Foam Roller vs. Sports Massage

By: Louise Rigby

There are multiple methods for reducing muscular tension, the most popular being foam roller and sports massage treatments. But which one is better?

The foam roller is a piece of equipment in the shape of a log and is used to perform self-massage and myofascial release using one’s own body weight. Often criticised for being very painful it can be extremely useful in relieving muscular tension following a workout at the gym. Foam rollers come in all shapes and sizes so can easily be packed into a gym bag. However using a foam roller requires skill and also some core strength to balance on the thin log of foam.



Sports massage is a type of deep tissue massage that can be performed by trained therapists such as sports therapists, physiotherapists, and sports massage therapists. The application of sports massage usually takes around 10-20 minutes per body area and can be extremely beneficial in treating areas of condense muscular tightness such as trigger points and muscular knots. The benefits of sports massage are extensive and include reduced muscular tension, increased muscular flexibility and also the therapist is able to treat muscles that may be hard to reach using a foam roller.



The shared benefits of using a foam roller and receiving a sports massage include;

  • Reduced muscular tightness
  • Increased tissue flexibility
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Promoted healing
  • Reduced intensity of DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness)
  • Decreased pain


woman receiving leg massage

Overall, both sports massage and foam rolling are excellent methods of reducing muscular tension and tightness. Foam rolling can be easier to do when limited by time. Sports massage is excellent at reducing tension, promoting healing and increasing recovery from exercise. The sports massage therapists at Fierce fit can help assess and treat muscular tension. The benefits of using a foam roller and receiving a sports massage include increased tissue flexibility, reduced muscular tightness, reduced intensity of DOMS, decreased pain, increased tissue healing and reduced risk of injury.

Louise Rigby

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