Before we jump into the review of the Ekrin Athletics B37 Percussion Massage Gun (also known as the Ekrin B37), its critical to understand what a massage gun is, how it works, and how to choose the right one for your needs. Once that is established, we break down the B37 by its features, pros/cons, and how it fared in My Top Fitness testing (hint, it received high marks).
If you are already vying to purchase the Ekrin Athletics B37, you can do so via this link (and get 20% off) or use the code Ekrin20 during checkout. If not ready, or just interested in learning more about massage guns, read on.
- 1 What is a Massage Gun?
- 2 How Does a Massage Gun Work?
- 3 How to Choose a the Right Gun
- 4 Ekrin Athletics B37 Percussion Massage Gun
- 5 Pro and Cons of the Ekrin B37 Massage Gun
- 6 My Top Fitness Ekrin B37 Percussion Massage Gun Test Results
- 7 Where to Purchase the Ekrin B37 (and get 20% off!)
- 8 Ekrin B37 Alternatives: The Ekrin B37S and Ekrin Bantam
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 References/Further Reading
What is a Massage Gun?
A Brief Look at the History of Pain Relief
Over the years, civilization has chosen to confront “pain” in many different ways. Around “6000BC” it is believed that the foundations of acupuncture were laid[1.] to address the toxins built up in the body.” The primary goal of acupuncture, then as it is now, was/is the alleviation of pain associated with the everyday use of the body.[2.] But it was not until the era of Hippocrates (460-377 BC) that “anatripsis (to “rub up”) and “frictio” (“friction”), the intellectual groundwork for present-day massage therapy, was introduced into the main consciousness[3.].
The History of the Massage Gun
Fast forward a few thousand years later, in the United States of America (LA) circa 2008, Jason Weresland, a chiropractor, developed the “Massage Gun” synthesizing the history of “anatripsis” into a hand-held masseuse. He did this to address a herniated disc that he suffered during a motorcycling accident[4.] that caused marked pain to his shoulder and back throughout odd hours of the night.
Though admittedly a “jerry-rigged” innovation on his part, Jason’s idea would later become a patented heaven-sent[5.] to those athletes who needed immediate relief from the soreness and pains associated with their profession(s). Crazy enough, Jason’s innovation bore with it other noticeable benefits beyond the relief he initially sought to reap when he first configured the (what is now understood to be) “massage gun.”[6.]
But that did not “stop” the story of these massage devices, it simply began it. Like any good innovation, what tends to come after it is better than that that preceded it: In 2019, Ekrin Athletics did just that with its B37 edition to these here gun talks.
How Does a Massage Gun Work?
Utilizing a technique, for deep tissue massage, found in massage therapy called “tapotement”[7.] (that “chopping” thing that they do with their hands), the primary function of this device is “percussive” in nature[8.]… offering a relentless deep tissue massage (in the most modern of ways imagined).
Tapotement (or, “vibration therapy”[9.]) has been shown to improve athletic performance in the essential areas of “response time” and “recovery”[10.]. It can be used pre- and post-athletic trial[11.] to enhance the benefits of the upcoming (or, previous) physical activity through the mitigation of DOMS (“delayed onset of muscle soreness”). This is achieved via a process known as, “wait for it,” transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (or, TENS) which reduces the perception of pain. Vibration/percussive therapy techniques have been shown and proven to have noticeable gains in:
- Recovery and muscle repair
- Increase in blood and lymphatic flow
- Relief of muscle spasms and stiffness
- Breaking up of scar tissue
- Improvement of lactic acid clearance
- Activation of the nervous system and muscles
- Relieving muscle fatigue, pain, tightness, soreness, and knots
- Relieving stress; and assisting with muscle tension related to nerve damage, atrophy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and a range of other ailments
Similar findings in the related field of “vibration training” have found that vibration can have marked benefits on those with “compromised health” (Cochrane,[12.] )
When your nerve impulses receive the right frequency, your pain is eliminated. There are two categories of guns, percussion and vibration. One type is not necessarily better than the other since your needs are unique, but most benefit from percussion. The difference is the amplitude. This is the extent of the vibration of your massager. When your amplitude is higher, the impact you will feel is stronger.
