By 2027, we'll be spending almost half a billion pounds a year on massage guns. Still, despite percussive therapy making a big noise in the market, roller sales are expected to surge by 86% over the next half-decade.
To us, that sounds like people are still unsure which one is the better tool for recovery. That's why we've examined the benefits of both massage guns and foam rollers to finally end the debate. Like both of these tools, we hope that makes you go aah.
One study showed that post-workout pounding could accelerate recovery by stimulating blood flow for longer – but evidence for this new tech is scarce.
The latest connected guns deliver relatively pain-free, fully-coached therapy sessions in 15 minutes. Knots don’t stand a chance.
Effective rolling takes at least 90 seconds per muscle group. The technique can be hard to master, and the process is usually uncomfortable or painful.
At £550, it’s the go-to device for the Fittest Man in History, Mat Fraser, with a bundle of attachments and warranty.
Lululemon Double Roller
Enjoy (well, wince through) two rollers for just £50. Use the softer edges for your arms and legs; the inner roll on your back.
Massage gun motors subject our ears to anything between a quiet buzz and the rumble of a Tube train. But most are as loud as the hum of of microwave.
Sessions with non-vibrating foam rollers can be completed in monk-like meditative silence – and one benefit pre-workout is activating your mind-muscle connection.
You’ll find cut-price guns from Amazon, but the cheapest from reliable brands cost more than even the most advanced foam roller. Necessity or luxury?
Basic rollers start from as little as a tenner. Connected, vibrating rollers with in-app coaching tech, such as a JaxJox FoamRoller Connect, can cost £200.
MH's verdict: the foam roller wins!
Though massage guns are a promising new tool, there’s too little long-term research into their performance and recovery benefits for them to aim for the top spot just yet. That means this battle comes down to cash and convenience – so keep rolling for now.
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