Thumper Mini Pro Review | Sport Massager Comparison

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Thumper Mini Pro Review

This is a short Thumper Mini Pro Review based on a straightforward-to-use massage product, I think it’s a great addition to my home physio arsenal of gadgets. I regularly use it and it has helped prevent injury and recover from injury and more than paid for itself in savings against the cost of physio appointments.

Thumper Mini Pro - Headline Scores
  • Price - 85%
    85%
  • Precision for location and intensity - 95%
    95%
  • Build Quality & Design - 90%
    90%
  • Features - 80%
    80%
88%

Thumper Mini Pro Review Summary

Thumper Mini Pro Review

The Thumper is one of several, recent massage products like Theragun, PulseFX Series and Kraftgun that all work percussively by repeatedly thumping your muscles with a firm rubber knob (I know, I know). It vibrates at 20-40 times per second and the effect is claimed to penetrate 5-6mm beneath your skin. By also applying pressure the effect is deeper, although this is not recommended by the manufacturer.

Many of you will be familiar with foam rollers and, for me, the use-cases are very similar to those with the foam roller or a hands-on massage from a physio. Yet, the Thumper wins over the foam roller for me every time as you can lay down in comfort, better control the pain levels and do something else at the same time.

I use it for these scenarios, no doubt there are more possible uses

  • Warmup, especially calves. If the Thumper hurts my calves at all, I don’t run. Otherwise, I see the Thumper as a ‘can’t hurt’ way to warm my calves up.
  • Muscle repair by stimulation. Sometimes after exercise, the Thumper is EXTREMELY painful for me to use and I can’t bear it on even the lowest setting, so I might wait until the evening to give myself a good thumping. This seems to boost the speed of muscle repair overnight.
  • ITB maintenance, Hamstring maintenance. Using a roller on my ITB can be very painful too, the Thumper does a similar job whilst allowing me to be more precise in attacking a specific area of the ITB or by cranking up/down the power level. I’ve progressed to the point where I can now add some pressure to the Thumper on my ITB and relatively easily bear it.
  • Using on the muscles just above the knee seems to slightly help the knee move more fluidly when cycling afterwards. I’m probably imagining that one!
  • I sometimes cramp my Vastus Medialis (VM) in longer races. I am HOPING that using the Thumper on the VM in the weeks leading up to a race might better prepare that muscle for the rigours of race day.

The Thumper is not so good for me on the glutes and quads. It doesn’t seem to do anything, well very little at any rate, and it seems hard to get a good amount of penetration into the muscle even with pressure. I assume because my muscles there are relatively big, although I would NOT describe myself as muscley by gym-goer standards #SlowTwitch.

The manufacturer says to choose an appropriate power level and rest the Thumper on the problem areas. My precise technique is to crank the power to the max and press a bit. ‘Pressing a bit’ seems to stress the motor and after several minutes (5?) it cuts out, although it restarts automatically once it’s cooled down, which is in less than 30 seconds. Invariably this will damage the Thumper by repeated use but it’s what I do and I DEFINITELY do NOT recommend you do this as it will probably invalidate the warranty.

I have managed to keep my calves injury-free and running for 5 months, which I am happy with. I’ve been training relatively hard in 2020 yet generally do not feel as fatigued in my muscles as previous years. Maybe it’s the Thumper or maybe I have finally got used to the higher training volumes I’ve aimed for over the last 2 years?

 

 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Practical design
  • Precise control over application area, pressure and vibration speed
  • As there are TWO areas that are thumped this gives Thumper an advantage over competing products like Theragun that only have half the number of pads (one!)
  • A nice rubbery area on top of the Thumper stops it slipping in your hard and aids control
  • Definitely reduced my physio bill over the last few months
  • As you own it outright, you are much more likely to use it frequently. Pro athletes have a dedicated physio on-call 24×7, you don’t.
  • You can use it whilst ‘doing something else’

Cons

  • Little effect on larger muscle groups, you’ll need the Maxi Pro model for those
  • Hard to use by yourself on your mid-to-lower back, although the long handle does help a little
  • Shoulders can be worked on but it’s a bit tricky unless you are very flexible
  • Quite expensive

Background

My partner was given a Thumper Mini Pro as a present and I have permanently borrowed it and now use it twice a day whilst lying in bed, as a result, I decided now was an appropriate time to fess up and share with you my Thumper Sport Review. I’ll take you through how I use this percussive vibrating massager (ahem) and briefly compare the specifications of Thumper’s other massager products as my opinion is that the lighter-weight Thumper models will NOT be up to the same job for the needs of an athlete that the Mini Pro performs excellently. This is one of those ‘definitely recommended but still could be improved‘ products, let’s go.

