A few weeks back, a female friend of mine introduced me to a foam roller routine that gets rid of cellulite on the legs, and I thought I should share it with you guys! It looks relatively simple and relaxing to do and takes at most 20 minutes – if you are too busy for this you are just making excuses.
The Causes of Cellulite
Cellulite is caused by fat between the muscle and skin – have you noticed that people on the plumper side tend to have cellulite? However, that’s not to say that skinny people are exempt from it. Many slim and fit models have cellulite too and they just airbrush it away conveniently on their shoots. Ultimately, professional opinion is that it is down to your genes.
Here’s the cross-section of your skin showing how cellulite comes about:
Your skin is attached to your muscle via fibrous connective tissue – otherwise they will just slip and slide about! Between skin and muscle are fat cells, and when these fat cells accumulate fat and expand, they push up against the skin. However, because the connective tissue pulls down the skin wherever they connect, it results in an uneven texture or bumps that we call cellulite.
Getting Rid Of Cellulite
Hence we see the only way to get rid of cellulite is to shrink the fat cells between the skin and muscle – in essence, losing fat. For fat loss, most professional fitness trainers will recommend heavy, maximum-effort movements like squats and deadlifts in the 3-5 rep range. Full-out sprints are also a good idea as they operate by the same principle, called the afterburn effect. This mechanism burns fat long after your short workout. Coupled with a healthy diet, you are bound to become trim and fit in no time!
For the lazy, there are 3 notable treatments that is considered to be the industrial gold standard in cellulite reduction.
- Radiofrequency treatment, which uses radio waves to help break down fat. This requires about 8 sessions costing $500 each, and doesn’t make you any healthier. Keep up your unhealthy lifestyle and you are bound to be required to spend again.
- Laser-assisted liposuction, which requires surgery to suck fat from under your skin, and costs upwards of $5000. Why spend money when your body has natural fat burning mechanisms?
- Lipomassage, which uses a high-tech, motorised device that rolls over your skin to “eliminate fat deposits, revitalize blood and lymphatic circulation, and reactivate lipolysis (fat-breakdown)”. This costs about $900 for the minimum 6 sessions for effects to be seen.
As you can see, being lazy has really heavy financial costs. If you can get creative, though, these costs can be cut!
Depending on your genetics, however, do note that fat loss may not solve your cellulite appearance if your skin is not elastic and sags after the fat is lost!
Cellulite Blasting Workout!
This is the foam roller routine that I was told about:
Back of Thigh Roll (Hamstring Roll)
The first exercise is to foam roll your hamstrings along the length of the muscle. Roll the foam roller from the back of your knees slowly towards your hips, moving about an inch per second, then roll it in the opposite direction from hips to knees. Repeat this motion for about 4-5 minutes
Back of Thigh Shear
The Back of Thigh Shear also targets the cellulite at the back of your thigh, where it is usually most severe. This time, we’ll be massaging the muscle fibres perpendicular to their length.
Start by crossing one leg over the other with the foam roller at the end of your hamstrings near the hips. Slowly rotate the leg swaying your body from side to side so that your thigh makes a half roll on the roller. After about 8 reps, shift the foam roller to the middle of the hamstring and repeat for another 8 reps. Do another 8 reps with the foam roller just above your knees. Do the same for both legs.
Inner Thigh Roll
Start by lying on your side with the leg on top over the roller – almost like hugging a bolster. Twist your body forwards and backwards to roll the roller along the length of your inner thigh. Move slowly, moving the roller about an inch per second and repeat for 8 minutes.
The entire routine takes about 20 minutes tops, so anyone serious about improving their cellulite condition will be able to fit it into their schedule!