It’s that time of year again. A new year brings the promise of change, inevitably ignited by a New Year’s resolution. It’s estimated that over 50 per cent of New Year’s resolutions focus on getting healthy and shifting weight.
The downside of throwing ourselves into exercise that our bodies are not accustomed to is the potential for sore post-workout muscles. And it’s not just the newcomers to a fitness regime. Even if you work out regularly, you’ll know all about dealing with the delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).
Naturally, the luxury of massage is one way to alleviate tired or sore muscles. Still, handheld percussive massage therapy, or massage guns, have become a tool adopted by fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes alike.
Touted to relieve tight and sore muscles by reaching deep layers of muscle and increasing blood circulation, regular users consider them a deep tissue massage in the palm of the hand.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, massage guns became the must-have accessory. For Australians in lockdown states, getting to a physio or masseuse proved an impossibility, and these devices were an excellent alternative. Homedics is a brand that specialises in tech wellbeing, and they recently sent us a Therapist Select Plus percussion massager, aka a massage gun, to put to the test.
Handily, the gun comes in a storage case for safe stowage and easy transportation. Alongside the gun are the attachments, or tools of the trade, and a charger. The gun itself is a well-built piece of equipment. At the base of the unit is an on/off switch. When activated, an LCD touchscreen at the rear of the gun shows six power settings manually adjusted via the touchscreen and a digital percentage reading, indicating how much juice is left.
And talking of juice, the Select Plus holds around four hours of charge, but this will differ depending on the speed setting you choose. The six settings afford a comprehensive range of massage speeds to compensate for all needs. The gun will idle when the power is switched on but pounds into operation once weight is applied to the treated area.
So, let’s talk attachments. At first glance, some of these wouldn’t look out of place in a Hostel movie. There are six in total. Two foam balls – one around 50mm in diameter and the other 60mm – are used for massaging large areas, and a U-shaped piece for working longer muscles. Finally, there’s a flat-headed piece and two tools – one spade-shaped and the other conical – for working hard to reach areas and knots.
The first impression when picking up the gun is how light it is. At only 820 grams, fatigue from prolonged use isn’t an issue. There’s a rubberised coating over the gun that helps with the grip. Controls are easy, and it’s quiet, too, so you can still use it while watching the TV (at STACK, we do spend a lot of time here…)
Throughout our time with the massage gun, the two spherical foam heads and the conical and U-shaped fittings were the attachments we used the most. The balls for pre- and post-workout on the bigger muscle groups, and the other two to target tight spots in the shoulders and back. This is quite a powerful device, so number four was the highest setting we needed.
For the price point, the Therapist Select Plus is right on the money for amateur fitness enthusiasts like us. While massage guns are not a miracle cure for muscle soreness, they do help alleviate some of the stiffness, and that was certainly the case here. It’s also great for working out knots to the point of becoming an obsession. For gym users, it’s also an ideal tool for warming up pre-workout.
While obviously nothing can replace a trained therapist, having a massage gun at the ready goes a long way to preserving the active body and keeping it mobile.
The Homedics Therapist Select Plus Percussion Massage Gun is available now.