle groups. It has six different attachment heads and each of them can give a specific type of massage and depth to different areas. I was able to precisely target different muscle groups and this allowed me to maximise the use of the device.
Another thing I love about the XMIAO Massage Gun is it has a strong vibration frequency. It ranges from 1200 to 3800 rounds per minute and you can adjust it to 20 different speeds. These 20 speeds are impressive to have because it allowed me to find the speed that I was most comfortable with. Plus, you can also choose from these 20 options for different parts of your body. In a nutshell, the XMIAO Massage Gun is a very customisable massage gun that you won’t find anywhere else.
The XMIAO Massage Gun is cordless and portable. It’s not heavy that you will find it hard to bring around. I pack it just well in my gym bag thanks to the zippered carrying case that’s included in the package. Together with the carrying case, it weighs 1.8 lbs (approx. 816 grams). It also has a charger, but because the battery life is more than five hours, I don’t have to bring it with me. If you’re wondering, the charge time only takes 3 hours maximum.
There are a few nice-to-have features in the XMIAO Massage Gun that added to a better overall experience for me. One of my favorite features is the HD touch-screen control that you can find at the top of the device. It shows the massage speed, battery life, the power button, and the adjustable buttons for you to adjust the speed. You don’t have to wonder what speed the massage gun is at because it’s already shown at the top.
2. Exerscribe Vybe PRO Massage Gun
The Exerscribe Vybe PRO Massage Gun made a great first impression on me because it has eight attachment heads. So far, it’s the only massage gun I’ve tried that had this many attachment heads. Five of those are made of plastic while the other three are made of metal. When I first tried it on, it was exciting to try all the different attachment heads because I know that there’s one for every muscle group of my body. However, when I tried changing the heads, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.
The problem with the Exerscribe Vybe PRO Massage Gun is that it’s not as seamless to use as you would expect. For one thing, the attachment heads don’t seem to fit perfectly and sometimes it got me thinking that the plastic ones might break on me. I’ve seen several complaints about it too and I know I’m not the only one experiencing this. Nonetheless, once they were attached properly, they were able to give that deep tissue massage that the Exerscribe Vybe PRO Massage Gun was promising.
When it comes to massage speeds, it only has nine different speeds. This is still a good number because I was able to find my preferred speed from those nine choices. It also has a maximum of 3400 strokes per minute which are telling of how strong and powerful the Exerscribe Vybe PRO Massage Gun is. More than the vibrations, the type of movement the attachment heads have is more percussion than just a simple vibration. This in itself was a good thing because I know that it can reach the nooks and crannies of my tensed muscles.
Another thing I love about the Exerscribe Vybe PRO Massage Gun is the silence of the vibrations. You would think that for a massage gun with a 3400 RPM speed that it would be so noisy but it’s not. I barely heard any sound coming from which makes it an ideal portable massage gun to bring with me in the gym.
As far as ergonomics are concerned, the Exerscribe Vybe PRO Massage Gun has a relatively slim handle that contains a small LCD screen showing the speed mode that you are on. Beside it, two buttons can help you increase or decrease the speed settings. The handle itself is made from silicone to give you a tighter grip, but at the same time, it’s light enough for you to carry. It even comes with a carrying case that will make it more convenient to bring anywhere.
3. RENPHO Massage Gun
The RENPHO Massage Gun is probably one of the most lightweight massage guns I’ve ever used. It’s only 1.5 lbs (approx. 680 grams) and it is smaller than average. To give you an idea of how small it is, it’s just a little taller than your iPhone 11. But even if it’s small, this massage gun delivers a total RPM of 3200 and it’s made purely of stainless steel. It looks sleek and efficient and I loved every bit of the time I was using it.
Compared to other massage guns, the RENPHO Massage Gun only has five speed levels and five attachment heads. First, the speed levels. Although this is not as bad as you think, you might want to have more options when it comes to speed. Personally, the five speed levels were enough for me since they just have the right levels of speed to cover the types of massages you need. You can adjust them by turning the knob at the back of the massage gun.
Second, the five attachment heads. Although all of them were well-built and are easy to attach and change, I wish they had more attachment heads included in the package. Nonetheless, all of the heads were useful in targeting many muscle groups like the joints and the back.
Apart from the basic features, what I appreciated the most about the RENPHO Massage Gun are its add-ons. What you would see in this device that you won’t see in a lot of other massage guns is an auto-off feature. This feature reminds you not to overuse the massage gun to prevent more muscle soreness. It also has a ventilation area on top to avoid overheating. Isn’t that just thoughtful? I’ve never really experienced it overheating, but it’s good to know that certain protective features make it more efficient.
