The triangle-shaped design makes the Theragun Prime easy to hold in any position
Working from home has a number of advantages – you get more time in bed each morning, you’ll never have to trek to your local Royal Mail distribution centre because you missed a delivery, and you’re around when the kids get home from school. However, when it comes to posture and pains… it’s almost all disadvantages.
Forced to leave behind our desks in offices across the UK almost overnight, many have spent the subsequent 15 months perched on stools, hunched on folding chairs, or sprawled out on sofas with our laptops balanced precariously on knees, a stack of books, or kitchen counters. Let’s be honest, none of these set-ups are renown for their ergonomic benefits.
That’s something we all should be concerned about. According to research by the US National Institutes of Health, without proper care, roughly a fifth of those who experience lower-back pain will develop persistent symptoms within a year. It’s a similar story for those struggling with neck aches and joint pain.
And that’s where Thergun comes in.
This clever gadget is designed by the team at Therabody to ease all of the aches and pains caused by a cobbled-together home office – or anything else for that matter. While the company has been around for some time, Dr. Jason Wersland founded the company back in 2009, the strains of the global pandemic have brought the US brand to a greater audience.
Express.co.uk heaved ourselves off the sofa and tested a Theragun Prime to find out whether this health gadget is worth the cash…
The first-generation Theragun – named as a portmanteau of “Therapy” and “Gun” – was developed by Dr. Jason Wersland who, after a traumatic motorcycle accident, was left with debilitating pain. It’s amazing how much of the DNA of that original product, which looks like something from a Black And Decker catalogue – or one of the later sequels in the 50 Shades Of Grey series, can still be found in the latest fourth-generation gadget.
Express.co.uk took delivery of a fourth-generation Theragun Prime, which has a triangle-shaped frame that can be held from any of its three sides. This simple design makes it incredibly easy to aim the Theragun at hard-to-reach spots, like your lower back, shoulder blades and hamstrings. The entire frame is made from a tactile plastic that’s grippy enough that it’s not going to slide out of your hand during a sweaty post-run session. Elsewhere, there’s an On/Off switch, buttons to increase or decrease the speed of the percussion, and a variety of interchangeable heads to target specific muscle groups. And that’s it.
Theragun Prime is safe to use across your body
Therabody says the triangle shape is designed to handle the device without adding any strain to your wrist, hands or arms. It’s definitely true that using the device for prolonged periods doesn’t trigger any more pains or aches to flare up. The best indication that Theragun’s clever triangle design works incredibly well is the fact that lower-priced competitors have flooded Amazon and other online stores with almost identical designs.
But while the rough shape is easy enough to copy-paste, Therabody has a few other tricks up its sleeve that make it worth the investment over its competitors.
First up – the motor. As the name suggests, percussive therapy uses a vibrating tip to pound your muscles, recreating the experience of a deep-tissue massage at the touch of a button. As such, the gadget needs to be pretty powerful, but not too loud. With the latest generation, Therabody says it has made the motor 70 percent quieter than previous versions. On top of that, the company says its motor has enough grunt to deliver a 60 percent deeper massage than other consumer devices on the market.
That all sounds great on paper, although it’s important to state that Theragun Prime is not what we’d call “quiet” by any stretch of the imagination. It is possible to use the fourth-generation model stretched out on the sofa while watching television… but you’re going to need to crank-up the volume before you start your massage.
But while there’s still room for improvement when it comes to the noise of the Theragun, we’ve got no complaints about the massage itself. No muscle knot is a match for the ferocious motor fitted to the Theragun Prime. LEDs denote which of the five built-in speeds you’re currently using – 1,750 percussions per minute, 1,900ppm, 2,100ppm, 2,200ppm or 2,400ppm) and how much battery life is left in the tank.
With this fourth-generation model, the battery life has received a healthy boost
Therabody says the battery cell in the fourth-generation model is rated for 120-minutes of continuous use. While we never tried a two-hour endurance session to test that claim, we were able to pick-up the Theragun once a day for over a fortnight without even thinking about recharging. So, don’t worry about forgetting the charger if you decide to take the Theragun Prime on your holidays – it’s got more than enough stamina.
Finally, the last secret weapon that puts Theragun Prime above its rivals – the companion app on Android and iPhone. When you first unbox the Prime, the idea of pressing its pounding nozzle deep into your thigh or shoulder seems a little intimidating. Not only that, but since our academic qualifications centre on being able to write proper, we’re no experts when it comes to muscle groups and the best percussive therapy routine.
Therabody has designed a stellar app with a number of curated exercises when working at home or exercising
Thankfully, that’s where the smartphone app comes in. It’s packed with step-by-step instructions that guide you through some of the most effective routines. The app syncs with the Theragun Prime in real-time, so it can tell you when you’re applying too much pressure to a muscle – or not enough. And it also advises which attachment to use.
The guides are sorted into a number of handy categories, including First-Time User, Run Recovery, Hiking Warm Up, Yoga Recovery, and, of course, Work From Home.
As you use the Therabody app, the suggested routines will be tailored to your tastes. So, if you’ve never looked into the guides around climbing… the app will assume that’s not an activity you’re interested in, for example.
With a maximum of 2,400 percussions per minute, Theragun Prime is a powerful tool
Theragun Prime review: Final Verdict
- Pros: An amazing deep tissue massage at the push of a button, brilliant battery life means you can leave the charger at home, comprehensive guides in the app for beginners
- Cons: At full pelt, the motor be a little quieter, price could be a little more affordable
Whether it’s the hours spent hunched over a laptop, or a busy workout schedule at home or back in the gym… the Theragun Prime is phenomenally adapt at untangling knots or relaxing any tightness in your muscles. The powerful motor and brilliant battery life means a deep tissue massage is always just a button press away. Bliss.
The cleverly designed companion app includes a dizzying number of guides that provide step-by-step instructions for runners, cyclists, and Work From Home-ers who want to target specific muscle groups. It’s clever stuff and ensures the Theragun Prime is never intimidating – even if this is your first percussive therapy device.
At £275, the Theragun Prime is reasonably pricey. However, if you have no plans to return to the office, buy an ergonomic desk chair, or relax your gym routine… it’s a no-brainer. The comprehensive app and two-year warranty puts it ahead of the competition.
And if the Theragun Prime seems a little too pricey, the Therabody app also works with the entry-level gadget from the percussive therapy brand, the Theragun Mini costs £175.
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