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4 Foam Roller Exercises to Burn Fat and Reduce Cellulite

Blast Fat and Cellulite with a Foam Roller!

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Yes, it hurts so good, but there's more to foam rolling than easing post-workout soreness. Technically called self-myofascial release, foam rolling therapy works by alleviating adhesions or “knots” in soft tissue to restore elasticity and muscle motion. By guiding your body back and forth over the roller, you're essentially giving yourself a deep tissue massage. “Foam rolling gives you more circulation, more oxygenated blood,” says Lauren Roxburgh, a personal trainer and expert in foam rolling. "It’s getting rid of congestion in the body.” Even better: As author Michele Promaulayko writes in her new book, 20 Pounds Younger, it can help smooth out cellulite (pre-order the book here before it comes out December 23!). (Wondering what the heck cellulite actually is? Find out.) Read on for the science behind the method—and four moves you can try right now.

Photo: Getty Images

20 Pounds Younger

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Cellulite plagues 98 percent of us, by some estimates, meaning even the young and trim aren't spared. Even so, it's an aesthetic frustration that can make you feel far heavier and older than your actual age. Blasting the stuff with the foam-roller exercises here can have the opposite effect, Promaulayko tells us in 20 Pounds Younger

Outside of cellulite-reducing foam roller exercises, her book offers ways to decelerate the aging process and help you drop 20 pounds or more. Within its pages, you’ll get look-younger, feel-younger tips from nine “Life Stylists” (read: health and wellness gurus) including mindfulness and meditation expert Gabrielle Bernstein, trainer Rachel Cosgrove, nutritionist Keri Glassman, MS, RD., and dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD. Why 20 pounds?  The average American woman weighs 166 pounds. Losing 20 would not only make her feel more confident about her body, but also help her sleep better, make her workouts feel easier, improve her sex life—and even make her brain act “younger”, according to some research (find out the best exercise for your memory). 

Before the book hits your mailbox (or Kindle!), get a jump-start on the plan with Roxburgh's four moves for amazing cellulite-free legs and butt. 

Back-of-Thigh Roll

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What it does: Breaks down and smooths tight, thick, and congested areas of the upper legs
Do it: Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched, then lift your butt and place the roller against the back of your upper thighs, just above your knees. Place your hands on the floor behind you for support, with your fingertips facing your backside. Put your weight on your hands, pressing into your palms, to lift your body up off the floor. Gradually push your body up and down so it moves over the roller under the backs of your thighs. Repeat 10 times.

Photo: 20 Pounds Younger

The Hip Roll

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What it does: Narrows your hips by reducing fluid retention and smoothing out thickness in the connective tissue
Do it: Lie on your right side, and position the roller under your right hip, keeping your right leg extended on the floor. Bend your left knee, placing your left foot on the floor in front of you for support and leverage. Lift your torso, straightening your right arm, while keeping your hand planted on the mat for balance. Guide your body up and down the roller, along your outer thigh and hip. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.

Photo: 20 Pounds Younger

The Sleek Arms Roll

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What it does: Helps reduce upper-arm jiggle and increases tone in your triceps by stimulating lymph nodes in your armpits to flush out built-up toxins
Do it: Lie on your right side with the roller under your right armpit so that it is positioned perpendicular to your upper arm. Push yourself so the back of your arm moves the roller toward your elbow and then back up into your armpit. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the other arm. 

Photo: 20 Pounds Younger

The Can-Can Tush Roll

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What it does: Reduces tissue thickness in your buttocks
Do it: Sit on top of the roller. Place your heels on the floor, and plant your palms on the floor behind you for balance, fingers facing away. Drop your knees down toward the right, then roll your hips and knees to the left. Continue rocking back and forth for 8 to 10 reps total.

Photo: 20 Pounds Younger

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