By now you probably know the benefits of foam rolling for workout recovery. But did you know that foam rolling can also help to get rid of cellulite? This concept comes as a revolution to many, and if you’re one of the millions of people – mainly women – who have cellulite, it can drastically change your life.
What is cellulite?
The term cellulite was first used in the early 1920s and didn’t come into popular usage in the US until the ’60s.
According to an article in the Journal of the European Academy of
Dermatology and Venereology, cellulite (or Gynoid lipodystrophy) is skin dimpling and nodularity in the pelvic regions – specifically the butt, lower legs, and abdomen. It is common in 80-90% of adult women around the world, and although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of cellulite, doctors say that they include changed in metabolism, physiology, diet and exercise habits, hormonal factors, genetic factors, and other causes.
Get rid of Cellulite with foam rolling
Foam rolling, a form of self-myofascial release, is a form of self deep-tissue massage. It can help work out “knotted” muscles, and increase blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. The same reasons that foam rolling helps after a strenuous workout also makes it great for eliminating cellulite: by foam rolling areas with cellulite, you’re massaging the fatty deposits underneath the surface of the skin, which helps to break up the interwoven fat fibers. As a result, the connective tissue and fat fibers go back to normal, and the hypodermis reduces in size. This means smoother, more youthful skin.
Foam rolling cellulite has been proved to be an effective treatment for women of all ages. It is so effective, in fact, that Michele Promaulayko, the editor-in-chief of Women’s Health, featured the technique in her book “20 Pounds Younger: The Life-Transforming Plan for a Fitter, Sexier You!“.
Back of Thigh Roll
The first exercise we’ll do to blast away the cellulite is roll the back of the thighs. Place your foam roller on the ground, and sit atop it, resting the foam roller above the back of your knees. Place your hands behind you for support, then slowly put weight onto your hands in order to lift your butt into the air. You should now be sort of sitting on top of the foam roller, with your hands taking part of the weight. Now, slowly roll forwards, so that the foam roller moves towards your torso, rolling up the back of your thighs. Once you reach the end of your thigh, roll back the other direction. Repeat this for about a minute or two.
The video below, presented by Howcast, explains how to foam roll the hamstrings. This is very similar to the technique used to roll the back of the thighs, so take a look real quick to see this exercise in action.
Front of Thigh Roll
Now that we’ve hit the back of the thighs, let’s roll the front of the thighs. Things are pretty much just the opposite of before. Start with the roller on the ground, and this time lay on top of it, face down. The roller should be above your knees, at the bottom of your thighs. With your hands out in front of you, to balance and take some of the weight, roll forward on the roller, moving it up your thighs. If this exercise is new to you, and you find it a little difficult, you can use your tip-toes to push yourself back and forth. Once you’ve had some practice though, it’s best not to use the toes.
Here’s an excellent video showing the proper technique for foam rolling the cellulite in the front of your thighs:
The Glute Roll
We frequently recommend that athletes foam roll both the gluteus maximus, as well as the gluteus medius. The good news is, these same rolls will help reduce cellulite in the glute (butt) area! To hit the glutes on your foam roller, first place the roller on the ground, then sit with your butt directly on top of it, feet on the ground with your legs bent at 90 degrees. Your hands should be placed behind you, supporting some of your weight. Lean slightly to one side, then slowly roll back and forth. Repeat for about a minute, then switch sides. If you work out some kinks while you’re eliminating that cellulite, then it’s a win-win! Below is a video describing the exercise.