Amplitude (Stroke Length)


What is amplitude or stroke length in a massage gun?

Amplitude, also known as Stroke Length, refers to the distance the massage gun’s head travels as it moves back and forth.

This movement is what delivers the percussive hits to your muscles, with the distance covered affecting the intensity of the massage.

Amplitude plays a crucial role in defining the effectiveness of a massage gun. It is the key factor that differentiates a percussive massage from mere vibrational therapy.

Before the advent of percussion massagers, vibrational therapy was the norm. However, the introduction of massage guns, particularly by brands like Theragun, shifted the focus towards percussive therapy, emphasizing the importance of amplitude.

A massage gun with a longer amplitude can deliver deeper, more intense massages, mimicking the feel of a deep tissue massage. This is because the greater the distance the head travels, the “harder” the hit, providing a more substantial impact on the muscles.

Our Massage Gun Amplitude Classification

We at Massage Gun Advice classify amplitude like:

  • Low-Amplitude below 10 mm
    Ideal for gentle, surface-level muscle stimulation, suitable for daily relaxation and minor tension relief.
  • Medium-Amplitude 10 to 13 mm
    Offer a balanced massage for general wellness, moderate muscle recovery, and versatility for various users.
  • High-Amplitude over 14 mm
    Targeting deep tissue and providing an intense massage for athletes, those with dense muscle mass, or chronic tension, focusing on deep penetration for maximum recovery and pain relief.
Full-Sized Guns
Lowup to 10 mm
Medium10-13 mm
Highover 14mm
Mini Massage Guns
Lowup to 8 mm
Medium9-10 mm
Highover 11mm

Maximum Amplitude

Currently, the maximum amplitude found in full-sized massage guns is 16mm. Devices boasting this amplitude are considered top-tier, offering the deepest massages. Examples would be Achedaway Pro, Theraguns and Bob and Brad D6 Pro.

Mini massage guns, on the other hand, max out at 12mm amplitude, with models like the Theragun Mini and Bob and Brad Air 2 Mini leading the pack in this category.

Related Post: Highest Amplitude Massage Gun – For Those Heavy-Hitting Punches

The Relationship Between Amplitude and Device Speed

An interesting aspect to note is the interplay between amplitude and the operational frequency of a massage gun – we talk about RPM (rotations per minute) or PPM (percussions per minute) of the device. More on that here.

High amplitude devices tend to operate at a slower speed (PPM/RPM), focusing on delivering deeper, more penetrating hits. In contrast, devices with a lower amplitude offer a faster, more vibrational massage, which might not be as effective for deep tissue massage but can still provide relief and relaxation.

Measuring Amplitude

When we test each massage gun, we personally measure the amplitude to ensure accuracy. To do this, we use high-precision digital calipers, carefully gauging the stroke length from the moment the head is fully retracted to when it’s fully extended.

This crucial step not only allows us to precisely determine the massage intensity each device can offer but also lets us verify the manufacturers’ specifications, which, frankly, can sometimes be overstated.

It’s a meticulous process, but it’s essential for providing you with the most accurate and trustworthy information on the effectiveness of various massage guns.