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While muscle soreness is a natural process that helps your body get used to exercise, it can get painful, no matter how conditioned an athlete you may be. Muscle soreness is an inherent adaptive response to new activity or an increase in intensity or duration. Hydration, proper form and mindful practice are some of the best ways to prevent future soreness but did you know that getting a massage immediately after a workout can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness by a very substantial 30%? While a lot of gyms nowadays provide post and pre workout massages along with their personal trainers, not all of us work out at a gym (or can afford to). Just as there are many different types of sports, there are a myriad of locations where these sports happen – from the ocean to the mountains and everything else in between. We can’t all be like The Rock and have a massage therapist/personal trainer around us constantly to help us sort out our knots and kinks so a massage gun is the next best thing, if not better.
Hydragun (coupon code: SLEEPLINE50), a Singapore based company, is a fairly new player in the game of percussive therapy tools but they came out of the gate strong, and hungry to take on the competition. Even with only one product on their roster – their signature Hydragun – they have come out right at the time when professional athletes have become their own breed of social media influencers, with people following every single move these athletes make from the brand of their shoes to their (oftentimes insane) daily workout regimens to their protein shake recipes which has proven to be crucial to Hydragun’s success. Harnessing the power of social media along with the power our favorite athletes wield among the masses coupled with the fact that they have created a product that actually delivers, Hydragun has become a force to be reckoned with.
Buy: Hydragun, $299 from HydraGun.com (coupon code: SLEEPLINE50)
A little background on the massage gun
Believed to have been invented in 2008 by a Los Angeles based chiropractor, James Wersland, after he suffered from a herniated disc due to a motorcycle accident; the device he created came to be known as the TheraGun G1 Professional Massager and is the first ever product from the TheraGun company (who has recently rebranded into TheraBody). Through the years, other companies like Hydragun, have begun to follow suit.
A massage gun – so named because they are handheld and are activated by a trigger mechanism like, well, an actual gun – utilizes percussive therapy. Percussive therapy or percussive massage is a treatment that helps alleviate soft tissue pain, heal injury, speed up recovery and enhance athletic performance by essentially ‘pounding’ the targeted area (different muscle groups) rather than giving off a steady pulse of vibration which vibrating foam rollers do. While vibration can feel amazing upon first contact, the body may quickly become acclimatized to the steady, constant rhythm, which means the body accommodates to it and the nervous system can shut off which in turn numbs the area, thus rendering the effects useless. As per sports therapy experts, although numbing the affected area can be very useful, it will not be as effective as stimulating accelerated healing, which is what percussive therapy does if done immediately after a workout. In percussive therapy, the body never adjusts to the combination of the frequency and depth of force used, as there are many variations to them which then means the body never accommodates to it thereby relieving pain every single time.
While this is what happens post workout and during the recovery period, let’s not discount the fact that using a massage gun directly before working out has its own set of benefits: it helps keep your muscles lubricated and used in conjunction with stretching, can increase your range of motion by 50% – 80%. And, just like with all massages, the psychological and physiological benefits are immense: using a massage gun can help relax your parasympathetic nervous system (read: your rest and digest system) which massively aids in recovery and sleep.
Review: Why Hydragun?
The Hydragun comes in a handy, travel-friendly kit that’s as sleek looking as the product inside. The kit includes the Hydragun body, 6 swappable attachment heads (6 to target different areas of the body with a handy dandy manual explaining each head and its benefits. We are partial to the fork head and the soft head), a charger and a travel adapter. No more digging around your gym bag for this or that and speaking of which, the entire kit can fit nicely into most standard sized gym bags. An instruction manual is also included explaining everything in the bag as well as tips on how to maximize use.
When Hydragun was still a blueprint on someone’s desk, Hydragun’s Research and Development team has gone through more than 20 percussive devices, meticulously analyzed and compared their specs and tested each one personally before coming up with what is known as the Quietest Massage Gun.
Why is being quiet a factor, you may ask? I was just getting to that.
