Foam rollers and massage guns are the two most popular and effective tools for mobility, muscle recovery, and pre-workout muscle activation, but most of us are not sure which one should be used. You may wonder when and how to best incorporate each tool into your pre- and post-workout routines. Although both foam rollers and top massage guns can promote blood circulation and relieve muscle tension, understanding the subtle differences between them will help you maximize the effectiveness of each recovery tool.
To help clarify the advantages, disadvantages, differences and best uses of popular foam rollers and massage guns for exercise recovery, we turned to Dr. Grayson Wickham PT, DPT, CSCS, PhD in physical therapy, certified strength and conditioning experts, and Movement Vault The founder of, this is a website that helps people reduce pain, prevent injuries, and improve flexibility and mobility.
Foam rollers and massage guns can be used to release tension and increase mobility of muscles, fascia and other connective tissues around joints by sending input to the nervous system. Dr. Wickham said, considering the excessive tightness, restriction and damage of other tissues and joints in the hip caused by sitting at the desk for several hours at a time, as well as our modern lifestyle. â???? It all boils down to the lack of variety of exercises and the postures in which you spend the most time. Today, most people do not exercise as much as their bodies are designed, and more than that? ? ? ? ? t Move in enough different positions and ranges of motion in their daily activities, â????? he explained.
According to Dr. Wickham, typical modern lifestyles often lack rotational movement, such as shredding on the right side or picking up things and placing them on the left side. On the contrary, whether in the gym or in daily life, we tend to focus on forward and backward exercises, such as walking, squatting, and running. â????? In addition to the lack of various activities throughout the day, most people spend too much time sitting on the sofa or at the desk, â????? Dr. Wickham pointed out that this immobility plus Poor posture can cause muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and joints to tighten.
Here is where the foam roller and massage gun come in. â???? The best solution is to pay attention to your posture throughout the day, perform various exercises throughout the day, and combine effective stretching and movement procedures several times a week. ? ? ? Dr. Wickham said. â???? Effective activity procedures will include muscle and fascia release techniques using foam rollers or massage guns, active stretching and muscle activation techniques. â????
Want to know how the massage gun and foam roller work? Foam rolling and massage guns are considered a manual therapy, which refers to any technique that sends input to your nervous system to relax your muscles and connective tissue, ultimately increasing the range of motion around the muscles or joints. Contrary to popular belief, foam rollers and massage guns do not physically break muscle knots; instead, they stimulate the nervous system to relax the tension of surrounding tissues.
Dr. Wickham said that foam rollers can improve the flexibility and mobility of muscles, fascia, or joints by reducing muscle tone or tension and increasing blood flow in the treatment area. However, he said these benefits are relatively short-lived. â???? When you use effective techniques to foam-roll a tight muscle group, you will almost immediately reduce the tension of the muscle group and be able to move your joints through a larger range of motion. The disadvantage is that this reduced muscle tone usually only lasts for a few hours-or at most a day or two, -? ? ? ? He explained. â???? This is why it is very important to actively stretch the muscle immediately after foam rolling on the same muscle. â????
Another major disadvantage of foam rollers includes their large size, bulkiness, and the large and open floor space that requires them to be used correctly. Therefore, they are not particularly suitable for travel. Using them correctly can also be challenging, requiring physical strength and the guidance of the correct technique to get the most results.
Dr. Wickham said that there are also some contraindications to the use of foam rollers, including foam rolling over burned skin, unhealed wounds, any type of tumor growth, or anything that causes intense pain, numbness, tingling, or burning. ????
The massage gun is placed on top of the muscles, head taps and repetitive movements focus on stimulating the nervous system, triggering the relaxation of surrounding muscles and connective tissues. The advantages, disadvantages and contraindications of massage guns mostly reflect the advantages, disadvantages and contraindications of foam rollers. â???? The main difference is that the massage gun provides more aggressive and concentrated stimulation to the muscles. â???? In addition, massage guns such as Theragun Prime in the picture above are smaller, more portable, and easier to use, but they are also more expensive.
In the end, both the foam roller and the massage gun help recovery in the same way-by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system to relax muscles and tissues, and increase blood flow to the treated tissues.
Post time: Nov-02-2021