How to Use Theragun Like a Pro: Expert Tips for Maximum Effectiveness
What To Know: our content is non-sponsored and fact-checked for accuracy. We anonymously order and rigorously test each product according to our methodology. We are reader-supported, and if you buy via our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
If you have used massage guns for a while, as we have, then you know about Theragun – the top massage gun maker. Moreover, chances are, you already have a Theragun if you’re here looking for how to use it. However, owning one doesn’t automatically mean you know how to use Theragun properly and effectively to unlock and use its power to the maximum.
Here, you’ll find our first-hand info on each Theragun massager, how to set it up, detailed step-by-step instructions for using them, cleaning, and making the most of their attachments. Plus, we’ll share some tips and tricks we’ve learned from testing and using these guns over the years.
We’ll also cover how often and for how long to use a Theragun and, just as importantly, how not to use them. This way, you can fully leverage their potential for improved muscle recovery.
We own and use Theraguns daily. We also have the TheraFace Pro and their Wave Rollers, so we’ve pretty much bought into the Theragun life! We’ve put them all to the test according to our protocol, and used them extensively. So trust us; we know what we are talking about!
If you are here you probably already have a Theragun. But that doesn’t mean you know about the company itself.
However, there’s a slight chance you got your Theragun because a friend recommended it, or because you were gifted one.
In that case, you may not entirely know about the brand, so here’s what you should probably know:
- Therabody 1 (as they are known today) started off as Theragun. This is important because, even though there’s a new brand name, the massage gun products still go by Theragun, followed by a series name (PRO, Elite etc.).
- Therabody started the whole massage gun craze – others did it too, but Therabody popularized percussive therapy.
- But they don’t just sell massage guns. With time, they have introduced other products.
- Theragun mainly promotes muscle recovery for those who are active.
So, Therabody massage guns, the Theraguns, are specially made to improve recovery.
This is why you need to understand how to effectively use a Theragun if you are to make the most out of your device.
Getting Started with Theragun
If you want to understand how to properly use a Theragun, you first need to understand the different products available (don’t worry, we won’t bore you with all the details about different products here; there is already a place for that).
Choosing the Right Theragun Model
So, in a nutshell, here’s what you need to know:
- There are 4 different Theraguns to choose from; 3 full-sized massage guns (Theragun PRO, Elite, and Prime) and one Theragun mini massage gun. The 3 full-sized models all have a high amplitude of 16mm, while the mini has 12mm. All Theraguns now have Bluetooth connectivity that works with the Therabody app.
- Each device is aimed at a slightly different user. This is very important if you are going to make the right choice. It’s not just about knowing how to use Theragun massagers, you need to know which one to pick first. We have a comparison post here if you need to learn about the different devices.
Preparing for a Theragun Session
Proper use of your Theragun gets you good results (in this case, efficient muscle recovery). Proper use also ensures you avoid unnecessary accidents and, most importantly, injuries.
- The first step to ensure proper use of a Theragun is to read the user manual – after all, this is a new device for you, right?
- You can also read information about the device you are using from online sources such as Therabody’s own site 2.
- You could also do well to consult a qualified physiotherapist or talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
Where not to use a Theragun?
If you want to know how to properly use a Theragun you must know where not to use it. You want to avoid passing the massage gun over certain areas of your body.
Remember the aim of Theragun massagers is to get the muscles working in tip-top form. So you want to avoid using it on areas that don’t have a lot of muscles. Such areas would be bony, sensitive, or injured.
Avoid using your Theragun on your collarbones, ankles, the top of your feet, stomach, exposed blood vessels of the skin (e.g., front part of a neck), sensitive nerves, ribs, and other vital organs.
When to Avoid Using Theragun
There are alos certain situations when using it may not be recommended.
Let’s start with injuries. Aren’t Theraguns great at rehabilitating injuries? Well, that is true, but only up to a point. Injuries, especially sprains or wounds are a no-go for your Theragun.
