Dimples aren't always a good thing. Dimples in your cheeks or lower back are cute; dimples on your legs or arms from cellulite, not so much.
While spas and medical centers offer pricey treatments that offer potential cures, inexpensive natural remedies can be just as effective. One powerfully simple method is to use gentle pressure and your own body weight to release the body's connective tissue. Foam rolling does just that.
Where Cellulite Comes From
Your connective tissue is like a thin layer of plastic wrap that covers the surface of every muscle, says Lauren Roxburgh, alignment expert, personal trainer and author of "Taller, Slimmer, Younger." "The problem is when this connective tissue becomes dry, blocked and/or weakened," she says. "The underlying fat is able to push through and appears as unsightly dimpled cellulite on the skin."
While cellulite can also be caused by hormonal imbalances, lymphatic issues or more serious medical conditions, there are some causes you can do something about. "Fascia can be weakened by many things, including dehydration, poor posture and muscle tone, lack of movement, bad circulation and the impacts of gravity and aging," says Roxburgh. "The good news is there are some simple things we can do at home to combat those other causes of weakened connective tissue."
Get Rid of Cellulite Naturally
Staying hydrated and eating a mostly plant-based diet will nourish your skin and help flush out toxins. If you're feeling stressed or sluggish, Roxburgh suggests adding rebounding — low-impact exercises done on a mini trampoline — to your workout routine.
But any kind of exercise routine can help increase your circulation and energy levels while also smoothing out collagen. And beginning any exercise routine that incorporates a few foam roller moves can boost those benefits, Roxburgh says.
How a Foam Roller Reduces Cellulite
"Because the foam roller helps break up those dense areas and blockages we all get in our fascia, it helps to boost circulation and improve lymphatic drainage," Roxburgh says. "All of this keeps your fascia healthy, and that helps to prevent that pesky fat from pushing through to the skin."
Roxburgh developed an anti-cellulite foam roller routine after studying structural integration and classical Pilates. She now works with clients to realign the body and combat the effects of gravity and aging using foam rollers.
Her 21-day foam rolling routine requires just 10 to 15 minutes a day. Here are some of her favorite moves to decrease cellulite:
1. Back of the Thigh Roll
HOW TO DO IT: Sit on a mat with the roller under your upper legs or hamstrings. Place your hands on the mat behind you with the fingers reaching back and the chest open. Press your hands into the mat to lift up your hips.
Continue pressing your hands into the mat and engage your core to roll yourself forward, moving the roller from the sitz bones (the bones that you sit on) to just above the knees. Draw the roller back to your sitz bones. Repeat this movement eight to 10 times.
2. Front of the Thigh Roll
HOW TO DO IT: Lie down with your belly facing the mat, elbows under your shoulders, palms down. Keeping your legs straight, place the roller just above the front of your knees. Engage your core to prop yourself up and protect your lower back.
Ground through your forearms and bend your knees. Using your arms and core, exhale as you roll the roller up the front of your thighs to your hipbones. Inhale as you press the roller down to just above the front of your knees. Repeat this movement eight to 10 times.
3. Figure Four
HOW TO DO IT: Sit on the roller and reach your left arm behind you with your left palm on the mat for stability. Cross your right ankle over your left knee in a figure four.
Shift your weight slightly over to the right hip/glute area and roll back and fourth a few inches in each direction. Next, roll in circles to help increase circulation and blood flow. Repeat this movement on the other side.
4. Inverted Tush Roll
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on a mat with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Lift your hips off the mat and slide the roller under your hips/sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of your spine).
Lift your knees up so they're hovering directly over your hips. Release your knees over to the right, and then over to the left. Continue to roll side to side for eight times on each side.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you struggle with cellulite? What have you done to reduce it? Have you tried foam rolling? What was your experience? Do you do any of these foam rolling moves? Which ones are your favorites? Do you have any others that you'd add to the list? Share your suggestions, stories and questions in the comments section below!