Foam rolling is awesome. There are tons of good reasons to include a foam rolling session in your post workout routine on a daily basis. In all its glory, foam rolling can relieve pain, relax muscles and be the cheapest massage around but if its done improperly, foam rolling can wreak havoc on your body.
Rolling where it hurts. Using a foam roller on areas that are already inflamed might increase inflammation and your risk of injury. One muscle hurts because an imbalance, tension or a knot in another place is pulling it out of position. Be sure to roll muscles surrounding painful spots with big sweeping motions before going after the knots.
Using the roller on your lower back. Rolling your lower back can cause the muscles around your spine to contract in an effort to protect it. This has the ability to throw your spine out of alignment and put unnecessary pressure on organs like the kidneys. Use the foam roller along the length of your rib cage but skip the area between your last rib and your hips.
Putting intensity first. Much like other fitness, wellness and eating habits, an activity needs to be done regularly to be as effective as possible. While you might not feel sore on a daily basis, rolling before and after every workout is a surefire way to help keep injuries at bay. Roll slowly so muscles can respond to the stimulus and after easing over the entire area, concentrate on painful spots.
Holding your breath. Foam rolling can be painful and one wonderful, natural way to manage pain is to breathe. Holding your breath prevents much needed oxygen and blood from flowing into muscles that desperately want to recover from a hard workout. Holding your breath can also lead to poor posture which makes rolling less effective and can do more harm than good.