Foam Roller or Massage Gun? Which is More Effective?

I think we’ve all had that leg day that is so challenging, so heavy, or so new you can’t move properly the next day. Or that ab session that leaves you practically incapable of sitting up in bed the next morning without rolling over and pushing yourself up.

While that is a feeling of accomplishment, it can sometimes last for days, typically hindering your gym performance.

So, minimizing muscle soreness is key to a consistent workout routine.

In the fitness realm, foam rolling has become a popular way to do this, but more recently, massage guns have become the newest “essential fitness gadget.”

But is there any real scientific evidence to suggest you need one? Here, we discuss the benefits of both and which you should opt for.

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Benefits of Foam Rolling

Releases Muscle Tension

Foam rolling gently releases tension your muscles are holding. During a workout, you’re contracting your muscles. Every movement is slowly breaking down your tiny muscle fibers, and causing tension.

If you do not cool down properly, stretch, or foam roll after a workout, your chances of prolonged muscle soreness dramatically increase.

A great way to release that tension is by foam rolling. Gently rolling your muscles over the textured foam allows them to slowly release, preventing injury.

Boosts Circulation & Lymphatic Flow

Studies show that foam rolling improves arterial blood flow & lymphatic circulation.

Good circulation is crucial to your overall health. A healthy blood flow transports white blood cells in your immune system to be utilized wherever needed.

And keeping a healthy blood flow means you’re keeping an oxygen flow, which helps your heart and lungs function properly.

Increases Range of Motion & Flexibility

Foam rolling increases flexibility by gently releasing knots and tension, allowing a deeper stretch without injury.

Improves Posture

My favorite way to use my foam roller is my back. It is a great way to release any knots or tightness. Foam rolling can also help straighten the shoulders which helps elongate your frame.

Benefits of Massage Guns

Reduce Inflammation

Massage guns can help flush out excess fluid (lymph fluid and venous blood) into the circulatory system an promotes blood flow.

Minimize Muscle Soreness & Tension

Just like a foam roller, massage guns can help reduce soreness and tension. They can also help with scar tissue/adhesions. However, unlike a foam roller, it hasn’t been shown to reduce your chances of injury.

Massage guns also haven’t been shown to improve mobility or posture, like a foam roller can.

The Best of Both

With the research we have now, the benefits of foam rolling outweigh those of massage guns. Which is nice, because massage guns can be expensive.

BUT, massage guns do feel pretty nice. Its a massage. Who doesn’t like that?

This electric foam roller gives you the best of both worlds. It has 5 different vibration speeds, allowing you to customize your tension-reducing experience.

The reason I went for this electric foam roller specifically, is for it’s honeycomb foam design. This allows for deeper penetration, further releasing the muscles.

This is my favorite foam roller to use after every workout (especially lower body workouts) to help release muscle tension & reduce soreness, which helps increase flexibility.


Studies continue to suggest that foam rollers are overall more beneficial to the body over massage guns.

Foam RollersMassage Guns
Reduced Muscle TensionReduced Muscle Tension
Improved PostureX
Reduced InflammationReduced Inflammation
Decreased Muscle SorenessDecreased Muscle Soreness
Reduced Chance of Muscle InjuryX
Boosts CirculationBoosts Circulation
Stimulates Lymphatic FlowStimulates Lymphatic Flow
Improves FlexibilityX
Improves MobilityX
Foam Rollers vs Massage Guns