A percussion gun offers you a higher amplitude. When the intensity of your massage is higher, the feeling is more intense. This remains true even when you are using a lower speed. If you are an athlete or simply more physically active, you will most likely need a more intense and deeper stimulation to release your muscles. If you are not athletic, you may find a stronger stimulation too intense or harsh.
Another concept you should consider is the revolutions per minute or RPM. This is the number of times the gun will hit your skin within 60 seconds. You will discover the majority of guns offer between 2000 and 3200 RPM. Your best option is choosing a gun with a variety of different speeds. This way, you can select the right speed for your individual preferences.
If you want to warm up your muscles or you have sore muscles, a lower speed will work best. If you have tight, deep knots or extremely stiff muscles, you will most likely need a higher speed.
How to Choose a the Right Gun
There are numerous factors you should consider when selecting the right gun for your needs. The most important considerations are defined below.
One of the key issues is the level of noise a motorized unit generates. You may be uncomfortable with a lot of noise near your ears. The noise will seem louder if you are in an enclosed area. If possible, you should use the gun prior to making a purchase. If you are unable to do so, look at the user reviews. You will find extreme noise mentioned in these reviews.
Weight and Angle
Prior to making your decision, consider the weight. Some of the guns are too heavy after using them for just a few minutes. You may also be in some awkward positions when you massage some of the more difficult to reach areas. In this instances it may require either having someone else give you a massage or selecting a lighter unit.
Your wireless massager should have good battery life. The last thing you want is to have to change your batteries in the middle of your massage. If you intend to use your gun on a regular basis, your battery should last for a minimum of 60 minutes. Keep in mind your unit will last for a longer period of time if you purchase high-quality batteries as opposed to a cheap imitation.
When you purchase a gun, you are making an investment. You need to be certain you have a warranty covering both premature failure and any defects. Also consider the terms of your warranty. Specifically, you need to know if your unit can be returned locally or if it must be shipped. Your warranty may or may not cover the cost of shipping. If you need to ship your unit overseas, your shipping cost will be fairly high.
Shipping your gun also means you will need to wait for a replacement. If you can find a local warranty, you will save effort, money and valuable time.
Some guns come with different attachment heads. You can effectively use these heads for a variety of applications. Standard attachment heads include bullets or balls with most devices. Most enjoy the experience of a more unique head. Find out which heads are included and which are available separately.
The design of your massager is about a lot more than the way it looks. The design of your gun should include an even distribution of weight. If you use your device for long periods of time, this will decrease the strain on your arms and wrists. If your gun has an adjustable arm, you can set your attachment heads at numerous angles to reach almost all of your body. Try to avoid poor or bulky designs.
Some of the guns you will see are more expensive because they include a nice selection of extras. If you purchase a basic device, you will most likely have to spend more money on the extras. You may be spending more than if you had purchased a unit including everything you want for a higher price.
“Price and Functionality” are two major considerations that you must consider when entertaining this investment. Some of the major products in this field can go for almost $3,000[13.] while some of the others retail for as little as $50[14.]. To help rationalize the cost, envision the adept masseuse, “chopping away” at your legs and back. You can get all that good TENS action going with a massage gun, and be in a state of calm, when you realize that you no longer need to pay “$150” a massage.[15.]
Ekrin Athletics B37 Percussion Massage Gun
Weighing in at a mere 2.2lbs, the lead massage gun product today is the EKRIN B37[16.] by Ekrin Athletics[17.]. This ergonomic device can deliver up to 56lbs of pressure at five different speeds (ranging from 1400 to 3200 rpm): the highest speed carries a decibel level of no louder than 54.7 dB.. lower than the normal conversation you’re accustomed to having,[18.] thanks to Quiet Glide Noise Reduction Technology. At this top speed, the Stall Force is 56lbs.
It comes with four attachments, to address different regions and areas of the body, and an easily compartmentalizable compact case… for those of you that find yourself constantly on the go.
