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Theragun Pro Review: A Premium Device That Delivers High

Aug 17, 2023Aug 17, 2023

By Michael Sawh and Aaron Toumazou

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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.

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.

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.

Regardless of how achey your body feels, that sensation of rolling one of those attachments up and down a thigh or calves is no novelty. Be warned, though, once you’ve plucked up the courage to set it to its fastest speed, you simply won't want to go back to a slower setting. Getting it out to use before going to bed or when first waking up in the morning is a routine that quickly feels normal, and just short spells of massaging really do seem to do the job.

The biggest compliment to pay Therabody's top-flight massage device is that we stare over at the foam roller in my life wondering if we can ever bring ourselves to getting on the floor and doing those rolling exercises ever again… It just won't be the same.

Bringing Bluetooth to the party means the app and Theragun Pro are more in harmony and work in a much more straightforward and effective way than any of its many imitators. It also makes you feel like you don't have to be an elite athlete to know how to put it to good use.

If this is not your first percussive therapy rodeo, the cheaper Prime or Elite are well worth consideration should its extra-connected features be less of a selling point, but we'd go as far as to say the $199 Mini is even more worthwhile given its unique portability. Go Pro, though, and it's massaging at its best, and now, thankfully, you can do it without making a big racket.

Therabody's range of massage devices are available at start at $199.

This story was originally published on British GQ with the headline, "Theragun Pro review: The massage gun other massage guns wish they could be".

Therabody's range of massage devices are available at start at $199. This story was originally published on British GQ with the headline, " ".