21 Best Ways to Prevent and Cure Sore Muscles
Whatever your profession, most of us are walking around with daily, maybe even chronic, aches and pains. If you’re the type to skip the unsexy warmup, recovery, and mobility work that goes into making muscles malleable, activated, and primed for a workout before you do the sexy work of deadlifting, sprinting, or cycling, your muscles are probably twice as angry. Massage guns offer some respite.
They’re not a panacea, but massage guns offer relief in myriad ways. While foam rollers are a fantastic tool to knead knots out of muscles and boost circulation, they’re a chore to use. We know you don’t have the patience, to hold your bodyweight up while you work sections of your body. Massage guns offer more targeted relief, since you can really get into hard-to-reach areas like hip flexors and pecs, as well as one-handed convenience.
You can do it while you watch TV post-workout, or toss it in your bag and wake up muscles when you get to the gym. Both devices work by stimulating nerve receptors. By hitting those either with the pressure of a foam roller or the percussive vibrations of a massage gun, those receptors communicate to your brain, which tells the muscles in that area to relax. It’s like a game of telephone.
If you’re in the market for a massage gun, opt for one of these high-quality devices. They vary in specs, price points, and sizes, so you can pick the one that best serves you. Just remember: Recovery tools don’t work unless you do, so take the time to do the maintenance work so your body isn’t out of commission.
The new IMPACT is quiet as can be thanks to a brushless motor, which keeps noises at bay (and maximizes battery life, too.) Use this massage gun either pre- or post-workout for deep-tissue bliss on any of the four speed settings. You’ll particularly love the angled handle with a top-weighted design for enhanced comfort and better grip during massage sessions.
Available in grey or red, this sleek new hand-held massager will deliver sweet, sweet relief to your Peloton-weary quads. Sporting a ridiculously quiet motor, this 1.2-pound device comes with eight attachments for a variety of soothing treatments and four speed modes (up to 3,500 pulses per minute). You’ll call it salvation, we’ll call it the Dyson of massage guns. Bonus: Just one full charge revs this bad boy up with 240 minutes of battery life, or the equivalent of 10-minute sessions every day for nearly a month straight.
You can trust the brand behind a bevy of percussion, vibration, dynamic air compression, and thermal technology tools put a lot of thought into its newest and most affordable version of the signature Hypervolt massager. It’s 30 percent smaller than the original Hypervolt, and clocks in at 1.5 pounds. It boasts the same QuietGlide technology (internal parts are smaller, lighter, more precise) and and offers three speeds.
Have a hard time reaching your shoulders and back? The swivel head and longer handle fixes that pain point. And with six head attachments to choose from, you can really alleviate tension in big muscle groups, sensitive areas, and specific trigger points. This knot-reliever extraordinaire can give you a 20-minute massage every day of the week on a single charge. You’ll also get a storage case to keep everything in one place when not in use.
Whether you’re on a long bike ride and need to make a pitstop to loosen calf cramps or want to reduce muscle tension after one too many HIIT sessions, the Theragun Pro delivers. Expect masseuse-worthy deep muscle treatments with the added bonus of Bluetooth connectivity. Pair with the Therabody app for routines aimed at lessening soreness, boosting mobility, and bringing on a seriously zenned-out state. This high-tech toy features a rotating arm, an OLED screen, and wireless charging, plus an impressive two-year warranty.
SKG F5 has gained plenty of buzz with its unique heated handle to help, quite literally, warm up your muscles. It weighs just over half a pound, and includes three removable heads that operate in three intensity modes. Don’t be fooled by the fact it fits in the palm of your hand—it can still offer serious relief with up to 3,200 pulses per minute.
This electric massager weighs less than 2.3 pounds and gives you superb percussive therapy and ease of use, thanks to the ergonomic 90-degree handle that helps you reach your shoulders, neck, and back sans struggle. Choose from six different attachments and six speed settings for a customized massage experience. With only 30 to 60 decibels of noise while in use (that means it’s quieter than a fridge and some laptops). It also looks damn nice with an aerospace-grade aluminum chassis and a nanosilicone-wrapped handle.
Keep this mini massage gun at the ready for whenever you need pre-/post-workout relief. Enjoy four intensity modes to provide your body with much-needed relief. At only 1.1 pounds and featuring a five-hour battery life, this quiet massager has some of the best specs we’ve seen for the affordable price point.
Developed for a more affordable price point by LA-based chiropractor Dustin Martinez, this handheld massage has a set of attachments that can be used at different speeds to target specific muscles, whether its your back, arms, legs, feet, or any other muscles craving some relief. The massager is also easy-to-grip, lightweight, and comes with a travel case so you don’t lose that thumb attachment head, which will quickly become your dearest friend.
If you’re looking for a budget percussion massager, this is one of our top picks. It features an ergonomically designed shape and a longer, 12mm stroke-length. With three-speed variable control, look forward to reducing soreness and increasing your performance one session at a time.