Theragun Pro 4th Generation

Theragun Pro Review - An Overview

The benefits of massage have long been held in high regard. People from all walks of life use many types of massage therapy to enhance their health and wellbeing. Handheld massage devices ensure we can all enjoy the benefits, at home, at the gym or even at the office.

The Theragun Pro 4th Generation is the flagship product of the Therabody range and the model that is recommended for professional use by therapists. The handheld, percussive massage device, packs a host of new features, which are reported to enhance the user experience through cutting edge technology and design. However, it also comes at a hefty price of $899.  

Whether you are a professional therapist, an athlete looking to improve your performance, or someone looking to ease the muscles after a hard day’s work, this review will help you make up your mind if the Theragun Pro is for you.

  • Proprietary brushless commercial-grade motor with QuietForce Technology™
  • Smart Percussive Therapy™ with Bluetooth connectivity
  • 3 built-in app-guided pre-set routines
  • OLED screen
  • Customizable speed range (1750-2400 PPMs)
  • Force meter
  • Adjustable arm for full-body reach
  • Delivers up to 27 kg of no-stall force
  • Wireless charging enabled
  • 2 swappable lithium-ion batteries for continuous run-time
  • Theragun Triangle ergonomic handle design
  • Industry-leading 2-year warranty

How Does The Theragun Pro Work?

By impacting the body forty times per second and applying up to 27kg of force which penetrates the muscle tissue, we experience therapeutic benefits with results just like a regular massage

A recent study shows that conventional massage can increase range of motion and decrease the effects of muscle pain felt after exercising, otherwise known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

“We did find that massage induced a small but statistically significant improvement in flexibility” [1]

“We found that massage statistically significantly reduced pain/DOMS by 13%” [1]

The percussive nature of the Theragun Pro provides an effect like a conventional massage technique known as tapotement. By impacting the body forty times per second and applying up to 27kg of force which penetrates the muscle tissue, we experience therapeutic benefits with results just like a regular massage.   

“Theragun gives me that 1% difference when there’s close margins between me and the competition. It's about making sure that whenever you're given the chance and the opportunity to perform, you're able to do that at a hundred percent.”   Trent Alexander-Arnold – Professional Soccer Player Liverpool FC [3]

It is believed that not only do percussion massage devices mimic the effects of conventional massage they may also bring in some elements of vibration style massage for increased effectiveness.

“Percussive massage treatment likely combines the elements of a conventional massage and vibration therapy” [2].

As a sportsperson I suffer with muscle soreness. This ranges from pain between my shoulder blades to tightness in the hamstrings and it often results in waking up in the morning feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus. This is the result of both acute (from recent training sessions) and chronic (from injuries I have picked up over the years) issues. I feel like I am the perfect person to give the Theragun Pro a run for its money and help you guys decide if it is the right product for you to spend your hard-earned money on.

Theragun Pro Review

Looks, Quality and Feel

Useability

Battery Life and Recharging

Noise

Price

Looks, Quality and Feel 4/5

There is a lot about this product that shouts quality. From my very first impressions of the Therabody website when I was doing my initial research, right through to the unboxing and first use.

The price tag suggests that the Theragun Pro is a high end, premium product and I was not let down in any way. The fact that it is marketed to sports, health and fitness professionals is a testament to the build quality.

 It really does look and feel like a premium product. It is constructed with quality materials and designed to last for many years of hard use, even in the hands of therapists and coaches seeing many clients a week. It has that reassuring feel about it, despite the light weight.

It would be a guaranteed 5/5 were it not for the price tag that makes sure the user is expecting something very special.  I’m not saying you will be disappointed with the Pro, I’m just saying that you will rightly have some high expectations for the amount of money you’ve paid.

Useability 4/5

I first used the Theragun Pro to try and relax the very tight muscles in my legs. The very first thing I noticed was just how easy it was to set up the correct “angle of attack” via the fully adjustable arm positions and the comfortable handle. The Therabody website says:

“The Pro offers 4 arm positions designed to create ideal angles to reach any area of the body. Our patented Theragun Triangle ergonomic handle design allows you to hold the device in a number of ways while actively reducing strain on your hands, wrists and arms.”  

I have to agree with the guys at Therabody, the Pro is the most comfortable device I have used, and I felt that I was able to access tough spots like the top of the hamstrings and hips easily, without tying myself up in a knot.

The second thing I noticed (actually, quite quickly) was the level of force the Theragun Pro was applying to my muscles. Being big and brave (or so I thought) I turned the speed right up and went to work on my quads… After pulling what must have been a surprised looking face and possibly letting out a tiny little yelp, I dialled the speed back to what was a pleasant, bittersweet sensation, that felt remarkably like a deep sports massage, far more than the other brands I have used.  The five speed settings are great, and I was able to find a midrange setting that really hit the spot. After using the device a few times and connecting to the phone app via Bluetooth, I found the customisable speed settings of anywhere between 1750 and 2400 percussions per minute to be a worthwhile feature, enabling me to really hit the sweets spot on my knotted muscles. The three pre-set treatments are also a nice addition, although for me personally, not something I particularly need as I tend to always have my phone close by.

Again, I have not awarded five out of five. The reason being that, although the multi position arm is a Pro feature, some of the features that are designed to enhance the useability, that I genuinely loved are available on the cheaper models within the Therabody range of products, such as the wide range of speeds and the app connectivity and not necessarily specific to the Pro.  