Besides the fact that it will be terribly painful, a massage gun on a healing injury is not wise. Healing tissues don’t need pummeling from a Theragun – you risk exacerbating the hurt. As recommended above, talk to your doctor or physio when not sure.
What more? We don’t recommend using your Theragun on historically sensitive body parts such as funky knees. Fractures and open wounds should also never be touched with a massage gun. Avoid areas with a blood clot or acute inflammation.
For pregnant women, there is some good news from researchers because studies are ongoing to determine if using a Theragun is healthy for your condition. In the meantime, check our post on massage gun while pregnant and talk to your doctor about it first.
Maximizing Theragun Benefits
And to conclude this section, let’s take a slightly broader view.
Using a Theragun is quite beneficial, but you can crank up your recovery a notch by combining the percussive therapy with other methods and devices.
For instance, you can explore the Wave series products (which we have reviewed: Wave Roller, Wave Duo, and Wave Solo), as well as hot and cold wearables, compression systems, and cupping device all of which can be effective for recovery and pain relief.
And last, but not least, you should consider incorporating Theragun into your regular routine for best results.
How to Use Theragun Step-by-Step
Here’s a high-level step-by-step instructions on how to use Theraguns. This applies to all Theraguns. We will talk about different models in a different section.
- Ensure your Theragun is fully charged. Most come with the battery partially or sometimes fully charged. We will talk more about charging a Theragun later.
- Choose a suitable attachment – we will also discuss the attachments in details below.
- Turn the device on by firmly pressing and holding the central button on the control panel.
- For the full-sized Theraguns, you can adjust the intensity by pressing the plus + and minus – buttons on the button pad. For Theragun mini, the power button also adjusts the speed settings – tap it to cycle through speeds.
- Use a proper grip depending on the area you are targeting. The triangular shape of the Theraguns allows for different grips, which in turn help to reach areas that traditional massagers can’t easily reach.
- Start your massage slowly and gradually increase the intensity.
- Apply appropriate pressure (measured as stall force). For Pro and Elite models, you can use the Force Meter feedback.
- When you are done, turn off the device by holding the central button.
Theragun Massagers in Action
Check out Theragun devices in action. Here’s a photo gallery of us putting the device to the test on our own bodies. These easy-to-use and effective massage guns really deliver.
How Often and How Long Should You Use a Theragun?
Can I use my Theragun for as long as I want every day? Not necessarily.
You need to understand what you want the Theragun massager to do for you. You must consider what muscles you want to massage, the effect you want, and what massage gun attachment to use.
Here’s some insight on how often and how long you can use your Theragun:
- Under normal circumstances (this is for anyone using a Theragun for muscle soreness, recovery, etc.), it’s recommended that you pass your Theragun over a section of your body for at least 15 seconds. If you must overdo it, don’t exceed the 2-minute mark. In that case, it should take you about 15 minutes to do a full body massage.
- You can use your massage gun 2-3 times a day. We’ll see shortly that you can use your Theragun for different reasons. But perhaps the most important thing is to listen to your body. You don’t want to use your device for too long, otherwise you risk getting sore and even fatiguing the muscles more.
- There are different ways you can use your Theragun.
- You can use it for muscle activation. Perhaps just before you engage in a workout session. Here you can use your Theragun for 30 seconds on muscles you wish to exercise.
- If your muscles get a bit cold during the workout, you can reactivate them with another 15-second session. Muscle reactivation not only reenergizes you, it also relieves muscle spasms and fatigue.
- For muscle recovery – usually after a workout or strenuous activity – float your Theragun over the affected area for 2 minutes. This also works for when you need to relieve pain in your muscles.
But these are just the general instructions on how often and for how long to use your Theragun. We are not entirely dogmatic about it here.
That said, we won’t leave without providing you with a few more places you can find first-hand info on how to use Theragun massagers. They include:
- Usage guidelines here.