Thumper Mini Pro ReviewWhat got me using the Thumper was a trip to my physio who used a Thumper Mini Pro on me. When I saw it was identical to my partners the thought of saving £50 a pop for 30 minutes, was very attractive – London physios are expensive.

Thumper Mini Pro – Opinion

  • It’s not perfect. But it is good for athletes to aid recovery and reduce injury risk.
  • At about $200, it sounds expensive but could quickly save you Eu$£ from your physio bill and may well stave off injury and let you train more. What is the price of being injury-free to an athlete? A: a LOT more than $200.

Here is a brief overview which should be all you need, although there are more thoughts and specifications further below.

Thumper Mini Pro Specs & Thumper Sport Comparison

You can see from the Thumper specs below that the apparent features are similar across the range. However, it is the hand-held Sport or Mini-Pro versions that you will probably want for more serious usage.

 

Thumper Verve Thumper Sport Thumper Mini Pro Thumper Versa Pro Thumper Maxi Pro Thumper Equine Pro
Home / Professional Use Home & Professional Home Home & Professional Home Professional Professional
Usage – My Opinion Recreational, palm usage Recreational, athletes too, hand-held Athletes & Fitness Types, hand-held Recreational, foot massage Serious Muscles, held by two hands Horses, not people
Self-Massage Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Weight 2 lbs 3 lbs 3 lbs 13 lbs 7 lbs 7 lbs
Adjustable Speed Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Muscle Penetration 5 mm 5 mm 6 mm 6 mm 7 mm 8 mm
Attachments 3 Sets 2 Sets Fixed Fixed Fixed Fixed
Pulses per Second 20-40 20-40 20/30/40 20-40 20-40 20-40
Cord Length 12 ft 12 ft 12 ft 12 ft 12 ft 12 ft
Warranty 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years
Price $129-$184 $174 or less $199-$240 $369 $400+ $470+
Link Check Prices Check Prices Check Prices Check Prices Check Prices Check Prices

 

Thumper Mini Pro – Other Thoughts

This is a nearly perfect product for my needs, I’m an age-group triathlete that has ‘represented’ GB quite a few times and done ‘alright’. I only say that to indicate that, like me, probably few of you will need much more than the Mini Pro model. I’m guessing a pro Rugby/American Football player will be more muscley and need a more powerful product, and I’m guessing your granny’s bad back will need considerably less of a ‘pro’ product, those people would get the Maxi and Verve respectively.

Having said that, I would like a slightly heavier model that officially supported me applying pressure, which would probably require it to have a heavier-duty internal motor. But it’s fine as-is. The vibrating cups/knobs are great, the only problem with them is that at strange angles doing weird things (don’t ask) they can rarely trap either your skin or hair, I’m not sure which but it hurts a bit when that happens.

There’s really not much to say when it comes to using it. You turn it on to use one of the 3 speeds and put it where it hurts. If it hurts too much you choose a lower speed and then you ‘move it about a bit’.

Thumper Alternatives

  • Theragun: Theragun is quite a bit more expensive and only has one percussive contact area, whereas Thumper has 2. Theragun has the advantage of more precision arising from a variety of attachment: Check prices here
  • LifePro PulseFx Series include PulseFx, SonicLx, Sonic Percussion, Sonic Mini, Sonic X & Sonic Fx Check prices here.

Thumper Mini Pro Discounts, Pricing & Availability

The links below show one or more retailers in your country. The USA links to several including Walmart and gives comparative prices.