Battery Life and Recharging 4/5

With the interchangeable lithium battery packs offering up to 300 minutes use, compared to the next model down, The Elite, which offers up to 120 hours use, the Pro is head and shoulders ahead.

I will say however, that in my experience manufacturers tend to way over specify the usage times and Therabody is no exception. I assume that 300 minutes is on the lowest setting and in optimum/lab conditions as I found that the batteries needed switching after about an hour of use, meaning the total battery time for me is around 120 minutes.

The Pro also suffers from the same thing as every massage device I’ve used, in a slightly unreliable battery meter. In my experience they always seem to say they have a bit more juice left in them, than they actually do.

That being said, I am still awarding a score of 4/5 as I believe the Pro is the best out of a slightly bad bunch in terms of batteries. I’m yet to use a massage device that lives up to the battery hype and I think the fact you can always have a charged battery to hand sets the Pro apart from other devices.

Noise 5/5

Handheld massage devices tend to be noisy things. I really cannot see how the mechanism that controls them could run without some noise, so I don’t think they will ever be entirely silent machines. I have used some devices that are so loud, you can barely hold a conversation while using them, which can be annoying for anyone around. Especially if they are trying to watch their favourite TV programme.

I would compare the noise level of the Pro to that of an electric toothbrush. The noise is not loud or invasive and I can happily talk or watch TV whilst using it. I would not hesitate to use it in a public place where people may be annoyed by loud noise. Overall , it is the most discrete device I have used by far.

Price 3/5

The Theragun Pro is expensive. $599 puts it right at the top of the highest price bracket, with the competing Hypervolt Pro coming in at $649.95. Do you get what you pay for?

Price is always going to be a factor for anyone thinking of buying the Theragun Pro. There is no getting round the fact that pushing towards a thousand dollars for a massage device is going to take some serious consideration.

The Theragun Pro is expensive. $599 puts it right at the top of the highest price bracket, with the competing Hypervolt Plus coming in at $559. So do you get what you paid for?

There are reasons why the 4th Generation Pro is worth the money and there are reasons why it is not. This really depends on the person using the device and I will discuss this further in the next part of this review.    


Should I buy the Theragun Pro?

In a word. Yes, it is, in my opinion, the best handheld massage device you can currently buy. But ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you a coach or professional sportsperson, looking for a product to use in a team environment or in a training facility with lots of people using the device?
  • Are you a professional therapist looking for a product to use on clients?
  • Do you have specific issues with muscles in hard-to-reach places, that devices you’ve tried in the past just don’t seem to get to?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I would not hesitate to go ahead and buy the Pro. You are buying the industry leading massage device, with every function you will need for high performance and a warranty that will cover your high volume use for two years.

If you answered no to any of these questions, please consider the following.

Are you looking for a massage device to use at home for general aches and pains?

Theragun Prime

If you are, consider a cheaper option as you will be paying for a warranty and features that you probably do not need.

I would consider the Theragun Prime for $499 or the Hyperice Hypervolt for $200

Are you looking for a small, lightweight massage device to carry with you in a sports bag or handbag, or perhaps keep in an office drawer?

Hyperice Hypervolt

The Pro is not for you. I would consider one of the basic, lightweight models on the market such as the Theragun Mini for $349 or the Hyperice Hypervolt GO for $200

Are you looking for a cheaply priced massage device?

Renpho Massage Gun

Looking for the best cheap Theragun Pro alternative? Why not consider the Renpho Massage Gun for $159.99 or the Jollyfit Massage Gun for $89.99. Please do bear in mind that features and quality are generally a reflection of the lesser price. You can also check out our best massage gun article for a wider range of options.


Summary

The Theragun Pro 4th Generation is the best hand-held massage device I have used. It has helped me relieve a large amount of tightness and tension from muscles which have been damaged over my time training and playing sports.

The variety of head attachments mean that pinpointing knots or trigger points is easy and the adjustable arm positions allow me to target areas such as the high hamstrings and glutes that were always a problem with other devices.

I have noticed an improvement in Range of Motion, especially my right ankle, which has always been an area which has felt locked up and tight.

It feels amazing to warm up for a training session by massaging my legs, arms and shoulders. I really notice the difference and feel much more flexible and ready to perform. This is backed up with research advising:

“Therefore, we suggest including a percussive massage treatment in a warm-up regimen to optimize the flexibility level of an athlete, without losing muscle performance.” [2]

However.

I now use the Theragun Pro in my professional gym environment, allowing Sports Performance clients to warm up and cool down with it. I feel that this validates the $599 I spent, and I am getting the most out of the product and the warranty.

If you are looking for a product that will not be used in a professional or team environment, I would perhaps consider one of the cheaper options listed above.

If money is not an option and you simply want the most adjustable, professional grade massage device on the market, with the best battery performance and the longest warranty, do not hesitate to buy the Theragun Pro 4th Generation.

Otherwise, I am not sure that the premium price is appropriate for an adjustable arm and an extended warranty.


References

  • Davis HL, Alabed S, Chico TJA. Effect of Sports Massage on Performance and Recovery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.BMJ OpenSport & Exercise Medicine 2020;6:e000614. doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2019-000614
  • Konrad A, Glashüttner C, Reiner MM, Bernsteiner D, Tilp M.The Acute Effects of a Percussive Massage Treatment with a Hypervolt Device on Plantar Flexor Muscles' Range of Motion and Performance.J Sports Sci Med. 2020;19(4):690-694. Published 2020 Nov 19.
  • https://www.theragun.com/uk/en-gb/trent-alexander-arnold.html

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