Best Massage Gun for Runners in 2023

Are you looking for the best massage gun for runners? I have now tested more than 30 massagers. In this article, I’ll tell you which is best for runners. I will also tell you whether a massage gun is helpful for runners at all. And I will explain how to choose the right massager for your needs.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. All devices were objectively tested and evaluated. If you buy through a link, I receive a commission, regardless of the product. Accordingly, this plays no role in my rating.

 

The most important in a Nutshell

You are in a hurry? No problem, I got you:

Yes, massage guns can help runners. Massages can promote regeneration and also increase flexibility. But a massager can also help with problems with the Achilles tendon, which often affects runners.

These are my recommendations for this:

Ekrin B37:
The Ekrin B37 is one of the best massage guns on the market. It combines an amplitude of 12 mm with a powerful motor and good operability and handling. ↳ Buy here and save 25% (Code: MGG25)

Ekrin Bantam:
It is the little brother of the B37. The Ekrin Bantam is smaller and more compact. This allows it to be taken anywhere for running. At the same time, it has a good amplitude (10 mm) and a quite powerful motor. ↳ Buy here and save 25% (Code: MGG25)

Achedaway Pro:
The Achedaway Pro is one of the most powerful massage guns on the market. With an amplitude of 16 mm and a stall force of up to 80 lbs, nothing stands in the way of an intensive deep tissue massage. Only the weight of the massage gun could be significantly lower. ↳ Buy here and Save $25 (Code: MGG25)

Here are the reasons why a massage gun is useful for runners and what features are important in a massager for this purpose:

  • Studies have shown that using a massage gun as part of the warm-up routine can improve ROM of the calves and ankles.
  • If the muscles are massaged directly after a run, soreness can be reduced.
  • Using a massage gun can also relieve pain along the Achilles tendon and shin splints, which often affect runners.
  • The massage gun should have an amplitude of at least 10 mm and a stall force of at least 35 lbs to reach the deep tissue.
  • The attachments should include a ball / flat head attachment and a fork attachment so that all leg areas can be optimally massaged.

 

Are Massage Guns good for Runners?

Massage guns are advertised with many positive features for “everyday use”. They are supposed to provide great relaxation. Also should be able to relax tensions. At first glance, this seems of little relevance to runners.

But the right massage guns massage muscles right into the deep tissues. This has many positive consequences. For example, blood circulation is improved. Also, using a massage gun helps in muscle regeneration and can increase flexibility.

Specifically, massage guns are very helpful for runners for the following reasons:

  • It is essential to warm up before running to prevent injury. A study using a Hypervolt massage gun showed that a 5-min percussive massage on the calves could significantly improve ROM (range of motion) in the ankle and foot.1 This is very helpful for injury-prone athletes!
  • Another study looked at the effect of vibration therapy on muscle soreness. It has been shown that this can significantly reduce muscle soreness when used directly after training.2 These findings can also be applied to massage guns. Accordingly, they can help you get back to sports faster after an intense run.
  • Achilles tendinopathy is an injury that often affects runners. It is associated with pain and stiffness in the ankle. A study with 60 participants has shown that a pressure massage can help very effectively with Achilles tendinopathy and improve ankle ROM.3
  • A review came to the following conclusion when evaluating a total of 93 studies: “Massage guns were found to be the most effective method for increasing range of motion in the lower limbs compared to foam rolling and other self-performed myofascial treatments. The use of massage guns immediately after exercise reduced delayed onset muscle soreness. However, no significant increase in muscle activation or force output was found after using such a massager.”
    As a result of this finding, the recommended conclusion is that massage guns should be used as part of a structured warm-up before exercise to increase the range of motion and prevent muscle soreness without negatively impacting strength during exercise. Likewise, according to the review, massage guns can be used to improve mobility after injuries during rehab and relieve pain.4

You have learned that massage guns are a helpful tool to improve recovery as a runner and prevent pain. However, massage guns are not a miracle cure. They are not a substitute for a balanced diet, a proper warm-up program before running, and adequate sleep.

 

How to choose the best Massage Gun for Runners

As a runner, you should use a massage gun that massages deep into the muscles. Accordingly, you should consider the amplitude when making your purchase decision. This describes the distance that the massage head moves back and forth.

However, some massage guns have a very low amplitude. As a result, they don’t really push into the tissue but only provide vibration therapy. This at least helps to strengthen blood circulation, but not to effectively loosen muscles. Therefore, my recommendation is:

The amplitude of the massage gun should be at least 10 mm.

All massage guns in my best list have an amplitude between 10 mm and 16 mm.

