As restrictions ease and people start to look forward to a ‘normal life’, it became clear to me that there were two types of lockdown people – those who kept up, or even increased, their exercise routines and the ones who, even with the best will in the world, just didn’t.
Yours truly fell into that latter category and now, with sport recommencing (fingers crossed) over the coming weeks, I’ve hiked up my steps count to try and remind my muscles that, not too long ago, I used them for sliding and diving around a hockey pitch!
The Theragun Mini is the latest offering from Therabody, a company specialising in massage guns and this portable one is designed for convenience, fitting neatly into a decent-sized pocket, a handbag, laptop bag etc, so you can have on-the-go relief.
Its compact design means that it’s also perfect for a quick dart of relief for your shoulder or back pain in an office setting – just give any colleagues in close proximity a heads-up before you switch it on!
It’s a sleek piece of kit, a nicely designed unit that is easy to hold and operate. Therabody estimates the battery life as 150 minutes of sustained run time. In the three weeks that I’ve had it, I haven’t needed to even unpack the charger, never mind use it.
Equipped with QuietForce technology, the noise from the unit is pretty minimal. It seems loud to the person using it, and anyone in close proximity will also, obviously, notice it but with the hustle and bustle of every day homes and spaces, it doesn’t shout above the general din.
But the big question is: does it work?
I wasn’t a huge physiotherapy-goer at home in Ireland. I get some back trouble because of the type of job I do and, in the past year or so, I’ve had some issues with my left glute and hip so I was very curious to see how effective the Theragun was in getting in at those aches.
When you first open the device, you’re prompted to download the Therabody app which gives you advice on the best way to use the unit, as well as outlining some other routines for things like sleep (a very comprehensive set of exercises) and wellness.
It’s easy to get a little overzealous with the mini. The first day I used it, I attacked my glutes, working to tease out knots as I came by them. I’m not a physio so I worked off the premise that if I hit pain or discomfort and it disappeared, then it was working. To that end, I basically chased that discomfort around the area until it was clear.
The following day, I had that post-physio feeling. The areas I had focused on felt looser but, as you do after a physio session, I knew they’d taken a bit of a battering. But after that, everything was fine with the muscle still feeling nice and loose from its workout.
The mini has three settings – 1750 PPM, 2100 PPM, and 2400 PPM. Again, I had no real need to go beyond the first two settings as I found them very effective.
More recently, I’ve been using it post-walk on my calves, which need some serious strengthening, and my hamstrings, which don’t seem to be as bad thankfully. I definitely see it as a great addition to a post work-out/exercise warm-down as an accompaniment to good stretching.
For someone like me who, touch wood, has never really had any serious injuries, and is simply getting older, I think it’s a great piece of ‘running repairs’ kit that’s going to keep you fairly right as you’re powering through a season or your daily workout and, for that reason, is well worth the investment.
The Theragun mini retails at $349 and can be purchased through the website at: www.theragun.com.anz.