Read This Before Buying a Massage Gun

If you’ve read my previous review about the uCozy massager, you would’ve also read that I use a massage gun alongside it for my aching muscles. Now, you might be interested to get a massage gun – especially if you do sports or if you have weekly torture personal training sessions that result in recurring muscle soreness about 24 to 72 hours after your workout¹. This muscle soreness is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and is caused by high-intensity exercises, which in turn cause tiny, microscopic tears in your muscle fibres. Your body then responds to this by increasing inflammation.

How to treat DOMS

A 2017 review of several studies found that getting a deep tissue massage about 48 hours after a workout seemed to work best in treating DOMS, reducing it by 30%². But does this mean that any sort of massage works? Conventional post-workout “massage therapy” tools are your foam rollers, therapy balls and massage sticks but they often do not provide deep enough muscle relief to get people back on track as quickly as possible. I know this from personal experience where my thighs ached for 4 straight days after an intense workout, despite me using both the foam rollers and therapy balls. Every. Single. Day.

This is where the massage gun comes in.

A good massage gun should deliver a pummelling action of up to 3200 RPM which increases blood flow in muscles and shortens DOMS. This increase in blood flow carries more oxygen and nutrients that are essential in repairing muscle fibres, thereby relieving the muscle pains and aiding in muscle recovery. That is why a lot of athletes (even non-athletes) tend to find their first massage gun experience life-changing. It may seem a bit dramatic, but if you’re using one, you know what I mean. After I got my massage gun, instead of a 4-day recovery period, this was cut down to about 2 days, depending on the intensity of the workout.

However…not all massage guns are made equal! Yours truly has tried out 3 different massage guns to give you to low-down so that you can make the best decision when it comes to purchasing your personal massage gun. Moreover, we have a S$50 discount code for one of the massage guns below…so do read on for it!

Putting three massage guns to the test

The lineup and review

As you can see from above, there are 3 massage guns that my friends and I tried out and compared. From top to bottom: we have the American Hyperice (often voted as one of the best quiet massage guns by several wellness websites); the new kid on the block – the Singaporean HYDRAGUN; and a Chinese OEM that we got online.

Do note that for all 3 massage guns, they offer percussion speeds of 1200 to 3200 RPM. We will be mentioning the main differences so that you get a summary of the features.

Type Cost The good The not-so-good Overall score
Hyperice S$599
  • Relatively quiet
  • Lightweight
  • Up to 3-hour battery life
  • 5 interchangeable massage heads
  • 2-year warranty
  • Only 3 speeds
  • Carrying case not included (you have to get this at S$79)
  • Heaviest at 1.13kg
  • The price…
8/10
HYDRAGUN S$399
  • Very quiet at 30 to 50dB (this is quieter than Hyperice)
  • Up to 6-hour battery life
  • 99° ergonomic handle
  • Aerospace-grade aluminium shell
  • Nanoscale silicone wrapped handle for better grip (and it’s not sticky because it is not latex!)
  • Safety protection chip (turns off the device after 10 mins, which is recommended use time per muscle group)
  • 6 different speeds
  • 6 interchangeable massage heads (4 regular, 2 stainless steel)
  • 1.5-year warranty
  • Includes carrying case
  • Weighs 1.04kg
9.5/10
Chinese OEM S$89
  • The price (budget-friendly)
  • The lightest at 0.8kg
  • 4 interchangeable massage heads
  • Only 3 speeds
  • Carrying case not included
  • 1-2 years. You have to pay more for a longer warranty period
  • The percussion isn’t as smooth compare to the other 2
  • Lowest torque compared to the other 2
6.5/10

 

And the winner is…HYDRAGUN!

Why HYDRAGUN is the clear overall winner

Allow me to explain a little bit about the scoring. As you can see, Hydragun only has one ‘not-so-good’ point but honestly, I feel as if I’m nitpicking, because the 200g difference between this and the Chinese OEM massage gun is really quite negligible considering the material used. So I docked off 0.5 points due to that and simply because the warranty period is 1.5 years instead of 2.

Now, let me wax lyrical about what I love about the HYDRAGUN. Firstly, it’s how quiet it is! This is something that ALL of us who tested it commented. We were so surprised at how quiet it was and I could happily watch my TV and hear it while massaging myself!

Secondly, it’s the 99° handle. As a massage gun, it would mainly be used as a self-massage tool so this feature is really ergonomic as it is the most optimal angle alignment between your forearm, wrist and the gun. Compared to the other 2, it definitely felt a lot more comfortable when massaging my shoulder blades and (ahem, excuse me while I get technical) the latissimus dorsi muscles (basically, the muscle just under your armpits and stretches to your back).

Thirdly, I like the material used for HYDRAGUN. A friend who bought one of those OEM massage guns had to use racquet handle wrap around his massage gun handle as it was sticky. If you’re allergic to latex or you don’t want to deal with potential stickiness, then HYDRAGUN’s nanoscale silicone is definitely your choice.

In addition, it is the 2 stainless steel heads. Because of the stainless steel, it made the massage gun slide smoothly while getting a massage. Especially if you’re wearing a T-shirt. This feature, together with the overall performance, is what convinced my personal trainer to get the HYDRAGUN since he often brings his massage gun out to use on clients.

Personally, I found the 6 different speeds to be another key differentiator of HYDRAGUN from the other massage guns which only have 3-speed variation. Why? Because different people have different pain thresholds as well as muscle soreness. I reckon that it is better to ease into it and slowly increase the intensity as your body requires, rather than jump from 1200 to 3200 RPM straight.

Now, as for the torque and percussive power, it really was a competition between the Hyperice and HYDRAGUN and we can just ignore the Chinese OEM massage gun where it wasn’t as smooth nor as powerful as the other two. The difference between Hyperice and HYDRAGUN is quite subtle. When massaged with the Hyperice, it felt as if you’re really being pummelled from outside and your whole body seems to vibrate whereas for the HYDRAGUN, the vibration felt a little bit more focused and penetrating.

When I received my HYDRAGUN, it happened to be the day that I got reacquainted with my triceps (thank you DOMS) after doing this 12 push-up variation workout. As mentioned earlier, my recovery period is about 2 days with my cheapo massage gun. But with HYDRAGUN, I was surprised that the ache lessened considerably the next morning and I was back to normal by evening!

Hence, if you want fast recovery, don’t bother with the cheap knock-offs which may seemingly do the trick but may just be causing the surface muscle to vibrate but does not go in deep. Go get the HYDRAGUN which delivers on the benefits as well as being the most value-for-money massage gun out there.

Where to get the HYDRAGUN

Our first 20 readers will get to enjoy S$50 off (S$349 instead of S$399) when you purchase your HYDRAGUN kit today with our unique promo code WELLNESS50 at www.hydragun.sg. This promotion runs from 7-21 August 2020.

It’s free shipping and next day delivery for orders in Singapore, while international shipping will be an additional US$20 (5-10 days delivery time).

Please also note that their online sales will only launch on 7 August 2020.

ENJOY!


References:

¹,² https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1250256

 

Images: HYDRAGUN and The Wellness Insider

 

Manduka

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