Another feature I think you would appreciate is its ability to be charged using a power bank, specifically a 2500mAh power bank. To charge, you should use the USB-C cord that comes with the package. Given that you’re charging from a power bank, expect that the charging time will be relatively longer than if you would charge it from a wall socket. Don’t worry, on a fully-charged battery, the massage gun lasts for six hours which is twice as long as the average massage gun.
When you buy the RENPHO Massage Gun, it will come with a hard case where everything’s laid out and organised. It’s great packaging and it also keeps the device secured while in transit.
4. Exerscribe Vybe Percussion Massage Gun
The Exerscribe Vybe Percussion Massage Gun is not like your usual massage gun that aims to be a relaxation tool. It’s quite the opposite. The Exerscribe Vybe Percussion Massage Gun makes a loud noise when you use it, so it’s not something you should buy if you plan on turning it on while the kids are asleep or if you’re ashamed of making loud noises in the gym.
When I got to use the Exerscribe Vybe Percussion Massage Gun, I immediately felt like it was more of a drill than a massage gun. This is because the design of the device itself feels like a hardware tool. It’s ergonomic, don’t get me wrong, but it can also be bulky to hold. It doesn’t look like a gun because its shape looks like a square from the side. The reason why I’m telling it this way, is that it is not as easy to use in areas that are small given that it’s not exactly compact.
To make up for the design, the Exerscribe Vybe Percussion Massage Gun does have a rotating arm. This means that the whole area where the massage head is attached can rotate to allow for better targeting in smaller muscles. The rotating arm can reach up to a 90-degree angle. Just below the rotating arm, there’s a small compartment that houses the batteries.
To add to that, it uses a one-touch trigger mechanism which is a lot similar to a gun’s trigger. Just press it and the attachment head oscillates. With this way of using the massage gun, you have better control over when to keep it on or off. This is a good thing because you can save up on the battery knowing that when you lift your finger, the whole device stops.
If there is one thing that the Exerscribe Vybe Percussion Massage Gun has perfected, it is the movement of the attachment heads. It truly gives that percussion movement which makes me feel that the massage gun is working to give a deep tissue massage. Compared to other massage guns, the Exerscribe Vybe Percussion Massage Gun gives 16-mm deep massage which is six millimeters deeper than the average device.
Overall, the Exerscribe Vybe Percussion Massage Gun can easily be classified as a mid-range massage gun that you can use specifically when you’re indoors or when you’re alone. Aside from being noisy, the battery life is short which makes it inconvenient whenever you run out in the middle of a massage in the gym.
5. OUSEON Muscle Massage Gun
The OUSEON Muscle Massage Gun is a 20-speed massage gun that I found very easy to use. It comes with an HD LCD screen that has touch buttons to adjust the speeds and it also displays the speed level that you’re on. For a massage gun that is not so popular, the OUSEON Muscle Massage Gun is something I would consider recommending to people.
When I first used the OUSEON Muscle Massage Gun, I thought it would be bulky and inconvenient to use because it looked so big. It weighs around 1.6 kg and the top area is thick and round. When I got to use it, I realised that the design was to make sure that the whole massage gun is durable.
The bulky area at the top was ventilation to prevent the device from overheating. This made me think that there was more to the OUSEON Muscle Massage Gun that what meets the eye. Of course, this doesn’t remove the fact that it’s still a little heavy than other models. When you use this, I recommend you stop every five minutes just so your hands won’t feel sore.
Another thing that I found useful was the battery life. Among all the massage guns I tried, nothing comes close to the OUSEON Muscle Massage Gun’s battery life. If others had a 2-3 hours life, this one has 8. I was shocked when I heard that on a fully-charged battery, this massage gun can last me for three weeks of regular use. When I got to try it, it wasn’t a joke either. It does last long and it charges in just 3-4 hours.
If you’re wondering about the quality, I would say that the OUSEON Muscle Massage Gun is built to last. With an RPM of 3300, it is ready for heavy-duty use. Apart from that, the massage heads, although made from plastic, are durable. They are easy to attach to the gun itself and it fits perfectly.
The only thing that might not be the best fit for me here is that it only has four attachment heads. While these attachment heads are the most basic shapes that you can use in several muscle groups, it would be better if it added 1-2 more types. I would recommend having an extra attachment head specifically for larger muscles.
You need to know that the OUSEON Muscle Massage Gun is also loud. If you’re looking for more relaxing muscle relief, you wouldn’t find it with this device because it tends to make a loud sound when you turn it on.
6. TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun
The TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun is popular among workout enthusiasts because of its name in the market. When I first heard about it, I found out that a lot of people are already familiar with TriggerPoint and the other massage devices and tools they create. TriggerPoint is known to make durable and well-designed exercise tools and I guess this was why most people would prefer buying their massage gun.