Thumper Verve Thumper Sport Thumper Mini Pro Thumper Versa Pro Thumper Maxi Pro Thumper Equine Pro
Price $129-$184 $174 or less (£119) $199-$240 (£179) $369 $400+ $470+
Link Check Prices Check Prices Check Prices Check Prices Check Prices Check Prices

As you can see,  I’m not imagining it. Thumper is well-liked on Amazon too.

 

Clicks to Amazon

 

 

Thumper Mini Pro - Headline Scores
  • Price - 85%
    85%
  • Precision for location and intensity - 95%
    95%
  • Build Quality & Design - 90%
    90%
  • Features - 80%
    80%
88%

Thumper Mini Pro Review Summary

Thumper Mini Pro Review

The Thumper is one of several, recent massage products like Theragun, PulseFX Series and Kraftgun that all work percussively by repeatedly thumping your muscles with a firm rubber knob (I know, I know). It vibrates at 20-40 times per second and the effect is claimed to penetrate 5-6mm beneath your skin. By also applying pressure the effect is deeper, although this is not recommended by the manufacturer.

Many of you will be familiar with foam rollers and, for me, the use-cases are very similar to those with the foam roller or a hands-on massage from a physio. Yet, the Thumper wins over the foam roller for me every time as you can lay down in comfort, better control the pain levels and do something else at the same time.

I use it for these scenarios, no doubt there are more possible uses

  • Warmup, especially calves. If the Thumper hurts my calves at all, I don’t run. Otherwise, I see the Thumper as a ‘can’t hurt’ way to warm my calves up.
  • Muscle repair by stimulation. Sometimes after exercise, the Thumper is EXTREMELY painful for me to use and I can’t bear it on even the lowest setting, so I might wait until the evening to give myself a good thumping. This seems to boost the speed of muscle repair overnight.
  • ITB maintenance, Hamstring maintenance. Using a roller on my ITB can be very painful too, the Thumper does a similar job whilst allowing me to be more precise in attacking a specific area of the ITB or by cranking up/down the power level. I’ve progressed to the point where I can now add some pressure to the Thumper on my ITB and relatively easily bear it.
  • Using on the muscles just above the knee seems to slightly help the knee move more fluidly when cycling afterwards. I’m probably imagining that one!
  • I sometimes cramp my Vastus Medialis (VM) in longer races. I am HOPING that using the Thumper on the VM in the weeks leading up to a race might better prepare that muscle for the rigours of race day.

The Thumper is not so good for me on the glutes and quads. It doesn’t seem to do anything, well very little at any rate, and it seems hard to get a good amount of penetration into the muscle even with pressure. I assume because my muscles there are relatively big, although I would NOT describe myself as muscley by gym-goer standards #SlowTwitch.

The manufacturer says to choose an appropriate power level and rest the Thumper on the problem areas. My precise technique is to crank the power to the max and press a bit. ‘Pressing a bit’ seems to stress the motor and after several minutes (5?) it cuts out, although it restarts automatically once it’s cooled down, which is in less than 30 seconds. Invariably this will damage the Thumper by repeated use but it’s what I do and I DEFINITELY do NOT recommend you do this as it will probably invalidate the warranty.

I have managed to keep my calves injury-free and running for 5 months, which I am happy with. I’ve been training relatively hard in 2020 yet generally do not feel as fatigued in my muscles as previous years. Maybe it’s the Thumper or maybe I have finally got used to the higher training volumes I’ve aimed for over the last 2 years?

 

 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Practical design
  • Precise control over application area, pressure and vibration speed
  • As there are TWO areas that are thumped this gives Thumper an advantage over competing products like Theragun that only have half the number of pads (one!)
  • A nice rubbery area on top of the Thumper stops it slipping in your hard and aids control
  • Definitely reduced my physio bill over the last few months
  • As you own it outright, you are much more likely to use it frequently. Pro athletes have a dedicated physio on-call 24×7, you don’t.
  • You can use it whilst ‘doing something else’

Cons

  • Little effect on larger muscle groups, you’ll need the Maxi Pro model for those
  • Hard to use by yourself on your mid-to-lower back, although the long handle does help a little
  • Shoulders can be worked on but it’s a bit tricky unless you are very flexible
  • Quite expensive
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