The Ekrin B37 massager compliments your investment in its power with a design providing a slip-free silicone featured grip… maintainable throughout varying positions. Considered a “godsent” by those suffering from musculoskeletal pains,[19.] the Ekrin B37 massager ranks number one in the features department… with four+ hours of battery life (depending on usage level(s)), which is an integral part of its utility. Other features of the B37 that are worthy of mention are the following:
- Stroke length is 12mm
- It charges by wire not deck
- Input voltage is 110-240v, 50/60v
- Comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and two (2) year warranty
Why Stall Force Matters
“Stall force (or, “torque”–“Stall torque”) is the torque produced by a mechanical device whose output rotational speed is zero. It may also mean the torque load that causes the output rotational speed of a device to become zero, i.e., to cause stalling) at these ranges: 1 speed，1400RPM, the stall force is around 35pounds; 2 speed, 1800RPM, the stall force is around 40pounds; 3 speed, 2200RPM, the stall force is around 45pounds; 4 speed, 2600RPM, the stall force is around 51pounds; 5 speed, 3200RPM, the stall force is around 56pounds.
In layman’s terms, despite being a handheld device, the Ekrin B37 provides significant power across its speed levels.
About Ekrin Athletics and Their Warranty
The company manufacturing your gun is important. The B37 massager is manufactured by Ekrin Athletics. This is an excellent, reliable and responsive company. If you need assistance or have a question, you will generally receive a response within 24 hours. You can learn more about the company at Ekrin Athletics… The company is located in the United States in Boston, Massachusetts.
Ekrin offers excellent customer service and answers to questions regarding warranty, the massage head, and amplitude. The company culture at Ekrin is very client focused, so you won’t have to deal with a company that does not respond to your needs or employs customer service representatives who are rude or difficult to deal with.
The warranty on the B37 massager is for two years. The majority of guns on the market offer you a warranty of three to 12 months.
Under normal circumstances, you will not need to use your warranty. However, you will receive peace of mind in knowing if you have an issue, Ekrin Athletics will stand behind your warranty. When you are giving yourself a deep tissue massage, you should be confident in the gun you are using.
Quality Built and Full of Power
The Ekrin B37 is made extremely well. The device offers you more power than the majority of guns on the market. This gun is used in rehabilitation centers because of the consistency. The unit will not overheat, perform incorrectly or need to be replaced in a few months. Because of this, its unlikely you will need to waste time waiting for your gun to cool down before you can finish your massage.
The Ekrin B37 is extremely reliable every time you need it. When you open the box, it presents a very attractive unit. The company uses a green shell with strong black grip and easy to use attachments. This will set your massager apart from all the silver and black guns currently available. Both the design and quality are excellent.
The first time you pick up your massager, you will feel the weight. The gun is 2.21 pounds. This is just enough weight to avoid being flimsy, without being exceptionally heavy. In short, the B37 is solid. Most enjoy the feel of the device due to the ergonomics. With a handle at 15 degrees, it ensures the gun will be simple, easy and comfortable to use.
A soft-touch plastic is used to cover the body of your device. You will find the feel smooth, without becoming slippery. The grip is excellent, so you will not need to be concerned you may drop your massager.
Battery and Accessories
The B37 massage gun uses a lithium-ion battery. This battery is rechargeable and will last for a minimum of four hours when you use the lowest setting. If you use a higher setting, the battery will still last for a couple of hours. Upon use, the B37 battery will not run out of power quickly. The user reviews for both the battery and gun are excellent. You can read some of the reviews on Amazon…
The B37 offers five variable motor speeds. If you use the gun at the highest setting, the noise level is 55dB. This gun is not nearly as loud as many of the others you will see. This means you should not need to purchase earplugs before giving yourself a relaxing massage. If you have been researching the guns available, you probably know this device actually has a solid fanbase.
What You Receive in the Box
When you open the box, you will see your gun, four attachments, a molded travel case and a battery charger. The majority of devices will not offer you anything more. Many of the massage guns do not even include a travel case. The instructions offer a clear visual guide of the muscle groups to target with recommended timing per group.
