Massage guns conquer the world of sports. They can also be seen more and more often among climbers. But how can the small devices be used in climbing? Where do the custom pistols make sense, where don't? And what devices are there? We are investigating these questions - including in the Actiontalk TV test.
A few years ago, professional boulderers presented themselves on instagram after massaging with a massage gun. In the meantime, the devices have found their way to the rock and into the climbing and bouldering halls. So the time has come for us to take a closer look at the devices.
Three models put under the microscope
We have contacted various manufacturers and examined three different models for you. These are the massage guns that we have tested over the past few weeks:
1. Vitagun - M model
The Vitagun M is an all-rounder model that, despite its low weight, has a lot of power. The facts:
- 5 application levels from 15-160 W (soft to hard)
- Volume 43 - 63 dB
- 1.300 - 3.300 beats per minute
- Up to 5 hours runtime
- Weight kg 0.8
- 6 attachments
- Price: 199 CHF (approx. 184 EUR)
2. Vitagun - K model
The Vitagun K model is a small and handy massage gun that, thanks to its size and weight, can be taken with you on the rock or in the hall. The facts:
- 3 application levels from 5 -96W (soft to hard)
- Volume 45 dB
- 1600 - 2800 beats per minute
- Up to 5 hours runtime
- Weight kg 0.5
- 4 attachments
- Price: 169 CHF (approx. 156 EUR)
3. Compex Fixx 1.0
The Compex Fixx 1.0 is a massage gun, which in terms of size and performance can be compared to the M model from Vitagun. The facts:
- 3 application levels (soft to hard)
- Volume 57 to 70 dB
- 1500 - 2800 beats per minute
- Up to 1.5 hours runtime
- Weight kg 0.9
- 3 attachments
- Price: 249 CHF (approx. 239 EUR)
Massage guns in use while climbing
For the first time, the massage pistols accompanied us while bouldering in the hall. There was great interest in the vibrating devices - not only among the testing person, but also among friends. The massage gun made the rounds and there was debate about sense and nonsense.
Some were all on one point: Briefly massaging your pumped forearms in between is counterproductive. Because this weakens the muscle tone.
Rather, the massage gun can be used to loosen up before climbing. For us, the massage gun makes the most sense for the time after training - in the evening. Then you sit at home on the sofa or in the VW bus, exhausted from training or climbing, and with a massage you can promote blood circulation and thus regeneration in various muscle areas.
Where does the massage gun make sense and where doesn't it?
A massage gun is not only useful for regeneration in the evening. There are two other fields of application that are exciting for climbers and boulderers:
For faster regeneration after climbing (massage of forearms and other muscles of the upper body).
- Release tension
Used to treat neck pain that many rope climbers suffer from. Keyword “look up” when backing up.
To warm up larger muscle groups before training.
Only suitable for large and medium muscle groups
Of course, the question arises as to which parts of the body affected by climbing and bouldering can be treated with a massage gun. The devices have a lot of power and should therefore not be underestimated.
In our opinion, the massage guns should only be used on medium and large muscle groups. In the neck area, we only used the devices at a sufficiently large distance from the spine. In the upper neck area, we did not use it.
In general, of course, the rule applies: fingers (massage gun) away from bones and cartilage tissue. So please do not get the idea to treat your ring bands or the like. But back to the specific treatment areas. In our, subjective, opinion the massage gun makes sense in these places:
- Neck muscles (sufficient distance from the spine)
- chest muscles
As a sport climber you often have to cope with long approaches and carry heavy backpacks. Accordingly, a massage gun naturally also makes sense when massaging the large muscle areas on the legs.
The three models in comparison
Well, so much for the question in which area massage guns make sense when climbing. As I said, we tested three models from two manufacturers. You will find alternatives like sand by the sea. In our test we used two “normal” sized devices and a small and more handy massage gun.
Fixx 1.0 vs. Model M
The two larger Compex Fixx 1.0 and Vitagun M models differ primarily in their design and battery life. If you want to massage yourself regularly on different parts of the back, you will enjoy the Compex Fixx 1.0. Thanks to its special construction (triangle), this massage gun can be applied and held in many different places.
For its part, the Vitagun M is many times more powerful and has a significantly longer battery life. We also particularly liked the soft attachment. With the hard attachments of the Compex, the massage can quickly be perceived as too hard.
Always with you - the Vitagun K
We recommend the Vitagun K if you take the massage gun indoors, on the rock or on vacation. Despite its small size, this massage gun is powerful and thanks to a battery life of 5 hours it won't let you down so quickly.
Conclusion on the massage guns
In our opinion, massage guns make sense for climbers. Whether in the neck area, in the back area or with biceps complaints - the massage gun brings a noticeable loosening of the muscles and has already solved many a hardening after an intensive training session.
Find out more about massage guns in the Actiontalk TV test
Luca from Actiontalk TV also tested the massage guns mentioned above and spoke to physiotherapist and osteopath Klaus Isele about the chances and dangers of the devices.