The best massage guns for runners - Women's Running

The best massage guns for runners

Author: Holly Taylor

Read Time:   |  February 2, 2021

We tested some of the best massage guns on the market to see if they could improve our running recovery

Gone are the days of blindly using a foam roller or a tennis ball to target sore muscles, as massage guns and vibrating roller tech boom. Runners are becoming more and more likely to invest in a massage gun, but with plenty of new designs popping up on the market all the time it can be overwhelming deciding where to spend your money. To help you make the best decision for you, we took several of the most talked about models for a spin to see how they affected our running recovery and whether they were worth the investment. And if you’ve already got a massage gun but aren’t sure how to use it, don’t fret – here’s our handy guide.

RECOVAPRO SE Massage Gun £229

The Recovapro SE has fast become my go-to recovery device. It’s weighty and has some serious power behind it, but moves with an impeccable smoothness thanks to its Smart Glide Technology™. It’s also incredibly versatile, with five speed settings of discernibly different intensities at the push of a button and five interchangeable head attachments. I found the Round head most useful for my general aches and pains, with the Bullet head proving brilliant for the nastier niggles.

Is it worth it? 

The Recovapro SE is currently available for just £229 and, at this price, I think it’s a really worthwhile investment. It comes with a sturdy carry case and everything you need to charge it up, and feels like a really long-lasting, decent bit of kit.

I need more info

You can find a longer review with everything you need to know about the Recovapro SE, plus its little sister the Recovapro Lite, here.

The verdict

I first started testing this massage gun in training for a half marathon when I was running long at regular intervals. It was absolutely brilliant in aiding my recovery between runs and banished DOMS completely. I also used it to gently apply pressure to a niggle in my hip that I was struggling with and, although nothing beats rest, it made a considerable difference when that wasn’t an option in my training plan. The only small downside is the lack of information it comes with on how to use it, but I found the Recovapro website to be really helpful, and you can always consult our guide here.

PULSEROLL Mini Massage Gun £129.99

If you looking for a cheaper, more portable option then a mini massage gun could be ideal – and I was particularly keen on the Pulseroll Mini. It’s really light, but has a certain sturdiness that gives it an edge over other mini massage guns. Its size makes it easy to manipulate, so you can reach all those tricky spots, and you can operate it with just one hand, which is great for your upper body. Like many full-size guns, it comes with four different speeds and four interchangeable heads, which offers great versatility for its value. It also comes with a how-to guide to help you choose the right head, speed and technique to best aid your recovery.

Is it worth it?

Priced at £129.99, you’d be hard pressed to find a massage gun for less and, despite its smaller stature, there’s a real power behind it.

I need more info

We reviewed the Pulseroll Mini in full, along with the Pulseroll Vibrating Ball and Vibrating Foam Roller, here if you want to know more about the benefits of the full range of products.

The verdict

With the price a huge selling point, the Pulseroll is still much more than just a good value recovery option. It packs a punch, comes with a variety of heads that rival those of a full-size gun and arrives nestled in a carry case that’s easily transportable. It’s not quite as heavy-duty as its larger counterpart, but if you’re unsure about parting with more than £200 then it’s a fantastic alternative.

ADDSFIT Mini Portable Massage Gun £79.99

The addsfit mini gun deserves a mention for value alone – this is the most affordable recovery tech I’ve come across. What sets it apart from its competitors is its material: the pure aluminium makes it hygienic, easy to clean and adds some power and weight. Despite this it’s still incredibly light, weighing in at just 370g while delivering a remarkable 27 lbs of percussive power to your massage. It came inside what I found to be the most practical carry case, too, that was small enough to pack into a gym bag with ease, and includes two interchangeable heads and three speed settings.

Is it worth it?

You don’t get quite as much in the way of versatility with the addsfit mini, but the two heads that it does include are arguably the most useful in any massage gun set: the Triggered Flat head and the Thumb. It comes with a charging cable along with the handy protective case, and is powerful enough to be more than worth it at just £79.99. The top speed gave me quite the pummelling, which surprised me considering its size and weight.

I need more info

You can find out exactly how the addsfit mini works and what to expect in terms of recovery through this longer review here.

The verdict

The addsfit mini massage gun shortened my recovery time considerably post-run, and it’s super affordable if you’re apprehensive about investing in this kind of tech. The aluminium heads take some getting used to, and I did occasionally find myself wishing for something a bit softer on my sorer spots, but it’s a worthy innovation considering the hygiene benefits. You shouldn’t miss the other heads that more expensive models offer, and despite the smaller amount of speed settings you’ll really notice the difference between each level. It certainly didn’t leave me wishing for more power though, again, you might want to invest in its big sister if you like more weight behind your massage.

Written by

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor is the digital editor of Women’s Running and co-host of the Women’s Running podcast, where she shares her running journey as well as the inspiring stories of women runners all over the country. She’s never been the sporty type, but running is the first time she’s felt real joy in getting active. She loves talking about running with a community of inclusive and supportive runners, and Women's Running is the perfect space for this. She's currently aiming for a half marathon PB!

Meet the team

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