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I'm a competitive distance runner and my go-to massage gun is under $100

I am a competitive distance runner and this massage gun is worth its weight in gold.

massage gun, split screen of white massage fun gun and man running race, I am a competitive distance runner and this massage gun is worth its weight in gold (photos via Alex Cyr).
I am a competitive distance runner and this massage gun is worth its weight in gold (photos via Alex Cyr).

As an often-injured distance runner, I have done my time in massage rooms. I have also bought myriad muscle rollers and lacrosse balls, which I’ve dug mercilessly into my psoas muscles countless times while sprawled on the floor and grimacing at my television. Hey — anything to keep tight legs at bay. I saw the HoMedics Therapist Select Elite Percussion Massage Gun as a less painful and humiliating way to prepare my body for a run; so I jumped at the opportunity to try it. To see if the massage gun passed the pain test and pick up the device ahead of the holiday season, scroll below.

HoMedics Therapist Select Elite Percussion Massage Gun 

HoMedics Therapist Select Elite Percussion Massage Gun.

$90 at Walmart

Why the HoMedics massage gun is worth it

  • Three intensities

  • Four interchangeable attachments with varying sensations

  • Simple user interface

  • Comes with compact storage case

The Elite Percussion gun from HoMedics is part of a growing athlete self-care and at-home recovery industry that includes specialty mattresses, Epsom salts and even inflatable pants. The idea is to use DIY remedies that keep you healthy without having to constantly run to the physiotherapist, chiropractor, or — God forbid — surgeon. This massage gun is an everyday version of its ilk; not as expensive as many of its competitors, but still punchy enough to be a solid gateway drug into the art of self-massage, if there is such a thing.

What reviewers think

Twenty-five people have reviewed the massage gun on Walmart.ca, and its aggregate rating sits at 4.1 stars.

"It is perfect for sore body parts and for after workouts," said one reviewer, adding that they were "worried that this might not have enough power, but it is strong enough to really massage body parts." Another said, "There are cheaper brands but I trust Homedics, you can leave it to recharge without worrying about over-charge causing fire or battery life dying quickly after 2 months."

white HoMedics Therapist Select Elite Percussion Massage Gun on sale for black friday
I'm a competitive athlete — here's why the HoMedics Therapist Select Elite Percussion Massage Gun is worth buying (photo via Alex Cyr).

$90 at Walmart Canada

I tried it. Here's what I think

The fitness world is rife with gimmicks and hacks — this is not one of them. I found the gun knob allowed me to dig into my muscles more easily, effectively, and pointedly than a lacrosse ball or muscle roller. Of course, massaging is kind of like tickling: you can’t totally do it to yourself. So, for chronically tight muscles, I would still recommend seeing a massage therapist or investing in a fancier gun like the Theragun Pro, which can deliver a deeper, more powerful treatment. Fancier models also outdo the Elite Percussion’s somewhat crummy battery time of 2.5 hours. But remember: the EP is a fine choice for less than $100 (the Theragun costs seven times that; and regular sessions with a massage therapist will also eat at your savings, especially if you have no coverage).

But, for the occasionally sore fitness fan who loathes the idea of rolling around the floor just to untangle knots in your back, this $80 may be the best you ever spend.

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