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Since its release in 2016, the Theragun’s recovery device have become a potent locker-room status symbol: Adam Levine and Antonio Brown use them; Kyrie Irving busted one out in the middle of an NBA finals game, even Diddy is in on it. They’re essentially a tiny jackhammer for your muscles, one that works out knots and promotes blood flow. It’s like a serious sports massage whenever you want one, as if you're an eastern European tennis pro with a stern masseur in your entourage.
The designs have come a long way in the four years they’ve been on the market: The brand’s founder, chiropractor Dr. Jason Wersland, designed the first Theragun based on a hack job of a power drill and a cat toy. And even as his tools gained a devoted following, there were always major drawbacks: they were bulky, loud (like, actual jackhammer loud), and, at $600, expensive.
But Theragun just released the fourth generation of the devices (plus an app and a line of CBD products), and by far the most exciting news from this announcement was the Theragun Mini, a take on the device that literally fits in the palm of your hand. It’s small enough to chuck into your gym bag or business trip rollaboard. The noise is closer to an iPhone on vibrate. It costs $200. Put another way, those big drawbacks to the Theragun aren’t really drawbacks anymore.
Theragun Mini, $199 at Best Buy
Speaking personally, I can say that the percussive therapy these things provide is the best thing to happen to my workout routine since I started working out, period. It works by increasing blood flow wherever you aim it, potentially working to reduce inflammation. Research shows that vibration therapy can help decrease symptoms of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, that feeling that has even super-fit people lunging for ibuprofen and wondering if they ever want to work out ever again. These benefits are available from similar, simpler recovery tools like foam rollers, but the Theragun can target hyper-localized areas on your body, and, crucially, doesn’t require you to contort yourself on the floor and interrupt your 30 Rock session.
The Mini doesn’t give away much to its bigger brothers. The main drawback is that the device moves 12 millimeters with every stroke, rather than the 16 of the larger devices, which theoretically means it won’t pound as deep into your muscles. Is it a noticeable difference? If you’re new to the Theragun game, not at all. Whether you’re a perpetually-sore runner like me, or simply want to feel better in your body, this is an investment worth making. Trust me: Your back, quads, calves, shoulders, triceps... they’ll all thank you.