But not only the amplitude plays a role in deep tissue massage. Also, the massage gun must apply a certain stall force. Otherwise, the muscle cannot be massaged effectively. In the worst case, if the power is too low, the motor will even block when a little more force is applied.

Therefore, I recommend:

The stall force of the massage gun should be at least 35 lbs.

All massage guns in my best list have a stall force of at least 35 lbs.

You should also consider the following criteria:

  • Make sure that the weight of the massage gun is as low as possible. This makes it easier to handle. In addition, light and compact massagers are better to take with you for a run.
  • The massage gun should be supplied with a large attachment (ball attachment or flat head attachment). With these, you can optimally massage your thigh. In addition, a fork attachment should be included. This is particularly suitable for massaging the calves, as it can leave out the Achilles tendon.
  • A long handle is advantageous for massaging remote or hard-to-reach areas of the body. This helps not only when massaging the legs.

 

5 best Massage Guns for Runners in 2023

Here you will find a list of what I consider to be the five best massage guns for runners.

 

#1 Ekrin B37

Ekrin B37 is one of the best massage guns on the market. That’s why it’s in many of my best lists, including, for example, the best massage guns for sciatica. But the Ekrin B37 is also very suitable for runners. The reasons for this are as follows:

On the one hand, the depth of impact is 12 mm. On the other hand, the B37 has a stall force of approx. 40 lbs. This makes it very suitable for a deep-tissue massage.

The different speed levels are also very well thought out. So they already start at a low frequency. This allows for a fairly light massage, which is also suitable for beginners. On the higher levels, on the other hand, the massage is very intense and loosens even the hardest muscles.

Furthermore, the massage gun has a rather narrow, long handle. This is not only very easy to grip but also allows massaging hard-to-reach places.

The included fork attachment has a gap in the middle. This makes it very good for massage along the calf, as the Achilles tendon can be left out.

If you want to spend a smaller amount of money, I can also recommend the Ekrin 365. It performed only slightly worse than the B37 in my test, but costs a bit less (~$40 to $60).

Specifications

  • Number of Attachments: 4
  • Motor Power: not stated
  • Amplitude: 12 mm
  • Speed Levels: 5
  • RPM: 1,400 to 3,200
  • Noise (from 40 cm Distance): 47 to 64 dB
  • Weight (without Attachment): 2.13 lbs (965 g)
  • Battery Capacity: 2,500 mAH
  • Battery Life: ca. 4 to 6 h
  • Battery changeable: no

Scope of Delivery

  • 1 x Ekrin B37
  • 1 x Ball Attachment
  • 1 x Flat Head Attachment
  • 1 x Fork Attachment
  • 1 x Bullet Attachment
  • 1 x Carry Bag
  • 1 x Charger
  • 1 x Manual

Pros of the Ekrin B37

  • space-saving transportable
  • carrying bag included
  • simple operability
  • appears stable and of high quality
  • well thought-out power levels
  • 4 attachments included
  • very well processed
  • long, narrow handle
  • fair price with discount code

Cons of the Ekrin B37

  • rather high weight
  • battery not replaceable
  • no pressure sensor
  • comparatively loud on high settings

Save 25 % with my code MGG25

View on ekrinathletics.com* Read the review

 

#2 Ekrin Bantam

The Ekrin Bantam is the mini massage gun from Ekrin. Accordingly, it is cheaper than the other devices of the brand. But this is not its only advantage. It is also very compact and lightweight. So you can take it with you everywhere. So nothing can stop you from massaging before and after a run.

Although the massager is very compact, it has quite a lot of power. Specifically, a stall force of up to 35 lbs can be achieved. Also, the impact depth of 10 mm is sufficient to reach the deep tissue, although there are better models here.

The scope of delivery of the Bantam includes, among other things, a ball attachment and a fork attachment. Thus, the most important things for massaging the legs are included. Especially the fork attachment is helpful to leave out the Achilles tendon during the calf massage.

Specifications

  • Number of Attachments: 4
  • Motor Power: no information
  • Speed Levels: 3
  • RPM: 2,000 to 3,200
  • Noise (from 40 cm Distance): 53 to 63 dB
  • Weight (without Attachment): 1.08 lbs (490 g)
  • Battery Capacity: 1,600 mAH
  • Battery Life: ca. 3 to 5 h
  • Battery changeable: no

Scope of Delivery

  • 1 x Ekrin Bantam
  • 1 x Ball Attachment
  • 1 x Flat Head Attachment
  • 1 x Fork Attachment
  • 1 x Bullet Attachment
  • 1 x Carry Bag
  • 1 x USB-C Cable
  • 1 x Manual

