As an athlete and active individual you know stiffness, soreness, and aches are part of the game. However, if you’re like me, you’re not able to run to the massage therapist whenever you have an ache or pain in your muscles. This is where a handheld device, similar to a drill, called a massage gun, can really provide a lot of bang for your buck as well as some serious tension relief for your active body. In this feature, we’re going to review the Sharper Image Massage Gun, specifically the Deep Tissue Massager, to see if it is not only worth the money, but something that can create long lasting relief from stiff and achey muscles.
What Is A Massage Gun and Why Use One
Massage guns use percussion technology that can be applied across the body’s muscles to provide relief. Massage guns are personal, handheld devices, that have little motors in them and usually a variety of massage gun heads so that you can get into specific areas and different size muscle bodies with ease. They’re often, if not always, wireless devices that come with a charging cable and port. Typically speaking, most massage guns will hold anywhere from 2-10 hours of batter life depending on intensity of use and the massage gun battery size itself. The point of a massage gun is to provide a type of therapy, vibration therapy that is, to the muscles in order to promote muscle recovery and to reduce soreness from activity. Just about anyone can benefit from percussion therapy and it makes a great alternative when you don’t have someone available to massage/knead your muscles for you.
Why Not Just Use A Foam Roller
Foam rollers are great for relieving tension in tight muscles and for lengthening the muscles in the body. However, comparing a foam roller vs massage gun is essentially comparing two different types of therapy to one another. Yes, they do offer as similar effect, but the way the pressure is applied to the body is where the difference comes into play. Foam rollers provide better myofascial release because they apply sustained pressure to an area or muscle group on the body in order to get the muscle to release the built up tension.
Massage guns aren't technically considered a method of myofascial release because of the rapid application of the massage gun head to the muscle. So why not just use a foam roller for tight muscles instead of a massage gun? As compared to the foam roller, with a massage gun you’re able to target specific areas easier and it doesn’t require you to roll around on the floor to do so.
Our recommendation? If you have access to both, they both can help reduce muscle soreness, improve blood flow, and provide a release of muscle tension for the body. If you’re really looking to compliment your fitness and activity though, we highly recommend stretching in addition to these other modalities to promote relaxation and reduced muscle tightness.
Meet The Sharper Image Massage Gun
The Sharper Image Power Percussion Massage Gun provides a quiet, relaxing opportunity to deeply massage the body’s tissue without needing someone else to do it for you. With a stylish and soft to the touch body of the massage gun, this lightweight handheld massage device could be the missing tool to your personal muscle recovery routine. At first look, you might think to yourself, “well, it looks just like the other ones, why should I get the Sharper Image Massage Gun over another brand”. Admittedly, I did the same thing. As I wandered around Costco waiting for my prescription to be filled (forewarning, wandering around Costco can be dangerous to the wallet) I was intrigued by this massage gun. Not only did it look as fancy as the $200-$500 massage guns on the internet, it came at a price point that stopped me in my tracks.
What did I do next? I picked it up. My initial thoughts? It has a nice size to it, fit in my hand easy, and didn’t have an oblong weight to it like some others do. It felt stout, sturdy, and nimble. The handle has some nice little impressions for an ergonomic grip while maneuvering the Sharper Image Massage Gun where you want it to go. The next thing I noticed on the box? Attachments, a carrying case, and the price tag. So alas, I bought it, took it home, gave it a try for a week and just 6 days I knew I needed to share more about it online.
Sharper Image Massage Gun Review
My initial thoughts are this - it is extremely quiet, easy to use, has differing levels of intensity and really enhances muscle recovery. I made no changes to my diet, hydration, or workout routine. Typically with my training I’m sore by the evening. After my afternoon shower I used the massage gun on the areas that were bothering me either from the day before or the day of, and trust me when I say, but he next day I felt good as new. Almost as if I had taken an entire day off from working out. Why though? I felt like I was able to, with the varying head attachments and percussion intensities, finally get into the areas of my body that the foam roller doesn’t.
The little areas like my upper pec, my delt, and in the nooks and crannies of my sub scap. Typically post-workout I not only stretch but use a combination of foam roller and lacrosse ball, rolling around on the floor for 25 minutes, trying to get into areas with my body’s pressure on the tool. Not only do I feel gross afterwards, from being on the gym floor, but I often walk away unsatisfied. So this is where the massage gun really came in.
The gun is quiet enough to use while watching TV or a movie and was even easy for someone else to assist me with using it. The handle on the Sharper Image Massage Gun is long enough that I can reach my upper and mid-back without feeling like my shoulder joint is going to pop out (yes, my mobility sucks), while still being able to apply constant pressure to alleviate the muscle tension and soreness. Online (and below) the company provides an easy to follow diagram for figuring out which heads are best for specific areas of the body. The touch screen on the massage gun itself is also very responsive and easy to use.
Sharper Image Deep Tissue Massage Gun - Specifics
The deep tissue massage gun only comes in gray, with black and orange accents. The gun itself is about 2.5 inches tall, by 6.89 inches wide, and ends up having a complete width of 9.84. The handheld device does have an ergonomic handle and does have a LCD touch screen to adjust the 6 different massage programs. The total weight of the Sharper Image Massage Gun comes out to 2.19 lb. which makes it a great option for prolonged use due to being so lightweight.
Sharper Image Massage Gun - What You Get
The deep tissue sharper image massager comes with a variety of attachments for different areas of the body, a carrying case, as well as the gun itself and a charger. These accessories are great for targeting different areas of the body and preserving the quality of the massage gun.
- Power Percussion Gun With Brushless Motor
- 6 attachments
- Carrying case
- Attachment case
- DC adapter
Sharper Image Massage Gun Attachments
Attachments might not seem necessary they can be really helpful for different sizes of muscles and areas on the body. The Sharper Image Deep Tissue massage gun comes withs six and we’ve included visuals below for each one.
What Could Be Better
In order to make this a true review it is important to note the downsides or cons of this Sharper Image Deep Tissue Massage Gun review. If I had to pick it apart, my only complaint would honestly be that sometimes the massage gun head gets ‘tripped up’ when using it at an angle for areas on my back. My assumption for this happening is most likely because I’m unable to place the gun directly on the muscles at a straight angle and it probably causes the massage gun to have more pressure from one side than another, causing a little vibrational ‘trip up’. That being said, in complete honestly, for the price of this gun, for this to be the only complaint I’m extremely impressed by the quality and use, as it is similar to what I would expect from a higher priced unit.
I guess my second complaint, if you can call it that, is that the battery life is 4.5 hours as compared to 6-10 of other higher priced massage guns. If you’re traveling often or using the gun for long periods of time without access to electricity or power, then this may be a quality of the gun that you will want to take into consideration while weighing your options. For example, if you go to a long day of competition and will be using the gun along with your fellow athletes, you’ll either want to bring the charger with you, not share the gun, or opt for a gun that has a longer battery life to sustain the activity demands.
Sharper Image Massage Gun: Takeaway
This gun is absolutely worth the $80 if you're looking for an easy way to compliment your recovery routine from workouts and the stress of daily life. With an easy to store away and carry case, 6 easy to use attachments, a charging cable and over 4.5 hours of battery life you get a whole lot of bang for your buck. While yes, the battery life could be a little longer and the percussion could be a little more 'on point', these are pretty minuscule complaints as compared to the benefits.
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