The story goes that Theragun (now Therabody) started in 2007 when founder Jason Wersland was injured in a motorcycle accident. He built his first prototype Theragun in his hut to help manage his pain, and since then, his company has set the pace in the massage gun market.
However, competitors are catching up quickly. Hyperes is pushing hard. HoMedics and PACT are driving new innovation. Even well-established fitness brands like Power Plate are starting to get into the massage gun game.
However, the Therabody remains the industry’s dominant force and at £175 (a fraction of the £549) Theragun PRO, the most likely Theragun Mini is waiting for you under the Christmas tree this year. Take a look at its pros and cons.
The first and most obvious point to note when picking up the Theragun Mini is its shape. It is not so much a massage gun as it is a massage triangle. Therabody, which has a history of breaking tradition by creating oddly shaped massagers, insists the Mini’s shape provides a smooth, comfortable grip to hold while reducing stress on your hands and wrists.
This also means that the start/stop button is handy for one-handed operation and while it’s not quite pocket sized at 15 x 14 x 8cm, it’s definitely compact enough to fit in a gym bag or travel bag. At 650 grams — about half the weight of the Macbook Air — it’s also partly lighter than Hyperice’s Hypervolt Go at 680 grams.
Despite its modest dimensions, the Mini can still pack a wall. It has three preset speed settings: 1750 beats per minute (PPM), 2100 parts per minute, and 2400 parts per minute. In fact, these are the same minimum and maximum speeds offered with Theragun PRO. “Faster is not always better,” says Theragun’s product page. Each preparation has been scientifically calibrated with input from MIT engineers to deliver optimal therapeutic benefits.
At its full speed, the Mini fires 40 times per second, which, Therabody says, distracts the brain from pain while helping to increase circulation, eliminate metabolic waste and support the body’s natural ability to repair and recover.
Presumably, the engineers also worked to reduce the noise its engine generated – to some extent to no avail. While the Mini isn’t as loud, it’s noticeably less muted than some of the high-end alternatives, which I discovered to my dismay when my bag started shaking vigorously on my commute to work recently.
With 150 minutes of battery life – 30 minutes shy of the high-end Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Pro – it should have plenty of juice to keep you going on a long weekend away. I put this to the test while trying to complete the Three Summits Challenge in 24 hours this summer. While we were all rocking by the time we got to Snowdon, the Mini still had plenty of power from a single 80-minute charge.
The Mini comes with one standard ball attachment, but is compatible with all 4th generation accessories so you can mix and match if you’re lucky enough to own any other Theragun. You can also buy the Mini with a custom metal stand, which I assumed allows you to charge the device wirelessly. Unfortunately I was wrong. It’s just – and somewhat useless – designed to hold the device, so it’s worth saving £29.
Much more useful is the Therabody app, which syncs with Apple Health and Strava to track your daily activity. And then he can recommend customized massage procedures. If you’re into the sport you tend to do and any injuries or challenges you’re hoping to overcome, the app suggests guided workouts that you can do with Theragun to prime your muscles for work or speed up recovery.
The model I tested was bright red because it was a special edition of the collaboration with the Global Fund to support the COVID-19 response as well as HIV/AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Therabody is donating 2% of every (PRODUCT) RED Theragun purchased through September 2022 to support the cause.
While the Mini may not quite be as eye-catching as the Theragun PRO does, it definitely beats the weight. I’ve been using this device for a long time now, and while it’s hard to ascertain exactly how effective the percussion therapy will be compared to a simple foam roller, I’ve become quite attached to this little red triangle.
Whether I’m headed off on a hard hiking trip or a lazy beach vacation, it’s becoming one of the first things I pack on any weekend. The recommended daily workouts, based on your recent activity, also make using the machine simple, and these quick sessions are now a staple of my morning routine.
Buy from Therabody | 175 GBP