Has anything ever been so sought after as perfect skin? The epidermis (that’s skin to you and I) covers everybody, literally. It is the barrier keeping our skeleton, muscles and organs safe and contained. We want to treat it well, make sure it is looking tip-top.
So when it comes to cellulite, there is no end to the treatments and creams you could spend your hard-earned cash on. But do they really work? And is there a simpler, cheaper way?
The benefits of foam rolling for muscles have been extolled by many a fitness fanatic, but what of its alternative uses? Can using a foam roller really reduce cellulite?
The answers to all of these questions, and more, await you below!
What is cellulite?
Cellulite takes the appearance of bumps and dips on the surface of the skin. Commonly found on the upper thighs, it can also appear on the upper arms, around the bum and on the abdomen.
The exact reason for the occurrence of cellulite is not known. However, it seems to be caused by thin sections of tissue connecting the surface of the skin to the muscle underneath. Between each connective section lay fat cells that help to plump the skin. It’s the tension between the tissue pulling at the surface of the skin and the number of fat cells between these that may cause dimpling. Other possible causes include water retention, lack of oxygenated blood or large amounts of toxins in the body.
The fact is this: cellulite is a harmless skin condition that affects around 80-90% of women. It can occur for all sorts of reasons, even genetics can play a part. Strangely, men are not similarly affected. This is perhaps due in part to the difference in the structure of the connective tissues under the skin in males.
If such a large proportion of women have cellulite why should we be concerned about it at all, right? Yet the health and beauty industry markets hundreds of scrubs, creams and formulas designed to rid women of this ‘affliction’.
And with so many options out there, we have to ask: What works, and what doesn’t? Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on reducing cellulite.
But the real question on our lips right now is…
Can Using a Foam Roller Reduce Cellulite?
Personal trainers and athletes swear by foam rolling. Yet it is so often overlooked. Rolling out muscles regularly before or after exercise reduces recovery time and increases range of movement. But the key to understanding how foam rolling might help combat cellulite is to understand how it affects muscles.
When using a foam roller, the applied pressure works into the fascia that sits above the muscle fibres. Through exercise these fibres can get stuck to the fascia, creating knots and tension. Foam rolling helps to smooth the muscular knots and reduces surface tension.
This goes some way to explain how using a foam roller can help reduce cellulite. As you roll the muscle, the connective tissue sitting above the muscle also gets worked out.
When foam rolling daily, some health bloggers reported decreased cellulite. The results do not seem to be long-lasting, however.
It seems foam rolling must become a daily routine in order to see long-lasting effects. But if you are prepared to put in the time each day, you could well see results. Reduced surface tension and relaxed muscles, awesome! Plus, performing foam roller exercises with a good posture and core muscles can aid in burning fat and calories.
As one suggested cause of cellulite is the stores of fat between the connective tissue, targeted fat burning exercises could be a useful way to ease its appearance.
But there is an incredible secret we want to share with you. Another reason that using a foam roller could help reduce cellulite.
Does Rubbing Cellulite Really Make It Go Away?
One key tenet of overall wellness is said to be the process of ‘lymphatic drainage’. The lymphatic system is a diverse connection of tissues and organs carrying ‘lymph’ fluid around the body. It contains healthy white blood cells that fight against diseases whilst also removing unwanted toxins.
When cells in your body leak fluid (gross but true), it can sit on top of the muscles between layers of skin causing inflammation. Lymphatic drainage massage shifts this fluid by stimulating the tissues, encouraging the liquid down into the lymphatic system. This serves to reduce inflammation, dullness, and smoothing the skins surface.
It is the rubbing of the skin and underlying muscles that stimulates this reaction. And this massage can be performed at home using a simple foam roller!
Amazingly, that’s not all. Foam rolling also provides another much wanted service. Releasing the pressure on the muscle after rolling causes more oxygenated blood to flow into the area, which hydrates the fascia. This can reduce the appearance of cellulite as the surface of the skin becomes plump.
The good news is, if you are already foam rolling you do not really have to do anything different. The better news is—if you never have before—these moves are easy!
There are a myriad of different exercises you can do with a foam roller. Many already target the general problem areas of cellulite. The important rule to remember when foam rolling to reduce cellulite is this: Start from the bottom of the muscle and work upwards towards the heart.
What Kind of Foam Roller Works for me?
When it comes to choosing a foam roller, which one is best? Well, there are a few out there, ranging from smooth to very ridged! The best option if you are starting out fresh is to opt for a smooth roller and work your way up. Ridged foam rollers can be very painful on muscles for first time use. They do, however, get deeper into the tissues more effectively.
For this reason, it is wise to purchase a combination roller, where the smooth version slides neatly inside the ridged one.
Alternative Cellulite Reducing Methods: Do they Work?
As we have noted, there are a ton of methods out there said to reduce the appearance of cellulite. How do we know which ones to trust?
Whilst shop-bought creams tout the benefits in their ingredients, the focus of their treatment is in massaging the product into skin. And as we know, massaging the skin promotes lymphatic drainage. So going back to the roots of this, the following home treatments could boost your skins condition!
Mix equal parts coconut oil and coffee grounds in a pot and keep in your bathroom. When you bathe, take a handful of the mixture and scrub allover your body.
Not only will this serve as an invigorating exfoliating activity, both coffee and coconut contains antioxidants. So, massaging into skin in an upward movement can also aid inflammation. Rumor has it these properties are also be good for reducing acne and even wrinkles. Hallelujah!
Dry brushing your thighs, arms, bum and tummy is just another way to stimulate lymphatic drainage. If you don’t like coffee, this one is for you.
The dry brush has a combination of soft natural fibres and rubber nodules that stimulate and energize the user. For best results, commit to dry brushing two or three mornings a week.
Drink More Water
Another key to healthier skin is in drinking plenty of water. Let this be your first rule of the day.
Can Using a Foam Roller Reduce Cellulite…Yes, and so Much More!
Those who agree that using a foam roller reduces cellulite advise that the results are temporary. And this makes sense. As with all beneficial health and fitness regimes, they must be done regularly.
The methods we see out there range from ‘tried and tested’ to just downright old wives tales. But one this is scientifically backed, and that is that lymphatic drainage massage can aid overall health. Each method of cellulite reduction we have seen here hinges on the application of pressure. Anyway, who doesn’t love a massage!
Additionally, seeing as 80-90% of women get cellulite, maybe we should just stop caring about it? Be proud of your body, with or without cellulite. If you do want to adopt any of these methods, understand that these are systems to be added into your routine. They are not a quick fix. And when you do them, know that you are healing and helping your body, from the inside out.