Best Massage Guns for 2024 – CNET

If you’re new to massage guns there are some things to keep in mind so you’re getting the most out of them. We spoke with sports chiropractor and Hyperice ambassador, Dr. Julia Morgan for advice on the best massage gun practices.

Choosing the right massage gun: There are different types of massage guns on the market so it’s helpful to know if you want something heavy-duty because you’re very active or if you don’t need the massage gun with all the bells and whistles because you’re only going to use it occasionally. Setting a budget for yourself is important too because some massage guns can go upwards of $100.

Know what specs to look at: When choosing a massage gun, there are a couple of features you want to look at: The amplitude and stall force. “Stall force simply means how much pressure the motor of the massage gun can withstand before the motor ‘stalls’ with us,” explains Morgan. Amplitude refers to how deep into the region it can go. You’ll typically see amplitude in the range of 8mm, 12mm, or 16mm as the deepest. Usually, heavy-duty massage guns have the highest amplitude.

Know the attachments: Most massage guns will come with a few different attachments that you can switch up depending on the area you’re targeting. For example, the common attachments may include a standard ball which is good for large and small muscle groups, a bullet which is meant to target legs and back muscles, a forked head which is intended to target the spine, shoulders and neck, and a flat head which offers a gentler massage on the larger muscles.

How often to use: Massage guns are safe to use regularly as long as there are no health concerns to address first. Morgan says, “Those with thin skin, who have underlying musculoskeletal or vascular conditions, or who are pregnant, should consult their doctor before use.” Although massage guns are safe to use daily to soothe sore muscles or as part of a warm up, it’s important to make sure you’re not experiencing chronic pain. “If you’re using it every day on a pain that is not going away or getting better after 2-3 days it may require another intervention,” warns Morgan.

Start slow: It may be tempting to put your massage gun at the highest setting, but the key is to start slow. Morgan says, “Gently glide the massage gun over the area not holding for too long in one position.” Use the massage gun in different directions and work on that area for about a few minutes, and taking a break as needed.