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Are Foam Rollers Any Good Anymore?

Sponsored by HYDRAGUN

Most people don’t know this, but foam rollers have been around for a long time. It was first invented by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais in the 1920s as a means to reduce pain from his knee injury.

To put things into perspective; the television was invented in 1927, modern electric traffic lights were invented in 1923, and water skis were invented in 1922.

The designs and functionalities of televisions, traffic lights, and water skis have come a long way since the 1920s, with each decade bringing new improvements to almost all inventions.

Yet, the design of foam rollers has remained relatively unchanged for almost a century.

Sure, some foam rollers now make use of vibration therapy. However, there haven’t been significant changes. Foam rollers aren’t easier, more intuitive to use, or more effective than since they were first invented.

How to use a foam roller?

If you handed a foam roller to a complete beginner and told them, “Use this to help you relieve sore muscles and tightness.” They’re probably going to be confused. And understandably so. It’s not something that comes naturally to people.

How foam rollers work is that you use your body weight to apply pressure onto the foam roller and then move around to apply pressure across the muscles. The spikes, ridges, or bumps will press into the muscle to loosen it up and relieve pain.

Is it convenient or easy to use? Not really. You need to find enough space to yourself to be able to use it. And it looks pretty awkward if you’re not a seasoned user. But it still works well to loosen and relieve muscles once you get used to it.

Are there better alternatives to foam rollers?

While there hasn’t been meaningful or significant improvements to foam rollers themselves, Dr Jason Wersland started a revolution in the muscle recovery space in 2008 with his invention—the massage gun. Kind of like what cars were to horse carriages. Or, the television was to books and newspapers.

Massage guns are a whole new invention that solve similar problems to foam rollers—and they are way more effective. They are automatic, less awkward (you don’t have to roll around on the ground), and more targeted at specific body areas. Plus, they are more convenient to use practically anywhere.

But massage guns are not without their own problems. Back in the day when the first massage gun was hobbled together, it was LOUD, clunky, and honestly not a very pleasant experience.

Since then, they have come a long way. Longer battery life, different attachment heads, way better sound insulation and motor percussion, and better ergonomics.

The truth about foam rollers vs massage guns?

Because the foam roller has been around for much longer, there are more studies on the effectiveness of foam rollers. Massage guns are relatively new technology, and so doesn't have many studies on the results.

However, the closest study is one published in 2014 in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Researchers did find that vibration technology did reduce DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) by at least 30%.

All in all though, most experts don't think there's a significant difference in terms of results when it comes to foam rollers versus massage guns. Massage guns are just more convenient to use, require less work and effort, and are more targeted.

Are massage guns perfect?

Not quite. As with any technology, there’s always room for improvement. Right now, there are certain trade-offs when engineering a massage gun. That’s why there is no perfect massage gun out there.

Well, if you want a QUIET massage gun, more often than not, it’s going to be smaller and weaker. You can invest in a device with a better motor or better designed sound insulation to reduce noise leakage, but that is going to make the massage gun more expensive to produce than the average massage gun.

On the other hand, if you want a STRONG massage gun, it’s going to be bigger, heavier, and noisier. In order to have a longer amplitude, the motor needs to be bigger. But that means the motor is also slower, because it takes longer for the motor to make one revolution.

And bigger motors are naturally louder, so you need a more solid sound insulation build (better materials) to contain all that noise generated.

And if you want a smaller and lighter massage gun? Well, it’s going to be weaker and less sturdy, which is a sign of an inferior motor. Smaller motors may also be able to attain higher speeds but they’re usually unable to generate enough force to get a good massage. And smaller motors also mean they can’t knead deep (lower amplitude), which might not be what you want if you like a strong massage.

So how do you choose the right massage gun?

If you’ve done your research, you’ve probably seen a wide range of massage guns. From $20 marketplace knockoffs, to branded $900 top of the line devices. What causes such a huge price difference?

Here are the 5 B's to consider when choosing the right massage gun:

1. Build Quality

The motor is the foundation of every massage gun. Not all motors are made equal. Some are built to last, while others are just built to last long enough to make the sale.

One of the key indicators of a good motor is the sound it produces. Just like how the roar of a Ferrari’s engine sounds different from a Toyota’s engine. A good motor sounds smooth. Poorly-designed motors sound like buzzsaws and can result in a bad user experience.

2. Battery

One of the key indicators of a good motor is the sound it produces. Just like how the roar of a Ferrari’s engine sounds different from a Toyota’s engine. A good motor sounds smooth. Poorly-designed motors sound like buzzsaws and can result in a bad user experience.

3. Brand Trust

Can you trust the brand to live up to their promises and claims? Most cheap massage gun brands aren’t trustworthy. If your device breaks after a month of use, can you get it replaced or repaired? If you paid $40 for it, chances are slim. However, there are many legitimate massage gun brands out there that stand by their devices and will go out of their way to provide great customer service.

4. Budget

A problem with most cheaper devices is that they are poorly made and can only last 2-6 months before dying. They will then need to be replaced. There is a saying, “Buy nice or buy twice.” It’s a far better investment to get a device that will last, than a cheaper one that you have to replace often. You should also consider how much you’re willing to pay for a massage gun based on your needs. A higher price tag may not necessarily translate to a better product.

5. Buying Risk

Most cheaper massage guns break down really quickly. Think less than a year. That’s why cheaper massage gun brands don’t have warranties lasting more than a year. And they definitely don’t have money-back guarantees.

If you’re seriously looking for a massage gun, then it’s important that you find a massage gun with longer warranty and money-back guarantee, so that you can try out the product before committing to purchasing it. I recommend purchasing a gun with at least a 2-week money-back guarantee period, because the flaws associated with most guns usually start to rear their ugly heads within the first week or two.

Don’t know where to start? Here’s a pro tip for you.

My (sort of biased) opinion is to give HYDRAGUN a try. I’ve tried many different massage guns myself, and HYDRAGUN is one of the best and most well-rounded massage guns out there. And more bang for its buck.

Our team went through more than 20 designs and builds and ended up with the version you see today. It has its own distinctive suite of specifications that we requested specifically, such as a better motor and battery. That’s why even if you’ve seen similar devices out there, they’re not the same as HYDRAGUN.

We’re so confident that you will enjoy the experience that we have a 30-day “Love it or Return it” Guarantee. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You purchase it and try it for one whole month. If you don’t love it, return it to us and we’ll give you a refund. No questions asked.

Because any massage gun company worth its salt should have a similar guarantee. So, ask around, check for credible reviews, and do your homework before you buy.

Is it time for an upgrade?

At the end of the day, if you’re already using foam rollers, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Don’t get left behind riding horses while everyone is switching to automobiles.

Be part of the future. Join hundreds of athletes, champions, and sports legends today. You won’t regret it.

If you’re ready to experience a new breakthrough in your training, click here.
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