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Getting old sucks. Working out sucks. Working out while you’re getting old sucks. And yet! And yet, it’s so good for you that we (try to) do it anyway. But tight muscles, rows of knots, and overall discomfort all the time don’t exactly make for a relaxing life. Aging, working out, and simply living—bad posture, uncomfortable sleep positions, desk work—all perpetuate the problem. And yes, foam rolling and professional massages are some tried-and-true ways of mitigating it. But foam rolling isn’t always targeted, and massages are expensive.
That’s why Theragun, a percussive therapy device, blasted into the public eye with such vigor. People need this thing. There are three versions out now: the G3Pro (pictured), the most powerful and priciest; the G3, which is quieter but has fewer adjustments; and the Liv, which is the cheapest and most lightweight, but doesn’t have all of the industrial power of the others.
If you’ve never seen a Theragun before, it’s basically a handheld foam roller, but much smaller and battery-powered. It’s also much more painful—and effective. To use it, you apply the head to muscle areas and turn it on; it’ll vibrate (really, really fast) and loosen the muscle as you move it around. It started as a tool for professional athletes, but there’s not a single person who wouldn’t feel better using it on tight muscles on the daily. It will change you. Here’s why.
You’ll want to use it regularly.
You know you should foam roll. Maybe you even know you should foam roll before working out to warm muscles up, and after working out to cool them down. But foam rolling is a very interactive activity that requires rolling around on the floor. The Theragun takes that right out of the equation, allowing you instead to sit or stand as you work different muscle groups. Plus, it’s infinitely faster. Using the large ball attachment, you can hit your entire IT band in seconds. The biggest drawback is that it’s expensive. But if massages are your ideal alternative to foam rolling, this is the more cost-effective option. The G3Pro is the price of about six full-body massages, and you can use it many more times than that.
It hurts, and you’ll like it.
If you’ve ever foam rolled properly or gotten a deep tissue massage, you know that muscle work hurts. Targeting knots and tight spots isn’t pleasant until after the dirty work is done. But the longer you let those knots tighten, the more painful they’ll be to work out. Using the Theragun regularly stops that from happening. It uses 60 pounds of force (!) to lean into those areas. There are two settings on the G3Pro: the standard setting and one with lighter pressure. For anything sensitive or super sore, the lighter setting is better. If you sit at a desk, get at your hunched shoulders and curled-in chest. If you’re on your feet, get at your IT bands and calves. It will hurt so good.
It has variety—and lots of it.
Athletes and physical therapists are always at the front line of muscle recovery, and Regular People can learn a lot from them. Like how much easier your whole life gets when your body feels good. The G3Pro not only has those two speeds, but there are also a bunch of attachments that make its effects even more pointed. It comes with the standard ball, which is great for quick, whole-body recovery. But you can get into the gritty areas with the other attachments. The dampener is good for areas around bones; the wedge for scraping shoulder blades; and the thumb for trigger points. Swap out the attachments, change up the speed, and let the tech do its job. You’ll be a new (relaxed! not in pain!) version of yourself.