Hi Everyone! Today is a special day because I feel like I’m hitting my stride with these massage gun expert posts and reviews. Like I outlined in the “About Me” section, I’m an experienced massage therapist and strength coach, so I definitely know a thing or two (or three) about massage guns, but this whole writing and web thing is a bit foreign to me. I sincerely appreciate you joining me on this journey and leaning on me insight and education on massage guns. I have received amazing comments, inquiries, and feedback from readers. I am humbled your readership and promise to continue delivering timely and frequent massage gun reviews. So, enough of me stammering on, let’s get to the reason why you’re all here – massage gun reviews!
I thought it would be interesting to talk about two of Thumper’s most popular massage tools. Thumper is a Canadian company that’s one of the oldest in the game. Their first massage tool, the Vibrotoner, was patented in 1974 and was designed in collaboration between a team of chiropractors and mechanical engineers. Thumper, and massage tools more generally, have come a long way since the late 1900’s, the biggest change being guns and massagers are now bought for personal use. So, let’s fast forward to two tools that Thumper has on the market now – The Maxi Pro Massager and The Sports Percussive Massager.
Thumper’s Maxi Pro Massager stands out against other massage guns in the industry. Really, it’s not a gun at all! The Maxi Pro is a 7 lb block of 8 thumping massage heads that is specifically designed for large muscle groups. This tool is not designed to be used on oneself but rather requires the help of a massage therapist of athletic trainer. The beauty of this machine is actually it’s weight. The sheer size of the Maxi Pro means that the therapist doesn’t need to provide any additional pressure, making it easier on their hands and helping you receive a more standardized massage. Additionally, the tool provides little to no feedback into the therapist’s hands with 95% of the energy directed right into the patients muscles. The Maxi Pro Massager can provide a full body massage in around 8 minutes, making you more likely to budget this relatively short rehab/recovery time into your training routine. The negative of the Maxi Pro is that it requires the help of a therapist or trainer, which is something that most of us (unless you’re a pro athlete) don’t have immediate, regular access to. So, to tie this all back together, I really like the Maxi Pro for a quick, effective full body massage. But, because you’re not able to administer the massage yourself, the usefulness of this tool is a bit limited. If you’re someone who trains or lives with other athletes and don’t mind working on one another, this could be a good option. If not, I recommend consider a more personal tool.
Thumper’s Sport Percussive Massager solves my main gripe with the Maxi Pro, but still isn’t the best choice when considering other tools sold by other companies. Let’s start out with the good, the Sport Percussive Massager is relatively light and has a long handle, allowing for personal use and easy access to all areas of the body. Given its shape, this tool is ideal of self-application to the back and shoulder regions, areas that are really difficult to reach on your own with smaller, more compact massagers. Additionally, the tool has little to no feedback making it that much easier to use. Some limitations of the Thumper however, are it’s cord and percussion heads. The Thumper’s cord cut down on the places and occasions in which you could use this tool. It’s size makes it an adequate on-the-go massager but, because it’s not cordless, you really can’t use it in this fashion. The next limitation, and this is getting more into the actual function of the tool, is that the two massage heads simply do not provide as much relief as the heads of massage guns, like Theragun or Hyperice. The beauty of the Theragun head, for example, is that the massage tip is able to move in and out, penetrating deeper into your tight muscles. Because the Thumper’s massage tips are not able to move quite as much, there’s less penetration and, in turn, less relief.
So, to bring this all back and tie it in a neat bow, I’ll say this: Thumper is one of the oldest companies in the business. They make really good tools they satisfy very specific purposes. Unfortunately, I find that they lack the versatility and fluidity of use that’s often necessary for a busy athlete. If you’re someone who uses their massage tool in one specific place (ie. at home) where there’s an electrical outlet handy or you have a dedicated training partner that’s willing to administer a Maxi Pro massage, I would consider Thumper. If this isn’t you, I’d recommend exploring some other options. As always, thanks for reading! See you next time!