What is the real value of this Theragun Elite massage gun

Sports trainers are always saying that after exercise, stretching movements are essential to limit the intensity of aches and cramps. You know, those pains that make you swear, when you get out of bed, that you will never, ever run, dance, skate or lift weights again (delete as appropriate). Problem, at the end of the session in the gymthe city dweller in a hurry dreams of only one thing: getting out of the shower and going home. This is where percussion therapy comes in, promising to shorten the chore of stretching as much as the warm-up.

For a long time confined to chiropractors and physical trainers looking for a competitive edge for professional athletes, the massage gun is making its appearance in the homes of the average person. The principle of this therapeutic technique is not a mystery: percussion bring the targeted muscle and tendon into resonance, in order to reproduce the effect of a series of stretches of the muscle fiber. This warm-up increases the blood flow and relaxes the aching muscle.

There are many prejudices against percussion therapy, whose name frightens more than it attracts

Among the touted benefits of percussion therapy, in addition to the reduction of muscle soreness (by preventing muscle micro-tears), we find, in no particular order, the optimization of recovery (oxygenation by blood flow decreases the rate of lactate dehydrogenase), the reduction of the sensation of heavy legs, the development of muscles and the improvement of flexibility. That’s it. The icing on the cake is that sleep is improved, with the corollary effect of improving the subject’s mood and his or her assiduity in the gym. No more excuses for bubbling on the couch!

Designated as a volunteer to put the claims of percussion massage to the test, yours truly was entrusted with a Theragun Elite massage gun for three weeks. Sold for 399 dollars, the device comes with five therapy tips, ranging from the large soft pad to the rigid cone with a decidedly menacing appearance.

Tense noise but soothing action: the massage gun deserves to be known

When most massage guns suffer from a disturbing resemblance to cordless drills, the Theragun Elite reassures, with its exclusive triangular profile handle. Suddenly, the soft-body jackhammer is no longer scary, and braves volunteer for a test drive.

Brave but not foolhardy, our guinea pigs nonetheless recoil when the Theragun Elite is turned on. The electric motor and the rod which oscillates between 1.750 and 2.400 times per minute (adjustable speed) emit a noise of rattle halfway between the dentist’s wheel and the hair clippers. This is quickly becoming a strain on your neighbor, who must give up the idea of falling asleep peacefully next to you, contrary to what an optimistic mise-en-scène on the Theragun website suggests.

Worse, in older homes, the machine’s percussion will transmit from the chair to the floor, even to the point of attracting the attention of occupants on the floor below. Better to isolate yourself.

It’s a good thing that percussion massage is a very… personal matter. Understand that it is highly recommended to train on one’s own person, before attacking the delicate flesh of an unfortunate guinea pig. Because an inexperienced hand soon lets the device go astray: when the percussion head falls from the top of the lumbar muscle into the hollow of a vertebra, the sensation suddenly changes from pleasant to painful. Ouch!

The triangular handle of the Theragun distinguishes it from other massage guns

As you can see, percussion massage is never more effective than when it is self-administered. The triangular contour of the Theragun Elite’s handle is precisely designed to make it easy to use, even when held behind the back. The device works at all angles, well seated in the palm. With a little practice, the left hand becomes as adept as the right at massaging areas thought to be out of reach, between the shoulder blades.

After a few sessions, one learns the importance of slowly increasing the power, as with a traditional massage. Playing with the pressure and frequency of percussion allows you to go from a simple surface warm-up to a deep treatment, very effective against aches and pains.

With practice, we become familiar with the virtues of each of the five tips, with different densities and profiles. The indications of the manufacturer Theragun remain succinct as to their effects – a way, no doubt, to encourage experimentation and to rely on the “treatment protocols” presented on the mobile application. An asset not to be neglected, as the modulation of the percussion frequency is delicate, due to a control difficult to handle hand in the back.

At first mocking, friends and relatives are convinced by the advantages of the Theragun Elite

The running time of the Theragun Elite model is advertised at 120 minutes. After 44 minutes of continuous use, the battery gauge was down to 37%. But that was by pushing the motor to its limits, increasing the pressure to track down the pain deep in the hamstrings.

For the Theragun had a hard time, in our hands! Swimming, rowing, rowing-ergometer, rollerski … There are sports activities that the sedentary forty-something should approach with circumspection, or else they will affect the stiffness of the nonagenarian in the morning. Thanks to the percussion massage, the bodies become less numb the day after a slightly violent sports session. This encourages the Sunday sportsman to increase the intensity of his practice.

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