The popularity of percussion massagers has soared tremendously over the last few years. These devices provide a host of benefits that the conventional electric massagers do not even remotely cater to, which include deep tissue massage, faster recovery, increased relief from pain and muscle soreness, and prevention of workout injury. No wonder why a lot of companies have started manufacturing them.
Percussion massagers are available in a wide price range. For example; Homech Massage Gun costs less than $120 whereas Theragun Elite costs around $350. No matter which one you buy, they have a standard operating procedure. They have a motor that pushes an attachment back and forth just like a jigsaw.
Wondering why would someone spend $349 instead of $120?
Well, the procedure is the same but the intensity and the quality of the massage that each gun provides depend on its build, which further depends on its price.
If you are willing to spend $350 for a percussion massager but wondering if Theragun Elite will be worth your money, don’t worry. In this blog, we will provide you with detailed information so you can make an informed buying decision.
Please note: Therabody, the manufacturer for Theragun Elite, also manufactures four varieties of percussion massage guns:
- Theragun Pro: It offers 60lbs force, comes with two swappable batteries, and comes with six massage head attachments. Obviously, it is a lot more expensive than the Elite one we are reviewing here.
- Theragun Prime: It is a very basic percussion massager. It offers 30lbs force and comes with 4 attachment heads.
- Theragun Mini: It is a portable massager. Offers 20lbs force, has three-speed levels, and comes with a single attachment head.
- Theragun Elite: This is the one we are discussing here. It offers 40lbs force and comes with five attachment heads.
Let’s begin our review by looking at its key features and specifications:
Features and specifications of Theragun Elite Percussion Therapy Massager
- Weight: 2.2 lbs
- Dimensions: 9.5 in x 6.7 in x 2.9 in
- Battery running time: 120 minutes
- Speeds: 5 speeds between 1750 and 2400 PPMs
- Stroke depth: 16mm
- Maximum force: 40lbs
- Has bluetooth compatibility and comes with its own app
- The motor is equipped with QUIETFORCE technology to provide you quieter massage
- Comes in its own protective carrying case
- Comes with 1-year warranty
- Comes with 5 different massage heads:
- Dampener: This squishy one is meant for soft and bony areas. It offers a 3/10 impact level.
- Standard ball: This is neither too firm nor too soft. Offers 5/10 impact and suitable for almost all large and small massage groups.
- Thumb attachment: It is quite firm. Offers 7/10 impact. Suitable for trigger points specifically in the lower back.
- Cone attachment: Offers 10/10 impact. It is super firm and meant for pinpoint muscle treatment in feet and palms.
- Wedge attachment: offers 5/10 impact. Suitable for wider muscle groups in the shoulders, calves, etc.
A detailed review of Theragun Elite deep tissue massage gun
Design and built
Using a massage gun on yourself can be a challenge especially when you want to target the hard-to-reach areas such as the back. Therabody has come up with its unique patented triangular handle that it claims to help reach almost all parts of your body. The handle is ergonomically designed, so you can hold it on all its three sides. Each side is, in fact, a handle on its own. So, the Theragun Elite, Pro, and Prime have three handles. You can hold the gun with any of them as per your comfort and virtually massage any part of your body on your own.
The most common complaint that people have against percussion massagers is that they are not effective enough to break up the tightness in muscles that you experience after a rigorous workout session. We agree with them. Most inexpensive deep tissue massage guns do not have enough power to go deep and work on your sore muscles. This doesn’t mean they are useless. Rather, they are perfect for people who want to get rid of muscle stiffness that you may experience due to excessive sitting or standing, or due to aging. But, someone who does a good number of squats or deadlifts or runs/walks for quite some kilometers, they may not be powerful enough, which is why you must spend $350 or maybe $650 (for the Theragun pro).
Theragun Elite massage gun offers up to 40lbs of force and goes up to 60% deeper into the muscles. Standard electric massage guns go up to 10mm whereas Theragun goes up to 16mm deep (no matter which model you buy). Now, 40lbs of force that goes 16mm deep into the muscles will definitely be strong enough to release your knots and cramps. Numerous buyers have confirmed that this massage tool has proven to be a great alternative to in-person massage, which is not possible during this pandemic. A buyer has even stated that it helped her get rid of years of stiffness in the lower back.
If you need more intensity and force, you can go for Theragun Pro but that is going to cost you significantly more. Unless you are into competitive sports, Theragun Elite will work for you.
You can pair the Theragun Elite to Therabody’s companion app, which the manufacturer has created to guide you through proper massage techniques based on your workout routine or the intended massage area. With other massage guns, you just massage your muscles randomly. But, Theragun Elite app lets you select the correct massage speed or routine for specific body parts such as neck, arms, shoulders, quads, etc. If you are involved in specific forms of exercises such as running or tennis, you can also select a massage routine on the app. The app also helps you use the right attachment. It guides you on how to hold the gun and how to move it so you can reach the target spot easily. So, it’s not just a willy nilly massage; it’s a properly planned relaxation therapy for your sore muscles. The app allows you to control the speed right from the phone instead of switching the force control button. It displays the amount of pressure you are applying and if it is enough.
In short, the app and the bluetooth connectivity is something worthy and not just a useless complementary feature.
Honestly, Theragun Elite is not the quietest massage gun you would have ever used. In fact, the earlier models were quite loud. Thankfully, the Elite model comes with a noise reduction technology, which makes it quieter than the Prime model. Yet, it is not absolutely quiet to not bother you and others around you if you want to use it for long sessions.
The more powerful a motor is, the more noise it will make. So, there is nothing much to complain about. Even standard massagers are ridiculously loud. This is comparatively better. At its lowest setting, it makes as much noise as an electric toothbrush, so your neighbors won’t get disturbed even when you use it on its highest settings but someone in the same room would.
It has a built-in battery, just like other Theragun models. An adapter is included for charging. Do note that you cannot use the gun while charging it. It just won’t work. Theragun says it is designed to be that way to prevent injuries, which we agree with. Make sure you charge it in advance. The manufacturer claims that the battery can last up to 120 minutes on a single charge. Most buyers have found the claim to be true.
A few buyers have complained that the product they received came completely discharged and it wouldn’t charge for hours. They had to return it. Thankfully, Therabody has a cooperative customer support team and such issues are well dealt with.
- Amazing battery life
- Ergonomic handles make it easier to hold and use it for long massage sessions
- Offers deeper massages than what you can expect from conventional massagers and other percussion massagers
- Bluetooth connectivity and app-controlled massages
- It’s too pricey. Not many of us are willing to spend $350 for a massage gun no matter how effective it is.
- The noise is still high when used on higher speed settings.
- Even though it comes in its own carrying case, it is still not portable. You can’t just throw it in your gym bag while heading out.
Our Rating: 4.7/5
Theragun Elite percussion massage tool can beat its competitors in all aspects except price. As mentioned above, not many of us would be willing to spend so much only for the pleasure of loosening up muscles. However, if you compare its price to the cost of a licensed massage therapist, it is definitely a good deal, especially during the pandemic when we should avoid being out. So, if you are willing to and if you can spend this amount, go ahead; you won’t be disappointed. If not, then make your own percussion massage gun at home for less than $125! Here is the step-by-step tutorial. The process is easy and the final product will be as good as the Theragun ones.