- Using the Therabody app for guided routines. This is the game changer and has been for a while. It’s the simplest way to learn how to use your device. We’ve only seen something similar once with Hypervolt. Even so, in our opinion, the Therabody App is miles ahead. The app can control the device and works almost perfectly.
- Check our individual massage gun guides. We have done plenty of “How to use/Can I use massage gun to…” etc. guides. You can check out some of the most popular below:
- Massage Gun for Neck And Shoulder Pain
- Massage Gun for Back Pain
- Massage Gun for Arthritis
- Massage Gun for Piriformis Syndrome
- Massage Gun for Sciatica Nerve Pain
- Massage Gun for Knee Pain
- Massage Gun for Plantar Fasciitis
- Massage Gun While Pregnant
- Massage Gun Benefits
- How to Use a Massage Gun (any massager, not specifically Theragun)
- and many more to check.
What’s Unique for Each Theragun?
Here’s where we discuss individual Theragun models unique features, how they work, and how use them. Let’s have a look, shall we?
How to Use Theragun Prime
Theragun Prime is the basic version of the full-sized Theraguns. It has a simple design and has no major bells and whistles.
That said, it’s a solid device that performs well when you need it to. It does have Bluetooth connectivity too. It’s also the cheapest of the full-sized Theraguns.
Our Advice With the Prime, you can follow the general how-to-use instructions provided above.
How to Use Theragun Elite
Theragun Elite is a bit more advanced than Prime. It comes with features such as an OLED screen and a force meter. The other features are the same as Prime.
Our Advice You can apply the general instructions above here as well.
How to Use Theragun PRO
Theragun Pro is the big kahuna of all Theraguns. It comes with a rotating arm, an OLED display, pre-loaded treatment presets, and a removable battery.
Let’s explore some of these features further below:
- Visually guided routines
Theragun Pro is the only model with pre-loaded treatment presets. There are 4 of these routines, including Sleep, Warm, Recovery, and Theragun Break. You can access these routines directly via the device’s OLED display.
How do you use them? Once the device is on, press the left < and right > buttons to toggle between the presets. Once you have selected a treatment, press the + and – buttons to increase or decrease the speed.
- The rotating arm
The Pro’s rotating arm adjusts into 4 positions. To adjust the arm, push the rotating arm button on the underside of the device and relocate the arm to a desired position.
Our Advice In every other aspect, the Theragun Pro is similar to any other Theragun model, so please follow our step-by-step instructions as mentioned above.
How to use Theragun Mini
The mini is tiny compared to its large counterparts. It has a simple operation but also has Bluetooth and app connectivity.
The Mini has a different shape (triangle, but different). It doesn’t have an arm whatsoever. The initial version was pretty large, but the new version is smaller and easier to work with. We realy love it.
Our Advice What about the use instructions for the mini? Well, since there is nothing unique from a usage perspective, we advise you to follow the steps listed above.
Using Theragun Attachments
Do you know how to use Theragun attachments? Learning how the attachments work and how to mount and unmount them properly is important if you hope to get the best results from your device.
First, the Theragun attachment mounting system is universal across all models (including the mini). That means all attachments for any of the devices will fit across the board. This is a great option to have.
We say this because Theragun mini only has 3 attachments (1st generation has only one!), Prime has 4, Elite includes 5 of them, and the PRO is the only one that features all 6 of the Theragun attachments available (including their patented SuperSoft attachment head).
You can also buy the duo adapter for a dual head (attachment) massage. Theragun attachments lean more towards the soft side than the hard plastic (generic) we see with many other massage guns.
Here are all of the attachments:
- Micro-point – This one works to add stimulation during treatment.
- Dampener – We believe this one works as the flat head but is softer. It’s the universal attachment that you can use to massage the entire body.
- Supersoft – This one is meant to massage tender areas, bones, and joints.
- Standard ball – This one is firmer than the Dampener and does the same thing.
- Wedge – It works on shoulder blades and IT bands.
- Thumb – This one is probably the equivalent of the bullet head. It works on trigger points.
