You likely know HyperIce for its vibrating foam roller, the HyperIce Vyper. The brand takes recovery seriously and wants to help you stay loose for whatever life throws at you next — from running a marathon to a beer crawl. Its latest rehab device is the HyperVolt, which looks a bit like a hairdryer, but is actually a high-tech massage therapy tool designed for athletes. Professionals like Lindsey Vonn and Blake Griffin swear by vibration therapy to help them increase range of motion and recover faster after competition — but it’s not just for pro athletes.
The Good: The HyperVolt is portable, feels great and isn’t as loud as its competitors. It’s easy to use, helps everyday athletes recover and increases performance. It’s a top-notch tool that makes vibration therapy accessible to everyday athletes. The four interchangeable head options provide a variety of pressures and touch points for you to massage your muscles.
Who They’re For: The athlete looking to up his or her performance. Studies have shown that massage therapy in the form of vibration can be beneficial to muscular systems and tendons because it mimics exercise and positively influences muscle function and coordination. Studies have also shown that some forms of vibration therapy offer comparable effects to mild exercise, which is what you should be doing on your days off.
Watch Out For: Don’t place your fingers too close to the edge of the swappable head — in testing, I found that it’s possible to pinch your skin in the mechanism. While the motor is quieter than the TheraGun (more on that later), it’s still not as quiet as your electric toothbrush. I used it in an office environment, and people were more than a bit inquisitive about what the noise was. While it’s too loud for an open office, it likely wouldn’t bother anyone if you used it behind a closed door or tucked away in a nook.
The machine weighs in at 2.5 pounds, which is deceivingly heavy when you’re lugging it around in your gym bag or suitcase. And at $349, it’s not cheap.
Alternatives: While there is a variety of vibrating foam rollers on the market — like the HyperIce Vyper ($200), NextRoller Electric Vibrating Foam Roller ($100) and TriggerPoint Grid Vibe ($100) — there aren’t many vibration therapy devices like the HyperVolt. The hand-held application of this one is unique. It’s similar to the TheraGun but differentiates itself in a few key areas.
The Verdict: The HyperVolt is something you would typically find at physical therapy offices or recovery and rehab classes, but now the technology is available to everyone. Sure, there are recovery classes offered at studios like reCover and Tone House that incorporate vibration therapy, but with recovery becoming an integral part of the everyday athlete’s routine, it’s important for the technology to be accessible at home. The HyperVolt claims to help relieve muscle pain, stiffness and soreness, increase range of motion, circulation and blood flow — and it delivers. Using the HyperVolt to warm up and cool down can prime your body for a tough workout and help return oxygen to your muscles afterward — which further aids in recovery.
It comes with four attachments: a 2-inch sphere, an arrow-shaped nub, a two-pronged bit and a hammer tip; each is easy to remove with a slight twist. Each head provides a different pressure and stimulation that allows the user to get deep into IT bands, glutes and other hard to reach muscle tissues.
Compared to the G2PRO TheraGun, there are a few major differences. Price for one: $599 for the TheraGun, and $350 for the HyperVolt. The TheraGun arrives in a carrying case (which the HyperVolt lacks), with four interchangeable heads — similar in shape and material to the HyperVolt — along with two battery packs with a wall charger. The TheraGun’s rotating arm allows you to get at hard-to-reach muscles that the HyperVolt does not. Despite these shortcomings, I found I was more likely to toss the HyperVolt in my gym bag.
When powered on, the HyperVolt glows around the base of the removable battery that also acts as the hand grip. In the past month that I’ve been testing it, I failed to drain the battery completely. It makes sense, given that the most I’m using for is 10 minutes a day, and according to HyperIce it’s supposed to last for up to three hours on a single charge.
The HyperVolt offers three intensities and is slightly heavier than the TheraGun, which weighs in at 2 pounds and 7.6 ounces. TheraGun has just one speed, but a smaller handle for a variety of hand shapes and sizes. As for how each feels? When used at the same time on separate legs, there’s little to distinguish between them. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest recovery tool that’s not going to break the bank, the HyperVolt is for you. Your muscle fibers will thank you tomorrow.
What Others Are Saying:
• “We’ve recently become converts to the handheld vibrating massager, thanks to the TheraGun G2 Pro. But, it’s just so damn loud that we can’t really use it in any normal setting—the office is a no-no, as is our small apartment when the baby is sleeping. That device’s steep price ($599) is also a drawback. But, the Hypervolt alleviates those issues. It’s whisper-quiet, by comparison: Sure, it’s noisier than a foam roller but doesn’t sound like an industrial power tool, and definitely won’t wake up the neighbors.” — Jeff Dengate, Men’s Journal
• “Speaking of where to use what, this is not the second coming of the magic wand, at least not out of the box. You could certainly get creative by modifying some of the heads, but this hurts when you accidentally bounce it off your spine- you don’t want it anywhere more sensitive than that. Hypervolt is so powerful that the benefits and effects are immediate, even on the “low” setting. It’s no impulse purchase at its $350 MSRP, but you can’t really put a price on getting rid of pain, and far less effective home massagers can easily get more expensive than Hypervolt, and are all more cumbersome and not portable. If you’re regularly paying up for massages, rolling out muscle pain, or leaning in to your massage chair to try to increase its power, Hypervolt is absolutely worth a look.” — Shane Roberts, LifeHacker.com
Battery Life: 3 hours, rechargeable