Ask a Health Coach: What’s the Best Exercise for Getting Rid of Cellulite?

February 24, 2016
by Michelle Pellizzon for Thrive Market

I’ve recently lost some weight (I started eating Paleo in January) and I’m excited by the changes in my body! But one thing I noticed hasn’t changed much is the cellulite on my legs. Is there anything I can do—that isn’t surgical—to get rid of cellulite, or am I doomed to have cottage-cheese thighs forever? - Heidi M.

Congratulations! I’m so happy to hear that you’re seeing positive changes in your body and you’re probably feeling really good, too. Keep up the great work!

Cellulite sure can be persistent, though, right? Here’s the thing: Everyone has it, to varying degrees. Models, athletes, you, and me. It doesn’t have a ton to do with what you eat or how hard you work out (although a higher body fat percentage will make it look more obvious), but more to do with genetics.

The appearance of cellulite comes from fat cells pushing through fascia, the connective tissue that sits between the skin and muscles. Fascia is kind of spongy and springy when it’s healthy, but when it becomes dehydrated—which happens naturally as we age but can also be caused from lack of movement—cellulite becomes more apparent and pokes through. This can also damage the collagen in skin, in turn making it look droopy and saggy.

The creams on the market that claim to reduce the appearance of cellulite, by most accounts, don’t really work. Good news—there’s a really easy way to reduce the appearance of cellulite that doesn’t involve invasive procedures. Fascia expert and celebrity trainer Lauren Roxburgh stopped by to show me her favorite foam-roller moves to diminish the look and feel of dimples on the upper legs and thighs. Try these three exercises daily for about 30 seconds each to see big changes on the backs of your legs (and get a little massage in, too!).

Rolling, a form of myofascial release, drains the lymphatic system and helps rehydrate the fascia. It can also even out muscle tone and prevent bulking, helping to make limbs look long and lean. Plus, the gentle massage you get from a foam roller helps stimulate collagen repair in the skin. Yep, it’s clear that you need a foam roller in your life—we love this one because it’s slightly springy (a roller that’s too hard can actually damage fascia) and it’s made of lightweight, eco-friendly foam.

Press play on the video about to see how to roll cellulite away!

Check out the previous installments of our foam rolling series with Roxburgh, too:

Learn more about Lauren Roxburgh’s method here, and find her on Facebook and Twitter!

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