How to install Theragun attachments:
- Ensure that the Theragun device is turned off.
- Select the attachment that you wish to use.
- Align the attachment with the tip of the Theragun arm.
- Push the attachment into place until it clicks and locks in securely.
- Turn on the Theragun device and use it as directed.
How to remove Theragun attachments:
- Turn off the Theragun device.
- Locate the attachment that you wish to remove.
- Using two fingers, place one finger on either side of the attachment gasket.
- Firmly pull the attachment away from the Theragun device.
- Store the attachment in a safe place until you are ready to use it again.
Theragun and the Therabody App
As we explained above, Theraguns have Bluetooth connectivity and an app. The app adds a bit of smart tech to your muscle recovery treatment.
The app makes massaging with a Theragun easier. What do we mean? The app can learn your routines and help you massage on the go. For instance, if you have the Elite and Pro models, you can store up to 3 presets. These presets allow the app to control the device without you having to fiddle with the buttons. You save your preferred speed, time, and force meter.
It’s not just the presets, the app can interact with other tech gadgets in your life. It can work with the Apple HealthKit, Google Fit, and Samsung Health to suggest guided massage routines that could change the way you treat your muscles. You also get a trove of educational material on massage and other useful resources.
How to use Therabody App to Enhance the Theragun Experience
Here’s how it works:
- Pair the device via Bluetooth – the process is straightforward.
- Explore the app and learn what it has to offer – nothing too hard to figure out. It works more or less the same way as any other app out there.
Theragun Care and Maintenance
Here’s a two-step process for cleaning your Theragun after using it.
- First, sanitize your device by using a disinfectant to wipe it clean and remove any accumulated dirt.
- Second, apply fresh disinfectant and wipe (using a downward motion) again. Ensure you clean all sides of the device.
TIP Theragun devices are not waterproof. They’ll probably resist a few splashes and drops of sweat but nothing more. Don’t wash your Theragun in running water or immerse it in any liquid.
How to Charge Theragun
Now that we know how to clean your device, it’s time to learn how to charge it.
Firstly, all Theraguns feature rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The Pro and Elite models have a 2600mAh capacity. Prime has about 2500mAh capacity while the Mini has 1200mAh capacity.
|Theragun Elite||Theragun Prime||Theragun mini|
|Max Battery Life||150 min||2 x 150 min||120 min||120 min||120 min||150 min|
|Full Charge In||80 min||75 min||80 min||80 min||80 min||80 min|
|Charging Port||USB-C||Wall Charger||Wall Charger||Wall Charger||USB-C||Wall Charger|
The new generation of Pro and Mini charge via USB-C, which is great for convenience. The wall chargers that were used before just added to the wiry mess you had to deal with when you carry your Theragun on your travels – now everyone carries a USB-C cable.
Some models, especially the Pro and Elite, are compatible with a wireless charging stand that can be purchased separately.
How to Charge Theragun Pro
The Pro is the only Theragun with a removable battery, with the charging port located on the bottom of the battery pack. The battery has its own multicolor LED indicators to show you the charging status when charging outside the device.
The Pro is compatible with a wireless charger that can be purchased separately.
Step-by-Step Charging the Theragun PRO
- Make sure your Pro is turned off before you start.
- Connect the USB-C cable and adapter to the Pro’s charging port.
- The USB port is located on the battery pack’s cap and can be used while the battery is inside the device.
- When you’re charging the battery inside the device, the OLED screen will display the battery level.
- If you’re charging the battery outside of the Theragun Pro, check the multicolor LED on the battery’s side for the battery level.
- Need to remove the battery? Just press the circular release button above the battery slot and give the battery a gentle tug.
- To pop in the battery, line it up with the battery slot under the Theragun Pro, making sure the flat side of the battery end faces the circular release button.
TIP You can use the Theragun Pro battery (detachable) as a power bank for your personal device (read phone).
How to Charge Theragun Elite
The battery charging indicator will appear on the OLED display. The icon will keep blinking until the battery is full. Theragun Elite has wireless charging too (you need to buy charging dock separately).