Pro and Cons of the Ekrin B37 Massage Gun
While no product is perfect, the Ekrin Athletics B37 Percussion Massage Gun comes close. The following sections break down the major pros and cons.
- Targeted massage
- Helps relieve muscle stiffness and soreness
- Deep tissue massage
- Muscle recovery and activation
- Improves your range of motion
- Promotes circulation
- Easy to use
- Good battery life
The overall view of the Ekrin B37 is very positive. From the base product power and capabilities to the customer service, you are hard pressed to find major flaws.
From a power perspective, the 5 speeds offering up to 3200 RPM is more than adequate. This coupled with its battery life and grip allow for a truly professional therapeutic session. Using the attachments is easy, with varying capabilities to target wide or deep depending on your massage needs.
If you run into challenges, the customer services is stop notch. With a warranty that is hard to beat, you will be hard pressed to find a better percussion massage gun for your money.
- Cost (bearing in mind you get what you pay for)
- Noise level can be a little loud (but not more than other massage guns)
- The Lithium-ion battery may not be allowed on a plane
- Breakage due to use is not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty
- The weight can make the gun a little difficult to use depending on your capabilities
There are always setbacks of course. The primary setback is “cost”… coming in at $249, the Ekrin Athletics B37 is an investment for the average person; however, you would be remiss in your diligence if you did not cross-reference that price with the other prevailing prices in this particular market.
For example, the leading contender to Ekrin Athletic’s massage device is the “Hypervolt.”
Among other advantages the B37 has over the Hypervolt is cost.. with the latter costing a full hundred ($100) dollars more.
But that does not end the cost analysis though, because other devices are more cost-effective. Yet, much like it is with anything else, you will be asked to make a trade off as it relates to quality vs. cost. In reading the reviews, most of the cheaper brands of these devices have integrity issues (make, brand recognition, lack of warranty, quality of the product, customer service, etc.).
A Word About Speed vs. Settings
Another con could be the speed settings, the B37 only has “five” where you will find others with “six”. Again, you are invited to utilize some common sense. i.e., if you are offered an additional speed which brings the RPMs to 3200, the B37 gives you that at five settings, so more settings isn’t necessarily “better”.
Outside of that, the B37 truly has no inherent flaws and whatever may be your incidental gripes, its customer service is pretty much-rated top of its class. While there are a legion of percussion devices out there for you to choose from, the B37 continues to meet the needs of its buyers.
My Top Fitness Ekrin B37 Percussion Massage Gun Test Results
The Ekrin Athletics B37 Percussion Massage Gun (20% off with link) was tested by My Top Fitness across 5 main points of Power, Feel/Fit, Battery Life, Storage/Style, and Effectiveness. In summary, the results were outstanding and My Top Fitness highly recommends the Ekrin B37 Massage Gun.
While many rave about the customer service, there were no warranty concerns that required speaking with them, but all other interactions with Ekrin Athletics were top notch/indicative of a strong client experience.
From a power perspective, the B37 provides more than adequate RPMs with deep targeting depending on the attachment and level. In fact, the power was surprising. When testing the stall force (aka, how much pressure applied before the motor stalls out), the percussion generated is such where you don’t need to apply a lot of additional pressure to get a deep massage. In the few times this was done, the pressure was well tolerated and moving up to the next level of RPM met the massage needs if additional pressure needed to be added.
From a pure power play, it was rare that moving to the higher speeds was required. When it was, it was mostly on the larger muscle groups. Most of the massage needs were met on the 2nd level and putting it to 5 was just to test how deep/fast it could go. To be honest, it is rare that much power/speed would be necessary.
The Ekrin B37 has a very natural feel/fit. It does not take much to get used to wielding this awesome device. The closest it compares to is holding a glass of water or beverage can where its built to not require an overgrip, but rather feels natural. The weight is not exhausting and the weight it does have is equally distributed. Comparing to other massage guns, the feel/fit was a welcome surprise versus the awkward angle/weight/feel of other products.
