I’ve gotten a lot of much-needed massages in my time and to be honest I’ve been very sceptical of massage guns. I’ve never received a massage that existed solely of a percussion movement so surely a massage gun couldn’t do the same thing?
We were sent the new Theragun Mini (2nd Gen) to test out and after putting it through its paces I have to say I’m impressed. Although it won’t replace a masseur it can certainly aid in recovery and reducing pain in sore muscles.
What is the Theragun Mini 2nd Gen?
The Theragun Mini 2 is Therabody’s smallest and lightest massage gun designed to be portable and to help you out wherever you go. The second generation is 20% smaller and 30% lighter than the first generation and while it does not have the full power of the much larger Theragun Pro, it still packs a decent kick.
I have used larger massage guns and the size of them, and their cases is a long way from portable. The Theragun Mini 2 is small enough to pack in a small bag and take with you wherever you go.
What do you get?
Inside, the Theragun Mini is powered by a brushless motor with their QuietForce technology and the ability to run the gun at three speeds (1750, 2100, 2400 PPMs) with an LED light indicating the speed you are operating at.
Therabody have also included in the second generation three different attachments to allow you to tailor the percussion to what you need at that time. Being a bit of a sadist, I opted straight for the “Thumb” attachment. There is also a “Standard Ball” and a “Dampener” which offer varying degrees of pain. You can buy even more pointed attachments from Therabody if you wish.
The Theragun Mini 2nd Gen offers Bluetooth connectivity with the app which is actually quite useful. Yes, I was sceptical about the app doing anything useful, but it is able to tell you the pressure you are applying with the gun and the speed at which is operating. That was quite handy and helped me get the best out of it — it is especially useful when you are beginning using it.
Even though the power button and LED light only have three options you can alter the speed on the motor/gun to whatever you want using the slider within the app. I used it for warming up muscles prior to a leg workout and it worked extremely well. At 9am on a Sunday in what seems to be Winter already, that is no easy task.
I’ve never thought of a massage gun for pre-workout operation, but it has now become a regular part of my pre-workout routine. I am even using it on my lower back prior to my workday just to keep the lower back pain at bay.
Using the Theragun Mini 2
To say the Theragun Mini 2nd Gen packs a punch is an understatement. With the three attachments that come with it you can get into some of the smallest places. Pressing quite hard worked well too with no issues with the gun stopping due to too much pressure.
The Mini 2 was relatively comfortable to hold – not as easy as a handle such as that on the larger massage guns but for its size there really is no other option. I basically held it with a claw grip and pressed in as hard as required each time – if you have tiny, child-like hands you may struggle to grip it but anyone with normal adult-sized hands will not have any issues.
The Bluetooth connection with the app is new to the second gen Mini and it is a great addition by Therabody. As mentioned above it can guide you through using the gun with pressure measurements and speed changes as required, along with timings – useful especially for those using it as a warm-up tool.
The smaller size of the Mini offers more flexibility than some of the bigger guns as you can grip it in any direction and reach the hardest to reach places. This smaller size and portability also means you can take it wherever you want, whether it’s work, on holidays etc.
Another advantage of the gen 2 version of the Theragun Mini is the charging solution. Even though it offers 120 minutes of battery life it might still run out just when you need it. Simply plug in your USB-C cable and it will charge quickly — any USB-C cable, although there is one included in the box.
Who should buy it?
At no stage did I feel that the power of the Theragun Mini 2 was insufficient for its purpose – and I am used to extremely painful massages. Sure, the Theragun Pro has a lot more power and more attachments but to me I think it’s a hard sell given how good the Theragun Mini 2 is. More professional athletes than I may need that extra power but for a majority of folks the Theragun Mini 2nd Gen is enough.
Its small nature gives it a massive advantage over a lot of its competitors. The size certainly makes it more useable for me. It allows me to reach all the places that need a massage anywhere I want. I can take it in my backpack wherever I go and not have to worry about it being too difficult to carry around. Light, small and packs a hell of a punch.
The Therabody Theragun Mini 2nd Gen has a RRP of $349 which makes it the cheapest Theragun on the market — Therabody are the original makers and the market leaders in the percussive massage gun segment. Although it is the cheapest it may well be the best solution for a lot of people. It is now a vital part of my daily routine.