Product Spotlight: TheraGun Muscle Massager
THE MUSCLE DRILL
TheraGun is a battery-powered vibrating muscle treatment device that’s been used by professional athletes in various sports such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NASCAR. The original product was the TheraGun G1 and the TheraGun G2Pro is the latest version of the unique recovery tool. I’ve tried vibrating balls, vibrating foam rollers, the Power Plate, and several electrical stimulation machines but the TheraGun is different in that it directs the pressure to a localized area. Simply point, turn the machine on and yield the vibration pressure benefits. It’s no wonder Bryce Harper, Carson Palmer, Antonio Brown, and Kyrie Irving have used TheraGun to recover from their respective sports. The difference between TheraGun and foam rolling is important to note for athletes and trainers alike.
“The Theragun is vibration therapy and the body recognizes the difference between vibration and just pressure from a lacrosse ball,” says Dr. Jason Wersland, chiropractor and creator of TheraGun. “Your body doesn’t experience trauma or inflammation on the muscles from vibration. Crushing muscles with foam rolling and lacrosse balls creates trauma so two days you’re going to wake up and say, ‘Wow, that hurts worse than it did two days ago.’”
Wersland says that future scientific research will unveil the fact that foam rolling isn’t good for muscle tissue because it breaks it down, requiring a longer recovery time than if you just let the muscles recover on their own.
THERAGUN G2: SIMPLICITY DELIVERED
Compared to the G1, the G2Pro includes a more powerful motor, more attachable “Ampbits,” a longer battery life (47 minutes for G2Pro vs 30 minutes for G1) and a carrying case. The G2Pro also has an LED power indicator and an on/off switch, unlike the G1.
“The G2Pro represents what we’ve always wanted but we weren’t to the point where we could do it until recently,” Wersland says. “We listened to what customers were asking and provided updates.”
The “Ampbits” are like drill bits for muscles. The G2Pro comes with a standard ball, large ball, cone, and dampener all of which attach to the TheraGun to provide quick, targeted relief to lactic-acid filled muscles. Lactic acid is a biomarker of fatigue and while it’s not the only sign of tiredness, it doesn’t hurt any athlete to have less of it. The TheraGun improves circulation which may prevent the buildup of lactic acid that occurs during intense, anaerobic workouts. The dampener attachment is the least intense, designed for more tender areas that don’t need 100% of TheraGun’s impact. Wersland explains how the TheraGun has been shown to aid the vestibular or balance system in pro athletes.
“When you provide vibration to the body, it works on the vestibular system which helps you know where you’re at in space,” Wersland says. “A quarterback has reported in the third quarter having better aim, the same zip on the ball as in the first quarter and the same strength as in the first quarter. To be able to have that in the third quarter is huge for a quarterback.”
I see the TheraGun as a consumer product, even at $599. I say that because there’s nothing else like it on the market. The Hyperice Raptor is the closest thing I’ve seen and that has a bigger footprint. The Raptor has 3600 repetitions per minute on the highest setting, more than the TheraGun G2Pro’s 2,500 RPM, but are those 1,000 RPMS worth nearly $3,000 more?
I’ve tried this product at multiple media events but I’ve yet to use it with my own clients. I’d love to see a TheraGun certification course in the future that would include a TheraGun with enrollment. This way, personal trainers like myself can stand out from the rest armed with a new recovery tool that the average gym goer or trainer doesn’t know how to use. I do feel it’s important to use the machine correctly, hence my push for a formal certification. Overall, TheraGun is the perfect sideline recovery device for professional sports, CrossFit, and I can even see the product at pit stops during endurance races. Runners and obstacle course racing athletes can stop, TheraGun themselves, and continue on with their challenging course.
For more information about TheraGun, visit www.theragun.com.