For the amount of power being generated, there were initial concerns that the battery power would be low or start to slow at lower levels. The results were quite the opposite. The advertised battery life of 4+ hours was more than met and the unit is easily rechargeable. Given that its a lithium ion battery, akin to power drills, the B37 does not lose power rather maintains its output until the power is out. Of note, do not continuously charge or leave this unit plugged in, as you want to preserve its battery life and not lose cycles by overcharging. Once the B37 is charged, remove it from the wall plug.
Unboxing the Ekrin Athletics B37 Massage Gun produced a pleasant surprise of a well organized and molded carrying case. Everything has its place and it beams of a “professional grade product”. The color was not industrial like other massage guns, rather a pleasant tone of lighter green and black that distracts from the power underneath. The attachments are easy to use and store, and the instructions are clear and easy to understand (with great pictures and recommendations per muscle target). Bonus points for the cool Ekrin Athletics sticker.
The most important measure of a massage gun is its effectiveness, and this is where the Ekrin B37 shines. Used against the most troublesome parts of a distance runners body, it quickly re-balanced an uneven and painful back by loosening muscles and increasing blood flow. With its grip and angle, difficult to reach areas were able to be targeted with ease. From calf muscles to back and shoulders, the differing attachments were able to address problem areas and even “desk injuries” from the hours sitting behind a screen.
Overall, the Ekrin Athletics B37 Percussion Massage Gun is a “must have” in both an athletes or non-athletes healing arsenal.
Where to Purchase the Ekrin B37 (and get 20% off!)
While the Ekrin Athletics B37 can be purchased on Amazon, My Top Fitness offers 20% off the B37 to its readers by visiting the Ekrin Athletics Website or by using the promo code: Ekrin20
Ekrin B37 Alternatives: The Ekrin B37S and Ekrin Bantam
Beyond the Ekrin B37, there are two other options from Ekrin. The Ekrin B37S and the Ekrin Bantam. In essence, the B37S is “Pro” version of the B37 with more power and more attachments. The Ekrin Bantam is the lightweight or “travel” version when compared to the Ekrin B37.
Both of these massage guns offer the same base functionality of the Ekrin B37 but are more specifically targeted for those who want something either more powerful or more “on the go”.
You can compare the differences between the Ekrin B37, Ekrin B37S, and Ekrin Bantam on the Ekrin site by choosing the “Compare” menu option. The coupon code Ekrin20 works for these massage guns as well.
While the host of massage guns in the market can be daunting, the Ekrin B37 rises above most with its power, style, and ease of us. If are you considering investing in your recovery, whether a pro athlete or just an “Average Joe” needing healing, My Top Fitness highly recommends the Ekrin Athletics B37 Percussion Massager.
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Massage Gun Options
- UP. “UP Muscle M. G. ,Hand Held LCD Cordless Deep Tissue Muscle Massager,5 Files Adjustable Percussion Fascia Relaxation Device with 6 Profession Massage Heads,Gray.” Accessed April 17, 2020. https://amzn.to/3cLXU0q
- JMADENQ. “Professional Muscle Massage G, Handheld Deep Tissue Massager, Wireless Percussion Muscle Device Relieve Muscle Soreness and Stiffness, Rechargeable Quiet Gun Massage Including 4 Heads(Silver).” AMAZON. Accessed April 17, 2020. https://amzn.to/2KDdZcL
- “2020 Massage Prices: Average Massage Therapy Cost (Near Me).” Thervo. Accessed April 18, 2020. https://thervo.com/costs/massage-prices.
- Athletic Movement and Muscle Recovery Technology.” Ekrin Athletics. Accessed April 18, 2020. https://ekrinathletics.com/.
- “Harmful Noise Levels.” MyHealth.Alberta.ca Government of Alberta Personal Health Portal. Accessed April 18, 2020. https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=tf4173. “What Noises Cause Hearing Loss?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 7, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/what_noises_cause_hearing_loss.html.
- Ekrin B37 Massage G for Sore Muscles and Recovery. Accessed April 18, 2020. https://youtu.be/ZhmgU_ega1E.