Gear Review: Therabody Massage Guns

A runner uses the Therabody Theragun Elite massage gun on their calf.

With all the pounding your joints and muscles take while running, it’s no secret that your favorite hobby can take a toll on your body. Soreness, stiffness and fatigue are just some of the side effects that come along with the post-run endorphin high, making recovery an essential part of your running routine.

Therabody massage guns put powerful, percussive massages right at your fingertips, making them a shoo-in for our list of Best Percussion Massagers. Percussion massage can help relieve muscle soreness, improve range of motion, promote blood circulation and accelerate recovery. Fleet Feet reviewers tested the Therabody Theragun Elite and the Therabody Theragun Mini to get a feel for how they perform. Here’s everything you need to know.

Tech Specs

Theragun Elite

Theragun Mini


2.2 lbs

1.43 lbs

Battery Life

120 minutes

150 minutes

Battery Type

Lithium ion

Lithium ion

Speed Levels

5 (1750 - 2400 percussions per minute)

3 (1750 - 2400 percussions per minute)

Interchangeable Heads



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Theragun Elite Provides Powerful Relief

A woman uses the Theragun Elite massage gun on her legs.

For the most stubborn aches and pains, the Theragun Elite is there to provide quick relief.

Theragun says its Theragun Elite reaches 60 percent deeper into your muscles than the average massage gun, helping break up tightness and adhesions to increase circulation to affected areas and promote recovery.

The Theragun Elite comes with five different attachments and an ergonomic handle, making it easy to massage different types of muscles, and a protective carrying case lets you take it on the go.

“This massage gun has been a game changer for me,” Caroline says. “Not only is it lighter and quieter than the other guns I’ve tried, but it’s a lot easier to hit different muscle groups thanks to the triangular-shaped handle. My old massage gun just had a traditional handle and it was a bit difficult to hold it behind me to target my hamstrings and glutes.”

Equipped with Theragun’s QuietForce technology QX65 motor, a brushless motor surrounded by insulation, the Theragun Elite is quieter than most massage guns. This makes it easy to watch TV or listen to a podcast while working out any sore spots. An OLED screen shows the speed settings and battery life of your device.

“The Theragun Elite feels much lighter than the other massage guns I’ve tried, and it’s also quieter,” Caroline says. “It was easy to figure out how to turn it on and adjust the different levels of pressure. I love how you can actually see what the speed level is and what the battery level is on the digital screen—it makes it easy to use.”

The Theragun Elite is easy to charge with the included power adapter or a wireless charging stand, which you can purchase separately. Plus, this massage gun is equipped with Bluetooth capability. This means you can connect your device to the Therabody app which hosts preset treatment routines along with recommended massage plans based on your usage.

Overall, the Therabody Theragun Elite is a do-it-all massage tool. The five interchangeable heads make it easy to focus on sensitive trigger points like feet, shoulder blades and your IT band. The triangular shaped handle allows you to massage hard-to-reach areas like your back, glutes and hamstrings.

“Having this massage gun has really improved my experience during the first few minutes of my run,” Caroline says. “I’m able to thoroughly massage the knots and tightness that plague my calves before I get started, eliminating the soreness that often accompanies warming up. The size is reasonable for a top-tier massage gun, and while it’s not technically travel-sized, I can fit it into my carry-on bag while traveling.”

Theragun Mini Offers Recovery On the Go

A woman uses the Theragun mini on her quad while giggling.

If you’re looking for a true travel-sized massage gun, the Therabody Theragun Mini might be your jam. Thanks to its small size and long battery life, this massage gun is the perfect companion for your running adventures.

“The size and weight of the Theragun Mini is great for portability,” Max says. “It can easily fit in my backpack and could probably also fit in many fanny packs or cross-body bags, which makes it easy to take to and from workouts or races.”

While the Theragun Mini is noticeably smaller than the Theragun Elite, it offers the same powerful percussions per minute of up to 2400. You can choose between three different power settings to customize your massage.

The Mini is built with the same QuietForce technology motor as the Elite, providing distraction-free recovery. It also comes with a soft carrying case, making transportation easy.

While the Theragun Mini is equipped with a small, triangular-shaped handle, reviewers noticed that it could be difficult to get to certain areas.

“The Theragun Mini is only a bit larger than the size of my outstretched hand, so you have to be somewhat flexible to hit those difficult-to-reach muscle groups,” Max says. “With that being said, the device is ergonomic and fits in my hand nicely.”

With its small size, powerful percussion and relatively low price tag, it offers the best bang for your buck in the Theragun lineup. Fleet Feet reviewer Max uses it before runs to increase flexibility and after runs to alleviate muscle soreness.

“I’d recommend the Theragun Mini to anyone who is looking for portability and versatility as a main feature for a massage device,” he says. “I’ll continue to use the Theragun Mini before and after runs and when I’m just hanging around watching football. There’s nothing better than a massage and some football.”

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