I’ve been getting on my #FitnessGrind recently for the first time since I stopped wrestling in college, and let me tell you—I’ve been sore as a door. My freezer is full of ice packs that I use to help with shin splints and knee swelling, and I already take too much ibuprofen for my poor internal organs to handle. So as far as muscle massagers go, I was in the market for something a little more… intense?
Right now, the hottest sports recovery massager is undoubtedly the cult-fave Theragun. As Adam Rothbarth recently wrote for Vice, the Theragun was originally developed as “a tool that combined vibration therapy and pressure therapy, and that aimed to emulate a deep muscle stimulator.” With its jackhammer-like design, it warms and kneads tissue to offer a high level of relief that's made it a huge hit with athletes of all kinds. The downside: Theraguns (and Therabody's other products) are pricey… very pricey. So I wondered whether I could find a Theragun alternative that would actually compare to the real thing.
I was kicking around the ol’ Amazon-dot-com when I came across this Olsky Handheld Electric Body Massager, which only costs 50 bucks—rather than the Theragun PRO’s hefty $599 price tag—and has a full 5-star rating average from over 1,200 reviews. Normally, I steer clear of generic Amazon products, but the reviews were so good, the price was right, and I had knocked back one or three pints during the late game on Sunday, so I popped that bad boy into my shopping cart and let her rip.
Full disclosure: I was going to include this sweet, actually affordable Theragun alternative in our monthly Backed Hard editors' picks, but I’m digging it so much right now that I think it needs its own review. And before the Theragun stans jump into my inbox, I’m not saying this thing is going to replace the ever-expanding line of Therabody products, just that not all of us have hundreds of dollars to spend on celebrity-endorsed noodle annihilators. No, what I’m saying is this is absolutely, unequivocally the next best choice.
I kind of half-forgot about the Olsky massager when it appeared on my doorstep, so when I gave it a try, I wasn’t expecting much. But lemme tell ya: This thing slaps (or pounds, rather). It came half-charged, but that 50% battery life lasted for over a week, with about 20 minutes of serious use per day. It blasts off with a super simple, surprisingly reactive touch screen for its $49 price tag. I’ve used the Theragun before, and it feels shockingly similar to the real deal Theragun Elite. Plus, it has nine speed levels and comes with 12 easy-to-use attachments for taking your entire body to Poundtown.
The quality is also top-notch. While I do appreciate the ergonomic triangle shape of the brand-name Theraguns, Olsky gets the job done just as well. I'm a fairly active runner and biker, and I crank out the occasional set of pushups to make sure I can still do more than my little sister, and this thing helps so much. Personally, I love blasting my muscles with this as I stretch—it really helps me loosen up so I can get a full range of motion during my out-of-shape-Brooklyn-guy apartment yoga sessions. It’s also great for the post-leg day blues, and pounding my glutes and hamstrings with this thing first thing in the morning really helps me do various tasks, including getting out of bed, walking to the kitchen and praying my roommates didn’t finish off the last of the coffee, and sitting on the toilet with less agony than normal. My roommate also recently got meniscus surgery and loves blasting off with this as well, especially on his good leg, since it’s been doing double the work now that he’s on crutches.
TL;DR—this affordable Theragun alternative rocks. It's the perfect home workout accessory or gift for a fitness-focused loved one, especially if you’re not in the mood to drop a paycheck on a body blaster. Plus, you can always upgrade. [Massages neck.] S-s-s-s-s-ee y-y-y-y-ou n-n-n-n-n-ext t-t-t-time.
The Olsky Handheld Electric Body Massager is available for purchase on Amazon.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.