Theragun Mini

Theragun Mini Review: The Best Massage Gun for Most People?

This is going to be tough to admit, but here it goes: I’m getting old.

For the last five years or so I’ve made comments about how “I really need to start stretching more.” 

Or “I should work on my posture to avoid back problems later on.”

And for the duration of those five years, I’ve promptly ignored all of the advice I’ve continued to give myself on the topic.

This year, however, things are different.

I had my first kid 5 months ago, and since then I’ve noticed some fairly significant back pain.

I don’t know if it’s due to carrying her around, my hideous golf swing, or just getting older, but for the first time I was legitimately concerned about it.

For the past month I’ve built a great daily stretching routine that has helped, but I’ve also had numerous people tell me: “You should get a Theragun.”

I’ve talked to a number of people who swear by their Theraguns for recovery, and I’ve always been intrigued. 

There have also been a number of blog readers who have asked if I thought it was worth the investment, so the time seemed right to give it a shot for myself.

Today we’re doing a Theragun Mini review. We’re going to look into what it is, who it’s for, and if it does what it says it’s going to do.

Sound good? Let’s dive in.

What is a Theragun?

So first off, what is a Theragun? A Theragun is a percussive therapy device that is supposed to help penetrate deep into your muscles in a way that helps your muscles recover faster, while reducing soreness in the process.

Ok….so then what is percussive therapy exactly?

Basically, imagine a jackhammer going to work on your muscles. Essentially it’s using a pounding, vibrating device (ahem, like a Theragun) to reach deep into your soft tissue to aid in recovery. It’s thought that this works better than typical methods like human hands or foam rolling because it can penetrate deeper than those can.

To me? It simply looked like a very powerful massage tool. But honestly? That’s exactly what I was looking for, so I’ve been very excited to try it out.

First Impressions: Theragun Branding is Spot On

The Theragun currently comes in 4 different models. The Pro, Elite, Prime, and Mini. With the Pro being the most feature-heavy, most powerful, and also the most expensive.

They then go down the line in cost, while removing some power and a feature or two from each one.

For my first foray into percussive therapy, I got a Theragun Mini.

This is their latest model, while also being their smallest.

This was appealing to me, as it seemed like something I could travel with, or when I was having particularly bad back issues, I might even consider throwing it in the golf bag.

The first thing I noticed when the box arrived was that it’s heavier than I expected to be. While the Mini is certainly smaller than its siblings, it’s still a pretty beefy device.

Theragun Mini in case

The packaging is very well done, and you definitely feel like you’re getting a high-end tech product as you open the box.

Theragun Mini Box Contents

In the box they kept it to the essentials:

  • Theragun Mini
  • Padded Case
  • Power Cord
  • Instructions

The Theragun Mini itself feels very well made, and as I mentioned, has a nice weight to it. Just by holding it, you get the sense that it will have no issues going to town on your muscles.

It only weighs in at 1.4 pounds, but it feels more substantial than that.

The Mini comes with the standard ball attachment, whereas more expensive models come with a variety of other attachments. For what I’m using it for, I don’t necessarily see a huge need for the other attachments, however.

Theragun Mini attachments

The Theragun Mini comes with one standard attachment.

Theragun Mini Performance: This thing works.

When I first started using my Theragun, I honestly wasn’t entirely sure where to start. I’ve never used a device like this, so I downloaded the Therabody app, which was recommended in the instruction packet.

They recently renamed their company to better align with their goals and increased product scope moving forward.

The app is great if you’re new to percussive therapy, and it has a wide range of timed routines you can use in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your device, and you know, not hurting yourself in the process.

The Mini has three speeds and can do 20lbs in applied pressure without slowing down. 

Theragun Mini

As a comparison, the other models can do 30 for the Prime, 40 for the Elite, and 60lbs of applied pressure for the Pro.

The directive is to “Float” the device around the body in order to loosen the muscles and have it do its thing. I did notice that with the Mini you do notice it slow down a bit if you really try and apply a ton of pressure. So if you’re looking to truly do deep tissue work with the device, you may want to opt for one of the more expensive models

For my first foray with the Theragun I did a 4 minute “Work from Home” routine, that had me working my forearms, traps, and lower back.

Within seconds of putting this thing on my back, it was clear the hype was real: this “little” thing is powerful.

I had it on the lowest power mode, and even at that I felt like my muscles were getting the attention they’ve been needing for years.

Over the past week I’ve used the Theragun daily. I’ve done the “Golf Warm-up” and “Golf Recovery” courses, and done the same for swimming. 

Therabody App

The courses all start to feel a little similar after a while, but I do appreciate the direction and the timer that the app provides when using the Theragun.

After a week of use? I truly do feel as though I’m able to perform better and with less pain after using it.

Now, I’m making myself sound more frail than I actually am. But combining regular stretches, with 5-10 minutes of the Theragun into my day, I’m finding myself feeling less sore and more flexible than I’ve been in years.

Battery Life is Great

The Theragun Mini is rated for a 2.5 hour battery life, and in my experience, it gets at least that. This is great because you’re never using it for more than 10-15 minutes at a time, and when using it around the house, it’s very easy to plug back in.

