Massage guns are the latest trend in post-workout recovery routines for all kinds of athletes. The ability to give yourself regular deep-tissue massages is great for any sport that demands a lot from your muscles, especially running. But the most effective massage guns carry a hefty price tag, so it's important to make sure you get the right one for your needs.

The most important thing for runners is to choose a percussive massage gun. Many of the cheaper massage guns only offer vibration, which feels good but only really reaches the top layer of muscle. A massage gun that also offers percussive pressure will be powerful enough to reach deeper layers of muscle tissue for a more thorough recovery routine.

Keep reading to find the very best massage guns specifically for runners and then learn why and how to incorporate one into your pre- and post-run routine.

Best massage gun for runners overall: Therabody Theragun Pro Plus


The Theragun Pro Plus from Therabody is a professional-grade massage gun that's about as close as you can get to a real massage from a masseuse. Boasting a 16mm amplitude and 60 pounds of stall force, its highest settings can penetrate deep into muscle tissue to get at soreness and paint that other massage guns miss. It also incorporates vibration therapy with multiple speed settings. While five attachments are already included, Therabody also offers a wide range of additional attachments sold separately so you can expand your massage possibilities even further.

In addition to being a powerful percussive massage gun, the Theragun Pro Plus also has three temperature settings so you can incorporate heat therapy into your recovery routine, too. Like the percussive pressure, heat can also stimulate blood flow to the targeted area to help relax stiff, sore muscles.

This premium massage gun even comes with an app that makes it easy to create your own custom massage routines or follow guided routines designed by experts. It's powerful. It's customizable. And it's easy to use.

Get it new for $599 or buy a refurbished version directly from Therabody for $419.

Top features of the Theragun Pro Plus:

  • With a 16mm amplitude and 60 pounds of stall force, this is a great option for deep tissue massages at home.
  • The five attachments already included are great for targeting all the muscles runners rely on most.
  • The optional heat settings are great for loosening up stiff muscles before a run.
  • Vibration settings are great for soothing sore muscles in post-workout recovery routines.
  • The Theragun Pro Plus is HSA and FSA accepted.
$599 at Therabody $599 at Best Buy

Best alternative to the Theragun Pro Plus: Ekrin Athletics Kestrel


The Theragun Pro Plus is top-of-the-line for runners, but at nearly $600, it's far from budget-friendly. So if you want something with a comparably premium experience but a lower price point, try the Ekrin Athletics Kestrel.

The 13mm amplitude doesn't penetrate quite as deeply as the Theragun, but it's still a solid choice for a deep tissue massage. It also offers vibration therapy with six speed settings reaching up to 3,500 RPM. It's also missing an app, but that might actually be a perk for some runners. The simple and easy-to-use scroll wheel on the end lets you quickly adjust settings without having to reach for your phone. You won't be able to save custom routines in an app, but you also won't have to download another app on your phone.

It's easy to use and almost as powerful as the Theragun Pro Plus, while coming in at just $350. If you order it now, you can get it for even less. Amazon is offering a $100 coupon you can clip at checkout to get the premium massage gun for just $250.

Top features of the Ekrin Athletics Kestrel:

  • The 13mm amplitude on this massage gun can reach almost as deep as the Theragun Pro Plus.
  • For post-run vibration therapy, you can choose from six speed settings maxing out at 3,500 RPM.
  • Six head attachments are included so you can target all the muscle groups runners use most.
$250 at Amazon

Best portable massage gun: Hyperice Hypervolt Go 2


Weighing in at just 1.5 pounds and just over seven inches long, the Hypervolt Go 2 from Hyperice is one of the best massage guns to toss in your gym bag or take with you on trips. It's TSA-approved so you can take it with you for any destination marathons you've got planned.

In terms of functionality, it's a surprisingly powerful mini percussive massage gun. No amplitude or stall force is listed for the product, but it boasts a high-torque 40-watt motor and three percussion speeds to deliver an effective massage on the go.

The two head attachments that come with it are a flat head and a bullet head. Use the first for your pre-run warmups and the second for targeted relief when you get back. It's also compatible with all of the head attachments Hyperice sells. So if you want to expand your options with this handy little massage gun, you can add a few more specialized attachments to your kit.

Get the portable Hypervolt massage gun for $129.

Top features of the Hyperice Hypervolt Go 2:

  • It's small enough to throw in your gym bag or hydration pack.
  • The lightweight massage gun has just enough features and attachments for an effective massage on the go.
  • The Hypervolt Go 2 is TSA-approved so you can pack it in your carry-on.
$129 at Hyperice $129 at Amazon

Best massage gun under $100: Life Pro Sonic Pro


If you're on a tighter budget, it can be hard to find a quality massage gun that's as powerful and reliable as the others on this list. But that doesn't mean it's impossible. One of the best massage guns under $100 is the Life Pro Sonic Pro.

The budget-friendly recovery tech boasts a 12mm amplitude and an impressive 75 pounds of stall force so you can target those deeper layers of muscle to melt away pain and stiffness. For vibration therapy, you can choose from 15 speed settings ranging from 1,200 RPM up to 3,000 RPM.

The 4.5-star rated massage gun also comes with eight head attachments so you have plenty of ways to customize the massage based on the muscle group or injury you're targeting.

Regularly listed at $100, the Life Pro Sonic Pro is on sale at Amazon right now for $85. It's a surprisingly powerful and versatile massage gun for that price point.

Top features of the Life Pro Sonic Pro:

  • With a 12mm amplitude and 75-pound stall force, this is a great pick for deep tissue massages.
  • Choose from 15 vibration speed settings ranging from 1,200 up to 3,000 RPM.
  • The 8 head attachments included allow you to better target all the muscle groups runners use most.
$85 at Amazon

Are massage guns good for runners?

Massage guns can be a great tool for runners. With a mix of both percussive and vibration massage along with multiple tips for targeting different muscle groups, massage guns can help you soothe aching arches and melt away muscle soreness. In addition to feeling soothing in the moment, regular massages have been shown to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) -- that next-day soreness you feel in the day or two after a challenging run.  

While they feel great after a run, massage guns are also good for runners before a run. Before lacing up, grab your massage gun and sweep it along your calves, glutes and the bottoms of your feet to increase blood flow to your muscles and improve the flexibility of tight muscles. It's basically like a warm-up you can do while sitting on the couch.

As great as they are for relieving normal soreness and fatigue, massage guns aren't a magical cure for actual injuries. You can't massage away a sprained ankle or a torn meniscus. While they can definitely help manage the pain, they should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes cutting back or stopping your runs if you're dealing with a running injury.

How should a runner use a massage gun?

To get the most out of your massage gun, use it both before and after your run regularly. This is most important for runners who are about to start training at a higher-than-normal volume. That includes everyone from a seasoned runner who's starting to train for a marathon to a brand new runner who's going from 0 miles a week to 10.

Before a run, choose a lighter setting and the widest, flattest massage head attachment. Sweep it up and down your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and the bottoms of your feet for about 30 seconds each.

After a run, focus your massage on the areas that currently ache or tend to feel the sorest the next day. Choose a more intense setting and the attachment made to target those specific muscle areas. Spend about one or two minutes on each area, sweeping the massage gun back and forth similar to the technique you used before your run.