The New Theragun Wave Duo by Therabody Is the Perfect On-the-Go Massage Tool

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AHH, THE classic vibrating foam roller. It’s been around for several years now, and in that time, it’s become a training staple, a tough piece of foam that kneads at tight muscles while delivering pain-dulling vibrations, too.

The thing with the vibrating foam roller: It’s just a little bit large, not the kind of thing I can easily fit in a backpack for a trip to the parents’ house, or a flight across the country. And that’s where the Theragun Wave Duo by Therabody comes into the picture—and why you just may fall in love with this budget- and space-friendly $99 massage tool.

There are a host of ways you can release and relax your fascia with vibration these days. The most prominent of these is the market that Therabody kickstarted, the massage gun market. Massage guns are typically rather pricey, and many are rather large. Step down from that, and you have the vibrating foam roller. These devices are often more moderately priced, but good luck fitting one of them into your tightly packed carry-on luggage.

The Therabody Wave Duo, on the other hand, finds a unique nexus of performance, price, and portability.

The Design Is Perfect for Small Muscles


THE LACROSSE ball has long been a gold-standard tool for releasing small, tight muscles. Sure, you might foam roll your midback or your quad, but it’s not always easy to roll out your lats or your triceps.

The answer to that problem has long been the lacrosse ball. Or, in some gyms, trainers tape two lacrosse balls together, adding a bit more stability and surface area to the equation. The Wave Duo essentially borrows from this design, so it’s something built from necessity. Therabody then places a grippy black coating on the exterior, making it a bit easier to hold the skin as you row.

This allows me to do something I can’t really do with a massage gun, and something that doesn’t very often work well with certain vibrating massage balls either: I can tack and stretch. Tacking and stretching is very often the best way to attack a tight muscle: You essentially pin a tight, bothersome area of muscle (say, your quad) with your roller, apply pressure, and then you move at a joint that will help “stretch the muscle” (in the case of your quad, that means flexing your knee). Working through “reps” of that movement at the joint can go a long way to relieving muscle tightness.

This isn’t something that I can truly do with a massage gun. And yes, I can do it with a foam roller, but the grainier material also pinches and hurts. None of that is an issue with the Wave Duo.

It’s Built With Travel in Mind

THE WAVE Duo is also a device that’s meant to be taken on the go, right down to the most thoughtful details. The hefty device comes with a cloth carrying bag, and even without that, it’s plenty durable. The Wave Duo has the toughness and rigidity of a foam roller, and it feels substantial and durable in your hands. That’s key in an on-the-go device.

The bigger plus, however, is this: It charges simply via a USB-C charger. For the last few years, nearly every massage gun and foam roller that’s hit the market has relied on some sort of proprietary charger. And yes, that was one more thing that I needed to pack in my bag if I hit the road. But I can charge the Duo off the same charger I use for my iPad Pro and my Macbook, making for incredibly easy packing.

For overnight trips, I don’t even need the charger, anyway, because the Duo gets 200 minutes of battery life. That’s equivalent to more than 3 hours of soft-tissue work.

The Vibration Settings Offer Versatility


ACTUALLY, THEY’RE almost too much. You turn the Duo on easily, by holding the power button, and then you can hit the button again to cycle through any of five vibration settings.

This means an option for everyone and every situation—and this is true in more ways than one. Some people will prefer the lighter touch of the first two settings, while other people will prefer the more aggressive vibration that comes with the three more other settings. (There’s actually a sixth setting, too, because the Duo works just fine if you don’t turn it on at all, still gripping tissue and kneading your sore muscles.)

The best part about it all: Unlike some foam rollers, which power up and practically run away from you on the floor because of the potency of the vibration, the Duo is small enough that it very rarely rolls out of place.

It all adds up to one of the finest soft-tissue release devices on the market—and one that’s built for a variety of situations.

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