It’s not always a good idea to continue working out unless you’ve recovered from the previous one. Luckily, many recovery tools are available these days to speed up the process. Some of them, like massage guns, do more than just help you recover. In fact, they boost your performance and make you stronger!
With that being said, you should know that the two most popular tools on the market are foam rollers and massage guns, but which one is the best?
While both are equally important, one might be better for you depending on your budget and athletic needs.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the working mechanism and the benefits of muscle percussion therapy and foam rolling. Let’s find out which tool is better for your needs.
Massage Gun - Pros & Cons
Massage guns are becoming a quick favorite among trainers and athletes alike.
A muscle massager gun works on muscle percussion therapy principles, thus using vibration to break up fatigue and rejuvenate muscles.
Additionally, it releases lactic muscle buildup, which is the primary source of muscle fatigue.
Along with speedy recovery, a muscle percussion therapy device also increases blood flow. It can also improve circulation due to vibrations.
Why a Muscle Massager Gun?
Along with the benefits, a muscle percussion therapy device has design and usability pros too:
- They do more than just helping with muscle recovery, they enhance your muscles’ performance, boost blood circulation and range of motion.
- Massager guns even help with some of life hassles like cellulite, stress, or anxiety!
- Save money on professional massages! massage guns are extremely easy to use and usually portable. Make sure yours have different speed and head options, like the Exogun Dreampro.
- Your massage gun can reach any part of your body.
Who Should Use a Massage Gun?
A muscle percussion therapy device is suitable for people who want quick and targeted relief. If you play a sport or work out extensively, a massage gun will do you more good than a foam roller.
For instance, if you’re an athlete who can't take a day off, a massage gun is suitable.
Along with providing instant relief, it also helps you recover faster by sending vibrations deep into your muscles.
Drawbacks of Massage Guns
Although they can do wonders for recovery and blood circulation, massage guns have some flaws as well:
- They’re much more expensive than foam rollers. You may need to invest over $250 for a massage gun. While this may not be a lot for an athlete, it’s a huge sum for someone who works out in their home gym.
- Not everyone can use a massager gun. Pregnant women may need to talk to a professional first.
- Even though you can control them to some extent, massage guns work on their own accord. Most of them don’t have adjustable speed settings either, which is the reason why it’s recommended starting with an all-users massager gun, like the Exogun Dreampro, that has different heads and different speed options.
- Massage guns alone can’t do much for you. Their action should be combined with proper nutrition, hydration, and sleeping habits.
Foam Roller - Pros & Cons
Using the principle of myofascial release, foam rollers also break lactic acid and increase motion.
The myofascial tissues surround muscles all over your body. After a workout, these tissues get tightened and sensitive. Foam rollers loosen up the muscles by releasing tension from pressure or trigger points.
It’s mostly hard to locate a specific area as the source of pain. Thus, foam rollers offer relief to a broad muscle area instead of a particular region.
Why a Foam Roller?
- Foam rollers can alleviate pain over large areas. For instance, a foam roller, unlike a massage gun, can cater to your whole back at once.
- Foam rollers tend to be gentler around knots and trigger points. Since you are using them manually, you can control the intensity of the massage with ease.
- Foam rollers are much cheaper than massage guns.
- Foam rollers also increase flexibility and lead to overall recovery.
Who Should Use a Foam Roller?
A foam roller is best for people who have a tight budget and need something for daily use.
You can use a foam roller to lessen fatigue and improve flexibility after an average work out. Keep in mind that foam rollers are not entirely effective against extensive workouts.
If you like to be in full control of the massage and want relief from daily muscle soreness, opt for a foam roller.
Drawbacks of Foam Rollers
- Because of its size, you can’t use them anywhere on your body.
- It is not as portable as a handheld massager gun, so it’s harder to carry around.
- Foam rollers do not apply the same amount of force as massage guns. So, the resulting massage is not as intense as percussive therapy.
Final Verdict: Which One Is Better?
It's safe to say that one tool's superiority over the other depends on your particular needs.
If you have a tight budget of less than $100 and need something for regular use, a foam roller will do it. Otherwise, the Exogun Dreampro is priced at $159 only!
However, if you're ready to drop a few hundred bucks and want an intense massage for long-term relief, go for a massage gun.
Although both are meant to be recovery tools, they can be harmful if not used properly. Thus, do not overuse them and follow the manufacturers’ instructions for safe and beneficial usage.