Step-by-Step Charging the Theragun Elite
- Make sure your Elite is turned off before you start.
- Connect the power adapter to the Elite’s charging port.
- Watch the OLED screen – it’ll show the battery level and blink until fully charged.
- You’ll know it’s done when the screen says 100% and the battery icon is full.
How to Charge Theragun Prime
You will find the LED battery indicator under the 5 LED speed indicators. The indicators will begin flashing once the charger is connected. When you see all 3 LEDs light up, then the device is fully charged.
Step-by-Step Charging the Theragun Prime
- Make sure your Prime is turned off before you start.
- Plug the power adapter into the charging port on the Theragun Prime.
- Keep an eye on the LED battery indicator under the 5 LED speed bars – it’ll start flashing.
- You’ll know it’s fully charged when all 3 LED lights of the battery indicator are lit up.
Note Theragun Prime doesn’t support wireless charging.
How to Charge Theragun mini
The new 2nd gen mini now features USB-C charging too. You’ll find the battery indicator right at the center of the power button. You will see the battery level the whole time if the device is on. If the device is off, you’ll have to briefly press the power button to see it.
Step-by-Step Charging the Theragun mini
- Make sure your mini is turned off before you start.
- Plug the USB-A end of the included cable into your preferred USB source, and the other end (USB-C) into the mini’s charging port.
- The LED battery indicator, located in the center of the power button, will start flashing.
- Charging is complete when the LED light on the power/speed button turns solid green.
Note Theragun mini also doesn’t support wireless charging.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Where should you not use a Theragun?
You want to avoid using Theragun on your collarbones, neck (especially the front part), and stomach. The idea is to avoid injuring yourself with the Theragun thuds. You only want to use your device on areas of the body with muscle. Don’t touch the ankles, sensitive nerves, ribs, or other organs.
Should you use a Theragun on sore muscles?
Yes, use a Theragun to treat your sore muscles as needed. Theraguns are known to help alleviate the tension in your muscles by enhancing a healthy flow of blood to the vessels. That said, only use Theragun on your sore muscles as recommended.
How often should you use a Theragun?
Your Theragun can help you achieve so much in your muscle recovery. You can use it for 30 seconds before a workout to warm up the muscles, reactivate your muscles (for 15 seconds) in case you get fatigued during a workout, and for 2 minutes to relieve soreness in your muscles. Remember to only use your Theragun for a specific reason within a specified time.
Should you apply pressure with Theragun?
It’s recommended that you apply a bit of pressure to feel the device working on the muscles. However, don’t apply too much pressure that makes you uncomfortable or causes you to feel pain. Listen to your body as you massage and adjust the pressure accordingly. Use the force meter (PRO and Elite) to measure how much pressure to apply.
Now you know how to use a Theragun – or at least you have a rough idea of how to handle one.
Theraguns are great for relieving muscle soreness and helping you reach your recovery goals. However, you need to use them correctly to maximize their benefits. Follow the instructions given here, and you will never go wrong.
If you haven’t used a Theragun before, it’s probably time to get one and share your experience.
We share our tips based on our experience. Let us know your experience!
- 1.Therabody Official Website. Therabody.com. https://www.therabody.com
- 2.How to use devices. Therabody Official Website. https://www.therabody.com/us/en-us/howto/theragun/
Was this article helpful?
Your feedback makes our content better!
Post Update History
Here's a quick rundown of all the tweaks and edits we've made to this article to keep it accurate and up-to-date!
Current version last updated on:
May 4, 2023 Minor editor changes. (Author: Greg)
The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.
All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this website are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.
It is our policy to make every effort to respect the copyrights of outside parties. If you believe that your copyright has been misused, please provide us with a message stating your position and we will endeavor to correct any misuse immediately.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive an affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep this website alive. Learn more here.
massagegunadvice.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Please refer to our Privacy & Affiliate Policy for details.