For the TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun, what surprised me the most is that it only had one massage head. It’s not detachable and there’s no other attachment head in the package. According to TriggerPoint, their universal massage head was designed to be able to massage different muscle groups. While I agree that their universal massage head has a different design, it still does not fit all muscle groups which is where a detachable head would be very helpful.
Other than that, I don’t have any other complaints about the TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun. It’s very easy to use and it helped that the handle was slightly slanted. This little change in the design did wonders on how I handled the massage gun. Initially, I wouldn’t mind the slight ache in my wrist whenever I use a conventional massage gun, but when I used the TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun, I noticed the difference. The slant was an ergonomic design that will make it easier for you to grip the handle. It also helped in reducing the tension in my wrist.
The TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun is a lightweight massage gun. While most people will think that it’s less powerful, it being lightweight has nothing to do with the RPMs. In fact, it can still provide a 3300 RPM despite its size and weight. The whole device is durable and powerful and it doesn’t feel like it’s going to break any second. Even when I increase the speed level to the maximum, it still works just fine.
Overall, I found the TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun very interesting and portable. It’s one of the best in the market especially when I don’t have to change from one massage head to another. Of course, if you have specific needs for other muscle groups, you wouldn’t find this device the best candidate to reduce tension in those parts. Nonetheless, the TriggerPoint Impact Massage Gun can be an ideal starter massage gun if you just want to try how it works.
Why You Need a Massage Gun?
A massage gun seems like a fad for some people because it is the next new muscle recovery tool found on a lot of social media posts. However, it’s more than that. It has real benefits that can improve your exercises. Here are some of those benefits.
1. Prevents muscle soreness
When you use a massage gun before your exercise, you get to wake up your muscles and slowly ease them to an “exercise mode”. That way, your muscles have enough time to adjust to your workouts.
Apart from pre-workout benefits, a massage gun can also prevent muscle soreness that comes after your workout. A few minutes of using the massage gun will help increase blood flow in your muscles so that more nutrients and oxygen can help assist its recovery.
2. Reduces recovery time
When your muscles have increased blood circulation, its recovery time will also be shortened. This happens because muscle spasms are prevented. With a massage gun, blood circulation will not be a problem; hence, the length of time you have to recover from is shorter.
3. Prevents injuries
Preventive methods for injuries are better than actual cures. A massage gun is a good preventive tool that will prepare your muscles for strenuous sports performance. Aside from increasing blood flow through your muscles, it also helps break down adhesion and reinforces the repair of muscle tissues. The movement of the massage gun allows your muscles to increase its repair making it less prone to injury and soreness.
Buying Guide for Massage Gun
Ever since the massage gun became popular, several brands and models started popping out of nowhere. To help you decide what massage gun to buy, here are a few considerations that I put together to help you make that decision.
I’ll be honest with you, the first thing that I notice in a massage gun is the design. Before I even get into know how powerful it is, I make sure that the design I pick is beautiful and functional. If you’re going to use the device in the gym, you most definitely want a decent-looking massage gun – not too big, bulky, and heavy.
As for the functionality, it should be able to suit your needs. We have different needs and preferences in terms of design, but I found it especially helpful to use a massage gun with a handle. Yes, there are massage guns that have no handles, so they’re not user-friendly to have.
When you get hold of the massage gun, the next thing you’ll ask is the power. How much power does it have? For this one, you’re not asking how strong it will be pushing against your muscles, but you are asking how fast the head attachments oscillate and how deep it gives the massage.
First off, I prefer having a massage gun that has different speeds. Depending on my workout, I want to have a gentler oscillating motion for low-intensity workouts and a faster motion for when I do high-intensity workouts. Most massage guns offer at least two different speeds. Usually, it’s better if you choose one that has at least three speeds so you can find a more comfortable speed.
Next, you want to know the depth of the massage it makes. This is measured in amplitude. The higher the amplitude, the deeper the massage will be. In short, it’s more intense. Even if you’re not a fan of deep massages, it’s better to buy one with a higher amplitude so you can use it for more effective muscle relaxation. Take note, though, that a fast massage speed doesn’t mean that it gives an intense massage. You can have a lower massage speed but have a high amplitude movement.
3. Portability and Weight
Some would think that portability and weight are not important features, but I beg to differ. Even if you’re just working out in the gym nearby, being able to carry your massage gun around makes it convenient. Think about having a massage gun that is so heavy that bringing it in your gym bag is just a hassle. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to be reminded of how much of a weight it is whenever you carry it and take it out for use. Keep in mind that the average weight of a massage gun without a case is 2-2.5 lbs. (approx. 910 grams to 1.13kg). Anything heavier than that may not be as user-friendly as you think.