But the battery life is good enough that if I did want to take it with me to the golf course, or on a long weekend – I could legitimately do that without needing to bring the charger (more on that below.)

Related: Chirp Back Roller Review

Best Recovery Tool
Theragun Mini - Portable Muscle Treatment Massage Gun
$148.98 ($148.98 / Count)

I wasn't sure I believed the hype of the Theragun until I used it for a few weeks myself. For the price of a single massage at a fancy resort, you get nearly all the benefits, in a portable package that will last you for years.

Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/30/2023 01:52 am GMT

A Few Notes About My Real Life Experience

I’m legitimately a fan of the Theragun, and it’s lived up to all of the expectations I’ve had for it. I’m looking forward to trying one of their more expensive models sometime soon to see if the added price is actually worthwhile for the average person.

But I figured I’d take a minute just to give you some quick bullet point thoughts about my experience.

Good Vibrations

It doesn’t take long to realize that this thing packs a punch. But along with that, the entire device can be quite aggressive with its vibrations when you’re using it. I haven’t dropped it yet, but I could see a scenario where you’re on one of the higher settings, and it’d be possible to lose your grip due to the vibrating.

This is where the Mini is a double-edged sword. It’s smaller size makes it more versatile, and likely easier to help reach certain spots, but since it doesn’t have a dedicated handle, it isn’t quite as easy to hold on full power.

Certain Areas are Hard to Reach

Even with its compact size, there are still areas that are awkward or difficult to reach. If you’re trying to massage the square of your upper back, it can be a little tricky to find the right spot. If you have a significant other who can help with this, it certainly makes things easier.

90% of areas are no problem on your own, but the heavy vibrations and lack of a handle can make getting to those tougher spots on your back a challenge.

Would have Preferred USB-C

This isn’t a huge deal, but I’d prefer to see a USB-C wall charger, rather than the dedicated power charger it comes with.

I know nothing about battery consumption, so it may not have been feasible to use USB-C. But when I travel, I have enough chargers to take with me as it is. It would have been more convenient if this were USB-C, so I didn’t have to bring another charger with me.

Power Only an Issue for the Deepest Work

Let’s get one thing straight: the Theragun Mini is powerful. The more I use it after workouts, you realize just how beneficial it can be on your muscles.

But like I mentioned above, if you’re really trying to push it deep into your back, it can hang up with its power rating of 20 applied pounds. I think even the prime at 30 would be just enough more to keep this from being an issue for most people.

And the Pro at 60 is overkill, but I could see this being the one area where someone might feel disappointed if they bought it specifically for that really deep work.

It’s Quiet

Up to this point, the Theragun Mini is the only massage gun I’ve used. But I’ve heard that many of these devices can be quite noisy.

While this isn’t dead silent, I certainly wouldn’t call it loud. I’d have no issues using it around other people without fear of them getting annoyed.

I’ll update this as a I review more products and get a better sense of how it compares, but the noise level is not an issue with the Theragun Mini.

Final Impressions of the Theragun Mini

The Theragun Mini was everything I hoped it would be. If you’re someone who wants the recovery benefits on a regular massage, without having to break the bank – a Theragun is absolutely something you should consider.

Golf is considered a sport you can play for your entire life. That’s true, but if you really want to be able to play it pain-free for years to come, you have to take care of your body in the process.

I’m just now starting to do that. Tools like the Ooler for sleep recovery, and the Whoop for tracking my recoveries have been excellent.

But the Theragun is hands down the most directly beneficial yet. The $200-600 price tag is expensive on the surface. Yet, the price is justified when you think about how much money it has the potential to save you in the long run.

If you’ve been considering a massage gun, I absolutely think it’s worth giving the Theragun Mini a serious look.

September 2022: Long Term Update – It’s Still Great

It’s been over a year since my initial review of the Theragun Mini in July 2021.

I wanted to do a quick update about my experience with this device.

14 months later?

I’m still just as much a fan of this as I was when I first started reviewing it – in fact, probably more so.

There are many more expensive and powerful products in the Theragun lineup, but for me? The Mini does everything I need.

I’m able to keep it in my suitcase and travel with it on long golf trips. The battery life is great.

And I still use it 3-4 times a week to help with recovery and relaxation. As I continue to get older percussive therapy with a device like this will continue to be a part of my routine – and I honestly haven’t found myself wanting (or needing) any of the fancy additional features other more expensive models have.

It’s been extremely durable and reliable, which would be my hesitation for other similar products from lesser known brands.

Moral of the story? Still great, highly recommended.

Best Recovery Tool
Theragun Mini - Portable Muscle Treatment Massage Gun
$148.98 ($148.98 / Count)

I wasn't sure I believed the hype of the Theragun until I used it for a few weeks myself. For the price of a single massage at a fancy resort, you get nearly all the benefits, in a portable package that will last you for years.

Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/30/2023 01:52 am GMT
Buy It!

Good Things

  • Excellent build quality
  • Very powerful for its size
  • Reasonable price

Bad Things

  • No USB charger
  • Not the best for the deepest massage work

The Breakdown

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