Health and wellness isn’t all about just squeezing a workout in when you can. It’s also about looking after yourself by taking rest days and promoting proper recovery. When it comes to recovery, the massage gun is taking the health world by storm.
While massage guns tend to be less understood than other popular recovery go-tos, they can work wonders on tight and sore muscles, accelerating your recovery and helping you thwart those post-workout aches. In this article, we’re going to examine the Hypervolt vs Theragun massage guns - the two most high performing and highest selling products.
While both are top notch percussion massage guns, there’s always more than what meets the eye. What should you know? What’s the difference between these two? Let’s dive right now.
Basic refresher on massage guns
A massage gun looks very similar to a gun, appearance-wise. But at the end of the ‘L’ shaped hand-held object, there is a massage head that is used to provide a percussion massage to the soft tissues of the body. The best massage gun products come with varying speeds and different sized massage heads, allowing you to get a professional massage experience all within the comfort of your own home.
The end of this gun applies pressure pulses to the applied muscles, helping to target muscle knots and tension spots, as well as improving range of motion and increasing blood flow. Many athletes use these massage guns, such as the Theragun Pro or the Hypervolt Plus, immediately after a workout to reduce the development of muscle soreness 24-48 hours afterwards.
When compared to other myofascial release tools, the massage gun uses percussive therapy. This is a type of vibration therapy, which research indicates is on par with a regular ol’ massage when it comes to reducing DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Yet, with a gun you get multiple uses, meaning you save money on those expensive routine massages. Meanwhile, while a foam roller, like the Rumbleroller, and massage balls also dig into soft tissue, releasing knots, they don’t have the additional benefit of vibration therapy, which is known to increase circulation and decrease pain.
Percussive therapy, simply put, does all of this better. While decreasing pain and improving circulation, it helps clear lactic acid build-up. It also helps you target very specific spots on targeted muscles - something a foam roller isn’t as useful for.
The dedicated athlete or weekend warrior might find a percussion massage gun useful to help speed up recovery in between training sessions and to help prevent injury from happening.
So, let’s examine the Theragun vs Hypervolt massage guns. Which is better? And which should you potentially buy?
Judging criteria for evaluation
So, how are we judging the Hypervolt massage gun vs the Theragun? The following is the criteria we evaluated when analyzing each product.
1. Pressure Levels
Undeniably, each body is different. For instance, even when it comes to the most basic back pain treatment plan, some uniqueness arises in each individual situation. And this is no different when it comes to tolerability for pressure levels on a massage gun.
This is why it’s important for every percussive massager to come with options for differing levels and speeds. This allows the user to adjust the massage gun for their own use and allows more than one user within a household to use the same product.
Further, different pain situations may require different pulse speeds. If a person is very sensitive to pain, which may happen after a tough workout, they may want a lower speed to aid with recovery and avoid further pain.
This criteria is simply here because if you’re recovering after an intense workout, chances are you’ve pushed your muscles and body to its limits. Thus, perhaps lifting a 5 pound object and holding it on a set area for minutes at a time isn’t the easiest maneuver. Ideally, a massage gun should be as light as possible for ease of use and to ensure it’s not a whole other workout after your workout.
When analyzing various consumer reviews on numerous massage guns, noise was a major factor for some. This is understandable. If you’re trying to relax and unwind after a workout, you probably don’t want a very loud tool to do so.
A percussive therapy gun usually comes with various massage heads. However, depending on the product you purchase, the grip or handle may vary, which can impact usability for some.
When it comes to different massage heads, this is important since, as previously mentioned, each body is different. From trying massage guns with friends, I noticed that I preferred lower speed settings and medium-sized massage heads when compared to the bigger males in our friend group. Again, this will vary as well depending on where you intend to use the massage gun.
If you want to target a bigger muscle, you may require a bigger head to do so. If you want to laser-target smaller areas, a smaller head and lower speed might be more appropriate to avoid pain and injury. All in all, it should be able to offer benefits and release similar to a deep tissue massage. It may pose some discomfort at the time (usually this should feel like a good pain), but afterwards, you should feel a release.
5. Battery Life
Then, there’s the fact that you want your percussive therapy device ready to use when you need it, without much effort to charge it every single time. The battery life matters here! You want to be able to use it for more than one use, and the best massage guns should allow you to do so.
There are three types of Theraguns: the Theragun Pro, the Theragun Elite, and the Theragun Mini.
The Theragun Pro offers QuietForce technology, which gives those that prefer a quieter percussion massager an ideal option. In fact, this gun is considered 55% less noisy than competing products. As a professional-grade massaging tool, it can also deliver up to 60 lbs of force, with 5 speed options and 6 massage heads to choose from. It can reach 16 mm deep, and also has a battery life of 5 hours (meaning after the initial charge, you won’t need to charge this device the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth time of use).
Weighing just under 3 lbs, this gun is a little bit heavier than other brands but still fairly light. The handle further offers four ergonomic ways to hold the device while using it.
The Theragun Elite also has built-in QuietForce Technology, making it equally as quiet as the Pro version. It’s even quieter than the standard electric toothbrush. A little bit lighter in weight, the Elite version is about 2 lbs. It also has 5 speed options and can reach a similar amplitude of 16 mm. The battery life, unfortunately, only lasts 120 minutes. However, with a recommended use of only 15 minutes, this can last for many sessions. The one downside compared to the Pro is that the Elite doesn’t come with ergonomic handle options for ease of use. Yet, perhaps the lightness of it makes up for this and boasts some points when it comes to comfort. The Theragun Elite also comes with 5 different massage heads to choose from.
The Theragun mini is basically the more portable version of the above. It's a mini massage gun. It doesn’t have the same handle as the other two, but it does make it easy to bring your massage gun with you anywhere and anytime. The mini has 3 speed settings and a battery life of 150 minutes.
The Hypervolt has the regular Hypervolt massage gun and the Hypervolt Plus massage gun.
The Hypervolt version weighs in at 2.5 pounds and is made with QuietGlide Technology, as well as three adjustable speed settings. It has five different attachments for users to swap between and use for a customized recovery approach. The battery life lasts about 3 hours. The handle also makes the gun fairly easy to use.
The Hypervolt Plus looks very similar to the regular Hypervolt. Yet, it comes with 30% more power than the regular version with three different speed options. Also weighing 2.5 pounds, this massage gun lasts about 2.5 hours with a single charge. It also comes with the same five massage head attachments as the regular Hypervolt.
Comparison analysis - Hypervolt vs Theragun
So, how do they compare?
The main comparisons between the Hypervolt massager and the Theragun are that the Theragun offers more speed options and massage head options in general. It also comes with potentially a more ergonomically-friendly design since you can choose the most comfortable grip for yourself and aren’t limited to the one hand-hold. The Theragun also knocks the Hypervolt out of the water when it comes to battery life.
In other words, if you want more bang for your buck and more options to choose from (so that you really make use of your percussion massage gun), the Theragun takes the cake.
However, there are various other massage guns out there that may offer you exactly what you’re looking for but maybe at a more affordable price. Do your research and assess your needs. This will help you find the perfect product for you and that compliments the rest of your recovery routine, such as foam rolling and stretching.
Conclusion / Alternatives to massage gun
The massage gun isn’t everyone’s first choice. And you don't necessarily need a pricey massage device to do the trick. There are many other ways you can recover faster and better than ever before. There are various types of foam rollers, massage balls, vibration balls, ice pack wraps, and more that can help you recover faster so that you can continue to amp up your performance in your sport of choice or in the gym.