Pros of the Ekrin Bantam

  • light and compact
  • space-saving transportable
  • easy to operate
  • very good handling
  • stable and valuable
  • well thought-out power levels
  • perfectly processed
  • powerful motor
  • deep, intensive massage
  • comes with 4 attachments
  • fair price

Cons of the Ekrin Bantam

  • battery not replaceable
  • quite loud
  • unpleasant smell on some attachments
  • only 3 power levels

Save 25 % with my code MGG25

View on ekrinathletics.com* Read the review

 

#3 Achedaway Pro

Like the two previously mentioned devices from Ekrin, the Achedaway Pro is also supplied with the necessary attachments for a leg massage. Among other things, a ball attachment, a flat head, and a fork attachment are included.

Of course, this is not the only reason the Achedaway Pro is on my best list. It is also one of the strongest massage guns on the market. Thus, it achieves a stall force of up to 80 lbs. The impact depth is 16 mm, which is an absolute top number. This ensures a particularly intensive massage of the deep tissue.

If I had to name a downside, it would primarily be the high weight. This makes transport and handling unnecessarily strenuous.

Specifications

  • Number of Attachments: 4
  • Motor Power: no information
  • Speed Levels: 5
  • RPM: 1,700 to 2,800
  • Noise (from 40 cm Distance): 52 to 71 dB
  • Weight (without Attachment): 2.63 lbs (1,194 g)
  • Battery Capacity: 3,200 mAH
  • Battery Life: ca. 2 to 4 h
  • Battery changeable: yes

Scope of Delivery

  • 1 x Achedaway Pro
  • 1 x Ball Attachment
  • 1 x Flat Head Attachment
  • 1 x Fork Attachment
  • 1 x Bullet Attachment
  • 1 x Carry Bag
  • 1 x Charger
  • 1 x Manual

Pros of the Achedaway Pro

  • space-saving transportable
  • carrying bag and pouch included
  • simple operability
  • appears stable and valuable
  • well thought-out power levels
  • 4 attachments included
  • very well processed
  • strong motor
  • good impact depth
  • exchangeable battery

Cons of the Achedaway Pro

  • very high weight
  • handle too wide
  • very loud on high levels
  • comparatively “expensive”
  • unpleasant smell at the beginning

Save $25 with my code MGG25

View on achedaway.com* Read the review

 

#4 Theragun Pro

If you are looking for massage guns, you will come across Therabody devices sooner or later. So it’s not surprising that you’ll find the Theragun Pro here.

It is the high-end device of the brand. It is correspondingly expensive but powerful. With its impact depth of 16 mm and stall force of 60 lbs, it easily reaches the deep tissue.

Moreover, the arm of the massager is adjustable. This makes it easy to reach hard-to-reach areas. Thus, it has everything you want for massaging your legs and other body areas.

However, there are also disadvantages. On the one hand, it is very noisy. This may still be tolerable when massaging for sporting reasons. However, the massage gun is also weighty. This makes it quite difficult to transport. In addition, the massage quickly becomes somewhat exhausting.

Specifications

  • Number of Attachments: 5
  • Motor Power: no information
  • Speed Levels: 5
  • RPM: 1,750 to 2,400
  • Noise (from 40 cm Distance): 62 to 72 dB
  • Weight (without Attachment): 2.91 lbs (1,319 g)
  • Battery Capacity: no information
  • Battery Life: ca. 2.5 h
  • Battery changeable: yes

Scope of Delivery

  • 1 x Theragun Pro
  • 1 x Standard Ball Attachment
  • 1 x Supersoft™ Attachment
  • 1 x Dampener Attachment
  • 1 x Thumb Attachment
  • 1 x Wedge Attachment
  • 1 x Cone Attachment
  • 1 x Carry Bag
  • 1 x Attachment Bag
  • 1 x Charger
  • 1 x Replacement Battery
  • 1 x Manual

Pros of the Theragun Pro

  • 2-year warranty
  • battery exchangeable
  • space-saving transportable
  • very good handling
  • appears stable and valuable
  • well thought out power levels
  • 6 attachments included
  • very well processed
  • with helpful app
  • app control possible
  • powerful motor
  • very good battery capacity
  • additional battery included
  • adjustable arm

Cons of the Theragun Pro

  • very expensive
  • comparatively loud on all levels
  • low frequency spectrum
  • no pressure sensor
  • lubricant on massage head
View on Amazon* Read the review

 

#5 Flow PRO

With its amplitude of 14 mm, it is no problem for the Flow Pro to massage the deep tissue. The motor also has a high power of 100 W. Thus, it does not block even if you have to press harder once, as I can report from my experience.

