Chirp RPM: If a Massage Gun and a Foam Roller Had a Baby

A woman uses a recovery device on her calves.

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If only there was a device that could relieve muscle soreness like a foam roller and release tension like a massage gun… But there is!

I’ve just discovered my new favorite recovery tool- the Chirp RPM (rolling percussive massager).

Imagine if a foam roller and a massage gun had a baby and that baby was a cleverly designed, two-in-one, multi-area massage device that could relieve pain, accelerate recovery, and improve range of motion.

Chirp RPM

A rolling percussive massager that relieves sore muscles, releases tension, and accelerates recovery.

  • 5 speed levels
  • Use handheld or with hands-free base
  • Rechargeable
  • 60 day guarantee and 1-year warranty
  • HSA/FSA approved
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Chirp RPM rolling percussive massager
I love the packaging the Chirp RPM came in. The package is designed to look like a box of flour, so it won't get stolen off your front porch!

How does the Chirp RPM work?

By combining the benefits of percussive massage and rolling massage, the Chirp RPM helps to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue with the click of a button. The exterior roll cage has a dozen or so massage rollers that look like rolling pins covered in bumps. When you turn the device on, not only do the rollers rotate, the entire cage rotates as well.

Simply turn on the device by holding down the circular button for three seconds. Then, use the button to select one of 5 speeds. I like level 3 for smaller muscles, like my calves and feet, and 4-5 for larger muscles like quads and hamstrings. In order to make the device spin, you have to hold down the oval trigger button while in use. There’s also a forward and reverse switch, so you can change the direction of rotation.  

It has a rechargeable battery, and there’s a charging port in one of the handles. In addition, there’s a hand-free base and it’s my favorite feature!

A person using a Chirp RPM on the calf.

How to use the Chirp RPM

The Chirp RPM is the perfect foam roller for lazy people. I jest… but only partly because my favorite feature is how this device works in the hands-free base. If you flip the Chirp RPM so the oval trigger button is facing down, when it sits in the base, the device will spin on its own. This capability makes it excellent for a hands-free calf and foot massage, and it’s by far my favorite way to use the device. 

You can also use it in the base on your quads and hamstrings. But keep in mind that it has a stall force of 60 lb., so you probably don’t want to place all of your weight on it. 

It’s also great to use as a handheld to massage your arms, chest, shoulders, glutes, and back- pretty much anywhere that gets sore, tight, and needs relief. 

How is it different than a massage gun?

The Chirp RPM is different than a massage gun because it incorporates both percussive massage and rolling massage. Also, it has a width of 7 inches, as opposed to a 2-inch head, so it’s great for larger muscles with a lot of surface area.

It has the same max speed of most massage guns on the market- 2400 BPM, but it doesn’t go as deep. The massage depth of the Chirp RPM is 13 mm, as opposed to a typical massage gun with a depth of 16 mm, so you’re less likely to cause damage to muscles.

A person using a Chirp RPM on the quads.

Pros and Cons

Let’s start with what I like about the Chirp RPM. First, the massage is gentle and smooth, unlike a massage gun that’s sometimes too intense for smaller muscles like calves. The hands-free application is by far the best feature of the Chirp RPM, and it’s well worth the price for that capability alone. 

However, I’m used to a high powered massage gun, and I wasn’t sure if the Chirp RPM would be powerful enough to make a real difference on sore muscles. But, I discovered that it works quite well at a level 3 on my calves and feet and a level 5 on larger muscles like quads and hamstrings. 

One con is that the device won’t spin unless you hold down the trigger button, or have it in the hands-free base. The company says this is a safety feature that also saves battery, but it isn’t the most convenient when you’re trying to maneuver to hard to reach areas. It would be great if there was a switch that could turn it on and off instead of a trigger. 

Ultimately, the Chirp RPM is a completely different device than a massage gun, or a foam roller. A massage gun works better for the targeted release of muscle knots that need more intense pressure, while the Chirp RPM is better for gentle, overall relief of larger muscle groups. 

Most people don’t like foam rolling, because it takes some time and you have to put some effort into it. If that’s you, the ability to electronically foam roll yourself is another vote in favor of the Chirp RPM.  

A woman using a recovery device next to flowers.

Overall, it’s my favorite new recovery tool and has been saving my legs as we approach the first races of the season. I like to use it on my calves and feet after a hard run or bike ride, and it feels so good!

At my husband’s birthday party over the weekend, we let our friends test it out. The most common response was, “Oh… this is nice!” Coming from a room full of triathletes, that pretty much says all you need to know. 

If you’re new here, I post on the blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Be sure to follow @bblife234 and @thetriplethreatlife on Instagram to find out when they’re live.