To add to that, portability isn’t just talking about weight. It also implies that it won’t get damaged when you place it in your bag. It’s a good thing a lot of massage guns in the market have a case that comes with them. I prefer buying a model that already has a case because it’s hard to find one that will perfectly fit a specific massage gun.
4. Attachment Heads
The most basic attachment head you’ll get is the ball or bullet type. These attachment heads can be used on larger muscles. Personally, I prefer a massage gun that has at least three different attachment heads. This is because different designs allow for a more in-depth massage in different areas of the body. For example, the cone or the thumb attachment heads are better to use on smaller muscles and areas of the body because they’re small enough to target specific areas.
5. Noise Level
Another thing to consider is the noise level. When you’re at home, it doesn’t matter that much if your massage gun is noisy since most of your relatives won’t mind. However, if you’re thinking of bringing it outside, then the noise level can be very distracting to other people in the gym.
In general, the noise you’ll hear from a massage gun would be a low vibrating sound. It’s not even annoying to hear. You can hear the motor when the whole gun vibrates. Of course, that isn’t enough excuse to choose a massage gun that has a relatively louder sound than a low vibration.
A massage gun can range from $100 to $2000. While I don’t advocate for buying the most expensive one out there, I’m also not a fan of buying the cheapest ones. It’s because the price does not guarantee that you bought one on a great deal or that it has a higher quality than the other competitors.
When buying a massage gun, my best practice is to set aside a budget I think would be just right for me to spend on a massage gun. For example, I only have a budget of $1000 and that’s the maximum I can go. This narrows down my search for massage guns under that price tag.
Apart from thinking of your budget, it’s also important to consider the brand of the massage guns. A known brand has a higher addition to the overall price of the device. More reputable companies have a relatively higher price, but most of them also have warranties and customer support. When you’re buying a massage gun, keep in mind that their price should also reflect the after-sale service they provide. Ideally, look for one that has at least a year’s warranty.
7. Battery Life
On average, the battery life of a massage gun is from 2-3 hours of continuous high-speed massages. Although some models have a cord, I suggest that you look for one that runs on batteries instead. This will help you worry less about where to plug it. You don’t even have to stay by a wall socket for a massage.
You should also look into how long you need to charge the batteries once they’re all drained. Charging shouldn’t take as long as four hours. 2-3 hours of charging is the most ideal.
In my experience, a lot of massage guns have a one-year warranty especially if the brand that made it is trustworthy and relatively popular. Most of those who don’t have a warranty are no-brands which can be quite risky to buy because there’s no guarantee of the quality. You also don’t get much customer support. Just to be on the safe side, it’s better to choose a massage gun that has a guaranteed one-year warranty from the day you buy it.
FAQ on Massage Gun
1. Are massage guns effective?
Yes, massage guns are effective as far as muscle soreness is concerned. While there is not enough scientific evidence to show this, several physicians have claimed that a massage can help in reducing soreness because of its deep tissue massages. It should not be always a substitute for getting a massage, though. But if it’s immediate soreness relief you’re looking for, this device does the trick.
To make a massage gun more effective, don’t overdo it and keep it oscillating in the same muscle area. Just remember to not overdo it on every muscle you apply it to.
2. What do massage guns do?
Massage guns provide deep tissue massage through their oscillating movements. It usually has several different speeds and attachment heads that will apply a deeper massage to the muscle group.
The main function of a massage gun is to reduce muscle soreness. It can be used pre- or post-workout. With its oscillating movement, it reinforces proper blood circulation in the muscles. This means that the muscles will receive more oxygen thus helping in their recovery. Other than increasing blood flow, massage guns also reduce tension in the muscles and relaxing other tendons and ligaments that might have strained during exercise.
3. Can you use a massage gun on yourself?
What’s great about a massage gun is you can use it on yourself. Although I find it hard to use when I want to massage my back because it puts me in an awkward pose with my hands. Apart from the back, you can use the massage gun to relax your muscles on your arms and legs.
To start, you turn it on to the speed level and depth level that you prefer and place it on your skin. Keep in mind that you should not be using this too long in one area to not overwork the muscles.
4. How long should you use a massage gun?
A massage gun should not be used for longer than 15 minutes. Even if you think your muscles need more of the oscillating motion from the massage gun, don’t be tempted to do it. Why? It’s because spending longer than 15 minutes using a massage gun can harm your muscles and tear more of it than recovering it.
In those 15 minutes, you are only supposed to spend two minutes on each muscle group. During those two minutes, you have to move up and down the area to ensure that you work every part. Don’t apply pressure, too.