The Flow Pro also has an elongated handle. With it, you can effortlessly massage your whole legs by yourself.

The only big disadvantage of the massage gun is its heavy weight. Since it is one of the heaviest massage guns, it can be a bit tiring to hold it for a long time. Also, it is not the cheapest.

Specifications

  • Number of Attachments: 7
  • Motor Power: up to 100 W
  • Amplitude: 14 mm
  • Speed Levels: 3
  • RPM: 1,800 to 3,000
  • Noise (from 40 cm Distance): 52 to 68 dB
  • Weight (without Attachment): 2.61 lbs (1,185 g)
  • Battery Capacity: 2,600 mAH
  • Battery Life: ca. 3 to 4 h
  • Battery changeable: yes

Scope of Delivery

  • 1 x Flow PRO Massage Gun
  • 1 x Ball Attachment
  • 1 x Flat Head Attachment
  • 1 x Fork Attachment
  • 1 x Bullet Attachment
  • 1 x Wedge Attachment
  • 1 x Soft Attachment
  • 1 x Super Soft Attachment
  • 1 x Carry Bag
  • 1 x Carry Case
  • 1 x Charger
  • 1 x Manual

Pros of the Flow PRO

  • space-saving transportable
  • carrying bag and pouch included
  • simple operability
  • appears stable and valuable
  • well thought-out power levels
  • 7 attachments included
  • very well processed
  • strong 100 W motor
  • good impact depth
  • exchangeable battery

Cons of the Flow PRO

  • very high weight
  • handle too wide
  • rather high volume
  • comparatively “expensive”
  • unpleasant smell at the beginning

SAVE 20 %: MASSAGEGUN20

View on flowrecovery.com* Read the review

How to use a Massage Gun for Runners

The correct use of a massage gun for runners depends significantly on what is intended by the massage. The following two areas of application are distinguished:

  • Prevent Muscle Soreness or Warm-up Muscles / Improve ROM
  • Use on the Achilles Tendon

 

Prevent Muscle Soreness or Warm-up Muscles / Improve ROM

Using a massage gun before a workout helps loosen muscles, improve flexibility increase ROM. If the massage gun is applied after the workout, the following muscle soreness will be reduced. Therefore, I recommend you to perform the following routine before and after running:

  1. Massage the thigh first. Start on the back and slowly move the massage gun back and forth.
  2. After about 30 seconds, switch to the front of the thigh and massage it for about 30 seconds as well.
  3. Finally, massage the calf muscles for 20 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat for the other leg.

Important: Make sure that you move the massage gun only over muscles. You should never use the massage gun directly on the tendon, but also on bones, in order to avoid injuries.

The following YouTube video by Road Runner Sports also shows how you can use a massage gun as a runner:

Read more about it here: Do Massage Guns work for sore Muscles?

 

Use on the Achilles Tendon

As previously mentioned, many runners suffer from Achilles tendinopathy. Among other things, the right massage can reduce the pain caused by the injury. It can also be prevented with the help of massage and specific exercises.

Here is how to use the massage gun for Achilles tendinopathy:

  1. Attach the ball attachment to the massage gun.
  2. Place the affected leg bent on a raised surface (e.g., a sofa, stool, or bed).
  3. Massage the so-called soleus muscle. This is located directly under the calf muscle, to the right and left of the Achilles tendon (see graphic below).
  4. Perform the massage for about 30 seconds. Move the massage gun in a circular motion over the muscle.
  5. Vary the massage – hold the foot still one time and move it in a circular motion another time.

Repeat the above steps 2 to 3 times a day.

Important: Make sure that you move the massage gun only over muscles. You should never use the massage gun directly on the tendon, but also on bones, in order to avoid injuries.

For this reason, the use of a fork attachment is often recommended. This has a gap in the middle, which makes it very easy to avoid the Achilles tendon.


Conclusion – Best Massage Gun for Runners in 2023

Massage guns have multiple uses for runners. On the one hand, you can relieve pain along the Achilles tendon. On the other, they can promote recovery and reduce muscle soreness after a long run. I have told you in this article which massage pistols can do this best. I also showed you how to choose the right massager and use it correctly. I hope that I could help you with this!

 

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33239942/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28168554/
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2325967119834284
  4. https://osf.io/preprints/sportrxiv/j9ya8/
Marcel

Hi, I'm Marcel! Here at massage-gun-guide.com, I review different massage guns to find the best device on the market. All the massagers I have held in my own hands, so I can always report from my own experience. In addition, I clarify all myths and questions about massage guns. More about me.

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