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Tight, sore muscles are an inconvenience whether they result from strenuous workouts at the gym, or simply from the daily stressors of life. And while regular massages can help with bodily aches and pains, budgets and time constraints don’t always allow for them. You use a foam roller or tennis ball to give yourself some relief, or you can use a handheld deep tissue massager.
Once limited to the physical therapy office, handheld deep tissue massagers are catching on with everyone from professional athletes to busy parents. They offer an effective solution to muscle strain and overwork with percussive therapy. Simply turn on the device and allow it to help release your deepest knots.
If you’re looking to make your chronically tight shoulders, stiff back or leaden quads a thing of the past, try using one of these top handheld deep tissue massagers, below.
If there’s anyone that suffers from muscle strain, it’s definitely Cristiano Ronaldo. His massager of choice? Therabody’s G3PRO. The smart and quiet device helps decrease muscle soreness and fatigue, releases tension and increases mobility and range of motion. And really, who doesn’t want to emulate a soccer megastar?
Athletes of all skill levels have turned to Opove’s handheld deep tissue massage guns because they’re easy to operate and deliver results. This is especially true of the brand’s new top-of-the-line model, which features 15mm of massage amplitude, four speed settings, a four-hour battery life and comes with five applicator heads. Making the package even more attractive is its sleek and ergonomic design and a motor that is remarkably quiet considering hour powerful and effective the device is.
The most compact option on this list is this massager from FitRx. The brand’s percussion massager is designed to take up a minimal amount of space, able to fit in a backpack, gym bag and, in some cases, pockets. It features four heads that target certain joints and three massage speeds that range from 1600 to 2600 rpm.
It’s quality over quantity as far as RENPHO is concerned. The company’s portable massage gun only comes with five interchangeable heads, but each one is designed to deal with a specific group of muscles or tension points. This device isn’t just versatile, though. It’s powerful too. The massager is equipped with a long-lasting 2500mAh battery and features fives speeds, ranging from 1,800 to 3,200 rpm. And when it does finally run out of juice, all you need to charge it is a USB-C cord.
With five different speeds, four heads and eight-hour battery life, Ekrin Athletics B37 massage gun is as reliable as it gets. But what really makes the device shine is its gripped ergonomic handle, which is angled to offer maximum relief. The design allows you to reach parts of your body that’s not easily accessible. So if you have tension in back, this the model you need.
With a whopping 15 different heads, this pick has the most of any on our list. But they’re not just superfluous accessories. They all provide novel ways to address minor aches and pains so they don’t become chronic, larger issues. It has 30 adjustable speed levels and runs at 3200 rpm. Like many of our other picks, it makes keeping the volume down a priority so it can be used just about anywhere minus any undue fuss. And if there are any areas that need extra attention, this device also comes with two bonus massage balls so you can do even more detailed bodywork the old fashioned way.
With seven different heads on offer, this massager from Mebak is designed to target certain areas of the body effectively. It may not be as heavy-duty as others on this list, but what it lacks in force, it more than makes up for in customization. Along with the aforementioned heads, the device also features a touch screen display that lets you adjust the speed and pressure.
This pick diverges from our previous selections in one important manner: It has a wand-like configuration as opposed to a gun-like one. And depending on your grip or the areas you want to work on most, that could prove a meaningful advantage. If, for example, your upper back is your typical culprit, this design makes it far easier to reach without relying on the help of a friend or family member. Its heads also operate more on a rotary basis as opposed to a back-and-forth oscillating one, which may not get to the deepest muscles as readily, but is still excellent for covering a wide swath of the body.