A proper warmup before a run is essential if you want to perform your best and avoid injury, and the best percussion massagers are a great addition to your warmup or recovery routine.
The percussive action of these devices helps massage away knots in muscles and reduce soreness, and it also promotes blood flow to targeted muscle groups to keep them happy and healthy.
Unlike foam rollers or other manual massage tools, percussion massagers generate all the force you need, so you can sit back and relax while you reap the benefits.
As an added bonus, most consumer versions of percussion massagers are handheld and cordless, powered instead by a rechargeable lithium ion battery. This way, you can find the perfect tool for you without worrying about portability or bothersome cords.
The latest massage devices come with a wide range of features, from interchangeable heads to different levels of percussive performance to create a customized massage experience that suits your body’s needs.
Shop our picks of the best percussion massagers from a range of price points and abilities:
[This article is part of the Best Massage Tools 2021 Buyer's Guide. Find the right massage tool for all your needs at Fleet Feet.]
The Hyperice Hypervolt is one of the most popular percussion massagers on the market because it packs power and versatility into a single easy-to-maneuver unit.
Hyperice developed the percussion-style massage gun to precisely target hard-to-work areas but made it maneuverable enough to tackle your entire body. The Hypervolt only weighs 2.5 lbs, but it can reach up to 3,200 percussions per minute.
One of the most-appreciated features about the Hypervolt, though, is its Quiet Glide technology. Despite its power, the Hypervolt isn’t loud, which means you can get a massage in front of the TV without cranking up the volume.
Hyperice also created five interchangeable massage attachments that give the Hypervolt more versatility. The Hypervolt attachments are:
Powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery that can run up to three hours a single charge, the Hyperice Hypervolt is a compact and powerful massage tool that’s capable of working your entire body. In the Hypervolt review, Fleet Feet testers said they loved the straightforward design and powerful operation.
Like the original Hypervolt, Hyperice also developed the Hypervolt Plus to deliver more power. The Hypervolt Plus provides 30 percent more power than the original but features the same Quiet Glide technology for headache-free operation.
Hyperice’s how-to videos are a good place to start if you’ve never used a percussion massager before. The videos give easy to follow instructions about which attachment to use when massaging different muscle groups.
A premium build quality and standout performance make the Theragun Elite (formerly the Theragun G3) one of the best percussion massagers around.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Theragun Elite is its unique shape. The triangular handle lends the massager a visually striking appearance, but it’s also designed for a purpose: Each side of the triangle acts as a handle that gives you the ability to change grips to reach more muscles without straining your wrists.
Another thing that sets the Elite apart is its amplitude (the measure of how much the shaft travels during each percussion). Therabody says the Elite has an amplitude of 16mm, which presses deep into muscle tissue and then lifts off the surface of the skin before pressing down again.
The deep tissue work aids in recovery after a hard workout, but it can also accelerate your warmup, too. One Fleet Feet reviewer said the Theragun Elite’s power and speed make it easy to use regularly.
“I used to think I needed to dedicate a certain amount of time to a massage session,” he said. “The benefit of a percussion massager is I can use it quickly before and after a run so I find myself using these tools more consistently.”
The Theragun Elite comes preprogrammed with five percussion speeds per minute:
But Therabody doesn’t limit the speeds to those five presets. Using the accompanying Bluetooth app, you can set the Elite to any number of percussions per minute between 1,750 and 2,400.
Therabody says the updated Theragun Elite is also 75 percent quieter than its previous generation thanks to the QuietForce technology built into its motor.
The Elite also comes with its own integrated smartphone app that syncs with Apple Health, Google Fit and Samsung Health. Therabody developed the app with the ability to send guided massage routines to the Elite via Bluetooth.
Want even more? The Theragun Pro does everything the Elite does and then some. With more power, a longer batter life and a rotating arm, the Theragun Pro deliver the ultimate percussion massage experience.
Addaday designed the BioZoom for an efficient massage at a more affordable price. The $250 BioZoom is the same type of percussive massager as more expensive units, and it gives you similar accessories, too.
Engineers equipped the BioZoom to run at five different speeds, ranging from 22 to 48 percussions per second (1,320 to 2,880 percussion per minute). A trigger button on the handle lets you cycle between the different speeds. The button placement is easy to use while continuing your massage.
Fleet Feet reviewers said the BioZoom is a little quieter than similar models, and it still delivers a powerful massage thanks to its different speeds.
To improve its versatility, Addaday included five interchangeable massage attachments. The attachments are:
Addaday’s BioZoom comes with a playlist of informational videos to help educate you on the best use of the massager. From videos on the individual massage attachments to how to use the BioZoom with a partner, Addaday’s library will help get you going with percussion massage.
The TriggerPoint Impact is one of the most affordable and beginner-friendly percussion massagers you can find today, but it doesn’t skimp on power or features.
TriggerPoint engineered the Impact with a unique shape. The angled handle places your hand very close to the massage head to give you good control over the device. It also includes a stubbier handle on top of the device to allow for two-handed operation, like a construction worker with a jackhammer.
One major difference you’ll find with the Impact compared to other percussion massagers is its single head attachment. The Impact only comes with the one massage head. TriggerPoint designed the universal head, though, to be broad enough for large muscle work and precise enough for more sensitive areas.
The upside to the universal massage head is it takes any guesswork out of choosing an attachment. It’s great for your quads, glutes, forearms, hips or back (and almost every other area), which makes the Impact very approachable for anyone who’s new to percussion massagers.
TriggerPoint’s brushless motor delivers powerful but quiet operation, and it has four speed settings to cycle through with a press of the power button on the side of the unit’s body. Like the other devices on this list, designers powered the Impact with a rechargeable battery that packs enough juice for at least two hours on a single fill up.
Like other brands, TriggerPoint created a host of accompanying educational videos for the Impact. The videos walk you through how to use the percussion massager to work different muscle groups, like your shoulders, glutes or lower back.