We are well aware of how self-massage using a foam roller can help prevent injury. When your muscles are sore, tight and full of lactic acid build up, foam rolling is a must (in addition to regular sports massage). It’s not fun, because it can be painful, but it works a treat to help loosen tight muscles that threaten to pull or tear if put under too much unrelenting strain. We never really thought much about the additional benefits that foam rolling affords us, specifically foam rolling for detoxification and to help improve the appearance of cellulite.
HOW DOES FOAM ROLLING HELP US?
The benefits of foam rolling stem from its main purpose which is to facilitate myofascial release. Myofascial release is the application of low-intensity pressure to soft tissue to allow contracted muscles to relax. This improves blood flow and nutrient flow to the area which in turn, flushes toxins helping to improve mobility. The increased circulation translates to more rapid repair and regeneration of damaged, congested, and toxic cells.
DETOXIFYING FOAM ROLLING EXERCISES
This sequence will help improve oxygen flow and circulation, flushing toxins which build up and contribute to the appearance of dimples. Perform each movement or roll each side for a minimum of 30 seconds. For your body to really benefit, you need to roll every day but as a minimum, you should at least roll every other day. Follow this foam rolling sequence for a wonderful, mood enhancing, detoxifying self-massage.
Improve oxygen intake
Sit at the end of a long foam roller and slowly roll back down onto the roller so that the length of your spine and head are supported on the foam roller.
Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Spread your arms wide and rest the back of your hands on the floor, molding your body around the roller. You should feel a good stretch across the chest.
Close your eyes, relax and take 10-20 slow, deep, long breaths.
Now get rid of the kinks in your upper and middle back
Lying on the floor, place the roller under your back at your bra line and lean your middle back over the roller. Take your hands behind your head to support your head and neck.
Using your feet to drive the move, inhale as you roll and massage the upper back and shoulder blades. Exhale as you roll down and massage the spine to the bottom of your ribs or middle back.
DO NOT go anywhere near the lower back because it can create too much pressure on your discs and vertebra.
And gently release the lower back
Lying on your back, lift your bum and place the roller under your sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of your spine). Grab the outer edges of the roller on either side to make sure the roller doesn’t move.
Keeping your upper back and shoulders on the mat and waist in a bridge position, bend your knees and lift your legs at about a 90-degree angle.
Gently roll your lower back swinging your legs from side to side in a controlled pendulum like motion.
Massage that bum
Sit on the roller and reach your right arm behind you with your palm placed on the mat for stability. Cross your right ankle over your left knee in a figure four position.
Shift your weight slightly over to the right hip/glute area and roll backwards and forwards a few centimeters in each direction.
Then, roll in circles to help increase circulation and blood flow and reduce congestion. Repeat on the other side.
Loosen those thighs
Lie on your stomach, place your elbows directly under your shoulders, palms face down.
Keeping your legs straight, place the roller just above the front of your knees.
Supporting yourself on your forearms, bend your knees to lengthen the thigh muscles.
Using your arms and core, push the roller up and down the front of the thighs, from just above the knee to the top of the thigh. Exhale deeply as you roll up and inhale as you roll down.
Don’t forget the hips
Remaining in the position above, straighten the legs. This time, you’re going to roll higher, from the middle of the thigh to the hip bone and back.
Now sit with the side of your left hip on the roller, left leg extended, propping yourself up on your left elbow with your arm directly under the shoulder, palm on the mat.
Bend your top (right) leg and place your right foot down in front of the extended left leg.
Use your grounded hand, elbow and foot to slowly move the roller up and down the left outer hip.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
The great thing about foam rolling is that you can get many of the benefits of a therapist or masseuse from the comfort of your home with an inexpensive piece of equipment. All you need is a non-slip gym or yoga mat and a foam roller like the TriggerPoint (my favourite) rollers available online from Zando.
This eco yoga mat provides you with excellent cushion and grip. It’s made from the latest eco polymer, and is free from pvc, phthalate, azo, phenol, latex and other toxins. It’s recyclable and biodegradable if disposed of responsibly (and after many hours of use).
The characteristic three-dimensional surface of the TriggerPoint Grid rollers claims to aerate tissue as it rolls, thus promoting the flow of blood and oxygen needed in muscle repair. This longer length (66cm) roller offers more stability while rolling and is necessary for some of the exercises as demonstrated above. You’ll also have access to an online instructional video library on foam rolling best practices from the experts at TriggerPoint.
Short, travel size roller
This is the compact, travel-friendly 33cm version of the longer TriggerPoint Grid roller above.
I know that the TriggerPoint rollers can be quite “intense”, which I like, but if you’d prefer something a little softer, then I’d suggest going for something like this Powercore foam roller.
It also comes in this 30cm travel-sized version.
Don’t forget that maintaining a good diet and being active are essential ingredients to weight management and managing the appearance of cellulite. We’ve previously provided you with some useful tips on how to clean up your diet and to keep moving throughout your day