Pulseroll Pro Massage Gun
- Smart and convenient carry case
- Wide range of attachments with varied benefits
- Four power levels so you can easily adapt the intensity
- Clear instructions
- Built in rechargeable battery with up to four hours of use
- Fairly heavy
- Additional tips on basic technique would be a useful inclusion for massage gun newbies
Price as reviewed:
A massage gun probably isn’t the first thing a lot of riders think of when considering their supplementary fitness and recovery habits, but when the opportunity arose to test out the Pulseroll Pro Massage Gun, I jumped at the chance to discover whether it really could make a difference. The benefits of the Pulseroll include helping reduce muscular pain, aiding rapid training recovery, helping flush away lactic acid and increasing blood flow – in other words, providing an experience akin to a sports massage in your own home.
When the Pulseroll arrived, it definitely felt a little like Christmas for me, unpacking the very smart box it arrived in to find a padded carry case, with a sturdy zip and handle, enclosing the gun itself and all the accompanying accessories, each in their own compartment for ease of storage and location. Overall I was very impressed with the presentation and packaging of the product, and the slightly daunting array of attachments available, which fit to the device itself, all with various purposes. Thankfully, a full instruction booklet is provided.
The case includes the Pulseroll Pro Massage Gun, user manual, charger, power adapters, and six different attachments: a large and small round head, flat head, spinal head, pneumatic head and the rather alarming sounding bullet head. Each is depicted with a diagram in the instruction manual, brief overview of their specific intended use, and an indication of their impact level, from one to five. Unsurprisingly, the bullet head, “for pain point muscle massage”, offers the highest level of impact.
I opted to begin with the large round head, marked as a two out of five on the impact scale, and designed “for full body muscle massage”, which sounded a much more affable experience for my massage gun debut than the promises of the bullet head. The heads are simple to attach to the main gun, which has an on/off switch on the bottom, and a power button at the top to control the intensity of the vibration and change the speed settings (there are four in total, from 1400 to 3000 RPM).
One of my initial impressions is that the gun is quite heavy; it weighs 1.6kg and this combined with its overall size (it is 25 x 16 x 6cm) meant that I did find it a little cumbersome. Other people, and those used to massage devices, may not find this, but it’s worth considering whether Pulseroll’s Mini Massage Gun, at 0.6kg and 14 x 10 x 4cm in size, might be a better option if you’re concerned about weight or planning to use the Pulseroll while on the move.
I really liked the manual, with clear instructions on how to use the gun to achieve either a relaxation or activation effect on various parts of the body, including the best attachment to use and recommended duration. There is also a section detailing recommended use to ease pain of certain conditions, such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis and carpal tunnel.
However, as a massage gun rookie, I would have appreciated an additional brief guide to the different grips referred to, such as the reverse grip and base grip, as well as some direction on how best to position yourself to target certain areas. I did find some answers online via the informative Pulseroll blog, but some basic techniques listed in the manual would have been helpful.
Personally, I found the glutes, hamstrings and quads the easiest areas to begin with in terms of working out positioning and intensity. The power of the gun, even at its lowest setting, took me a little by surprise – this machine does not lack in the oomph department – but I found that I quickly got used to the sensation and enjoyed the almost instant relief I found it offered my tight muscles. It is also remarkably quiet for such a high-powered device. Over several sessions I cycled through the power settings comfortably and also graduated through the different attachments – although I admit the bullet head is yet to be deployed.
Certainly some parts of the body are easier to target than others; for my upper and lower back, I roped in my husband to make sure the gun was targeting the right spots.
The Pulseroll can be used for both relaxing the muscles and activating them ahead of a session. As someone with a job that requires me to be sitting at a laptop for much of the day, I’m very aware of the need to activate my glutes and hamstrings in particular before an after-work ride, run or workout, and I added one minute on each side with the Pulseroll to my usual warm-up routine to fire up my muscles before heading out on an evening run. It could be coincidence, but I ran my fastest 5k of the year that night, and without the back niggles that often accompany my hard running efforts.
A few days later, I got back in the saddle after a few months out, enjoying a two-hour hack with a friend. That evening, I used the Pulseroll on my glutes, hamstrings and thigh adductors, and was pleased to find the next morning that my body didn’t ache as much as I might have expected it to, given that I am not riding regularly at the moment.
Whether you’re looking for a means to ease and relax tight and tired muscles, or for more targeted relief or activation, the Pulseroll Pro Massage Gun is a high-end, high-spec piece of kit that is reasonably easy to use once you get used to it. While the price point may deter some, I’d recommend it for anyone riding professionally, or indeed any rider who places high importance on their own fitness, strength and recovery, both in and out of the saddle.
A high-end, high-spec piece of kit recommended for any rider who places high importance on their own fitness, strength and recovery, both in and out of the saddle.
Who tested this massage gun?
Polly Bryan is H&H’s dressage, products and sport horse breeding editor. Although she does not currently have her own horse, Polly enjoys catch rides whenever possible, and so is accustomed to the aches and pains that accompany “part-time” riding. She is also a keen runner and gym-goer, and has participated in several half marathons.
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