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Comparing Massage for Performance and Recovery with Foam Rolling

Most people see foam rolling as the perfect massage option for the poor man. This is not surprising since it is more of a DIY approach compared with conventional massage.

However, both foam rolling and massage are intended to achieve the same objective — which is helping your muscles feel better after applying a little bit of pressure on them.

Massage and foam rolling requires the use of long gliding motions across your body and on your muscles to relieve them. They cannot be compared in relation to how they can be used and their benefits to the body. Indeed, there’s a time when one may be more efficient than the other.

In this post, we will take a quick look at the differences between foam rolling and massage for performance and recovery.



Foam rolling requires the use of cylindrical pieces of compressed foam known as foam rollers. Foam rollers come in different densities, shapes, and lengths. If you are a newbie, you might want to consider beginning your foam rolling experience with softer foam rollers. Rolling your muscles can be pretty uncomfortable especially if they are tight and sore. You will have to find the best way to work with your foam roller to get the best results. Foam rolling requires that you apply the perfect amount of pressure on your muscles so that it doesn’t feel ridiculously painful.

Massage, on the other hand, comes in various forms. The type of massage you need depends on what you are hoping to achieve. For instance, relaxation massages require light pressure on the muscles while other types may require more intense pressure. Massage can be done using the feet, elbows, and hands of the massage therapist.

If you need other effective ways to relieve your muscles, you can try this out.



The Best Time To Perform Foam Rolling

A renowned strength and conditioning specialist indicated the foam rolling is best done before your workout. The reason for this is that foam rollers have a unique way of prepping your muscles for workouts.

There are two main reasons why foam rolling is more preferable before workouts than massage. First, you can take your foam rollers with you wherever you are heading to the gym. You can’t do this with your massage therapist. Second, foam rolling is more stimulating than massage. Hence, making it perfect before workouts because it energizes you and enhances your focus.


The Best Time To Take A Massage

Unlike foam rolling, massage relaxes your muscles and improves your mood. It enhances the quality of your sleep, hence, enhancing recovery. Relaxation helps to put your body in recovery mode, making massage perfect after workouts.

Massage activates your parasympathetic nervous system, slowing down your breathing and heart rate. It also helps in returning blood to your organs for proper food digestion.


Bottom Line

Massage and foam rolling have a similar objective which is to relieve your muscles. While massage is best deployed after a workout, foam rolling is best deployed before workouts. 

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