Friday, February 23, 2018

Gear Closet: TheraGun G2Pro Review

As a runner who puts in quite a few miles each week, and mixes in both road and mountain biking on a regular basis, it is safe to say that my legs sometimes take a beating. It is not uncommon for me to walk around with sore muscles on an almost constant basis. In fact, it has gotten to the point that I almost don't notice anymore and have just learned to deal with it in day-to-day life. But, a new tool has shown me that there are ways to help manage this pain and even prevent injury and soreness in the process.

The TheraGun G2Pro is a device that somewhat resembles an electric drill, but with hard rubber balls – called "AmpBits" – on the end. When turned on, the AmpBits rhythmically move up and down like a small, yet powerful, jackhammer. And when they're placed against your muscles and joints, they provide a deep tissue treatment that can help relieve soreness, fatigue, and chronic pain.

Physical therapists have used similar tools as the TheraGun in the past, but they often have proven ineffective simply because they are so painful to use. But, this device uses a unique form of both frequency and amplitude to trick your brain into shutting off its pain receptors, allowing you to use the TheraGun for far longer than you normally would be able to tolerate. The result is that you can give yourself a deep tissue message just about anywhere and at anytime.

When I received a test unit to review, I have to admit I was somewhat skeptical. The TheraGun has garnered quite a following with NFL, NBA, and Major League Soccer players, but I wasn't sure exactly what it could do for me. After using it for a month however, I've come to appreciate what it brings to the table and how it can help outdoor endurance athletes too.

The TheraGun G2Pro can be used in three ways: to warm-up, to stay loose, and to recover after a workout. The product works great as part of a pre-exercise stretching routine, using it for 30 seconds or so on each of the muscles you're going to be focusing on. This helps to get the blood flowing in those areas, which are often stiff and sore from previous workouts. For me, that usually means running a mile or two before I really start to find my groove, but with the G2Pro, I felt like I was already well on my way to being warmed up before I ever headed out the door.

Using the device mid-workout allows some athletes to keep the blood flowing to their muscles and joints, preventing them from tightening up. For instance, an NFL quarterback could use it on his shoulder during halftime to help keep the arm loose and ready to go for the second half. This wasn't as much of a concern for me, as I wasn't going to stop running or cycling to use the TheraGun, but it makes sense for athletes who find themselves in these types of situations.

Finally, you can use the G2Pro after your workout and shower, during your cool-down phase, to help your muscles relieve tension and tightness. The user can spend 15 minutes or so using the AmpBits on their legs and arms for instance and it ultimately should help them to not only feel better, but avoid longterm soreness and even prevent injuries.

I can honestly say that the device worked as advertised. The soreness in my legs was greatly diminished and I felt much better prior to my workout the next day as well. During my test phase with the TheraGun I also avoided picking up any nagging injuries and didn't aggravate any existing ones either.

Using the device is easy and intuitive. You simply pick it up, select the right sized AmpBit, turn it on, and apply to your sore muscles or joints. That's really all there is to it. How long you use it is entirely up to you and is based on what you're doing. As a post-workout massage, I found that it delivered a powerful impact to my sore muscles that was at times painful, but in a "hurts so good" kind of way. And afterwards, the relief was quick and evident. Best of all, the next day when I headed out for my next run or ride, my legs felt fresher.

The G2Pro is a high quality device, but it is also fairly pricey too. At $599, it is more expensive than what most people can afford. But serious athletes will find it it well worth the value. Not only do you get the tool itself, but it comes with four different size and shaped AmpBits, two rechargeable battery packs, and a charger. Those batteries are each good for about 40-45 minutes of use, which should be about 2-3 full sessions of post-workout therapy.

The TheraGun and all of its accessories fit nicely into a high-quality carrying case that looks extremely professional, which is of course the point. This is a device that physical therapists, personal trainers, and other sports medicine professionals will want to have at their disposal. It can and will deliver real benefits for their clients, and can make a huge difference in managing pain on a daily basis.

The TheraGun G2Pro is available online in a variety of outlets, although Amazon is the one that I found had it most readily available.


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