There are 7 factors in choosing the perfect massage gun:
Amplitude – is the distance the device head travels from the gun measured in millimeters. The longer the amplitude, the deeper the heads can push into the muscle. Hydragun’s amplitude sits at 12mm; slightly higher than other top brands in the market, most of which sit at 10mm and slightly lower than TheraGun Pro which is 14mm and TimTam’s Power Massager which sits at whopping 30mm. Bear in mind that the higher the amplitude, the bigger and noisier the motor which results in a heavier, more cumbersome device.
Sound Level – is how loud a device sounds measured in decibels. Percussive therapy devices are powered by electric motors, which make a lot of noise when turned on. The bigger the motor, the louder the noise. Hydragun’s decibel level is at 50db compared to TheraGun’s 75db or Hypervolt’s 60db.
Almost all comparison reviews show that the Hydragun in action is the quietest ever massage gun that they’ve used, even on its highest setting. So quiet that you can easily hold a conversation or even watch Netflix while you use it.
Speed in RPM – an RPM is revolutions per minute and the speed in RPM means how many revolutions the motor makes in a minute. The more revolutions, the faster the device head percusses your muscles – resulting in an even more intense massage. Hydragun is at 3200 RPM.
Stall force – the maximum amount of force applied that will stop the motor from running. A good percussive therapy gun should be powered by a high-torque motor, which means if you’re using it in the recommended way, it should not stall easily. While some users may apply more force than necessary because they have tighter or less sensitive muscles – this may cause the motor to stall but with the Hydragun, this rarely ever happens unless you’re intentionally applying excessive pressure on the head to try and stop the motor.
Battery Life – this needs no further clarification as it’s pretty straightforward. Nowadays, in this increasingly digital age, any electrically powered machine must have good if not exceptional battery life. The Hydragun boasts an impressive 6-8 hours of battery life. While one may not think of 6-8 hours as particularly notable, consider the fact that you should only use a massage gun for a few minutes each time, never exceeding 3 minutes within each muscle group for optimal effectiveness. Compared to other massage gun brands whose battery lives run the gamut from 75 minutes to 3 hours, the Hydragun needs less charging times between use which means it’s better for the environment. (Hey, every little bit helps, always remember that.)
The Hydragun kit comes with its own international adapter so should you be travelling between different countries, you will always be able to use it.
Build material – the material that the device is primarily built out of. The material of device guns plays a huge part in its survivability, durability, insulation, weight and heat dissipation. You wouldn’t want a device that is heavy, gets overheated easily or falls apart within a year of use, do you? Most of the massage guns on the market are made out of plastic, which disintegrates in time; the Hydragun is made out of aerospace grade aluminum which basically makes it life-resistant and life-proof. This also gives the Hydragun it’s sleek, premium look as well as making it feel good to touch. The handle is also wrapped in nanoscale silicon which gives you a non-slip premium grip and will not leave a sticky residue from your post-workout sweat.
Weight – the Hydragun weighs in at 2.3lbs. Although it is not the lightest of massage guns, it definitely is not the heaviest either. You would want a massage gun that is fairly easy to maneuver especially when you are trying to get to those hard to reach areas like your back and glutes. The Hydragun’s ergonomic build is designed to optimally align with your wrist and forearm making it easier for you to move around with it.
Need more convincing?
While a massage gun won’t exactly replace an actual, traditional massage, it can be a nifty little device to have. It does not matter whether you are a professional athlete or a gymrat nor does it matter if you are living a sedentary lifestyle, the Hydragun benefits us all. If you live out most of your days hunched in front of a computer (like me), a quick, perfunctory once-over with the Hydragun around your shoulder areas and upper back muscles could do you wonders. But, should you feel, for any reason whatsoever, that the Hydragun is not the massage gun for you, then you have a 30 day risk free period within which you can return it and get a refund.
What we like the most though is that, while Hydragun is a product that benefits everyone – athletic or not, thicc or thin, human or canine (yep, dogs love Hydragun too) – they do not try to force themselves down our throats telling us that they are the best. In fact, their mission statement includes this very line – “So, while we love Hydragun, we may not recommend it to everyone. It all depends on what you need and what you are looking for.”
Alright, Hydragun. Take my money.
Buy: Hydragun, $299 from HydraGun.com (coupon code: SLEEPLINE50)
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