Lauren Roxburgh
Collin Stark
January 17, 2017 05:57 AM

We often associate foam rolling with stretching and injury prevention, but using a roller as part of your exercise routine can actually provide a number of other benefits.

“You can use a foam roller for a lot of the workout moves we do in Pilates to mimic moves that we do on the Pilates reformer,” alignment expert Lauren Roxburgh tells PEOPLE. “I also realized that a lot of the moves I was doing with my personal training clients with my hands could be mimicked on the roller. You get a double value — you get a workout, but you also get a self-massage and rehabilitation.”

Foam rolling can also help minimize the appearance of cellulite, Roxburgh says.

“Another thing people love [about foam rolling] is the lymphatic drainage benefits,” says Roxburgh, who has worked with Gwyneth Paltrow and Molly Sims. “It can help reduce cellulite and inflammation, and flush toxins. It’s like doing an internal juice cleanse when you roll out.”

The key to these benefits is the strengthening effect of foam rolling on the fascia, the connective tissue that covers the entire body. When the fascia is weak, fat protrudes through it which causes the lumpy appearance of cellulite.

“By addressing the connective tissue and bringing in fresh oxygenated blood every time you get on the roller, you’re bringing in circulation, you’re smoothing out that density and wringing out the toxins,” says Roxburgh. “Once you’ve gotten rid of the density and the thickness, the muscles are more activated underneath, and once those muscles come back to the surface, you see more of that beautiful tone.”

In order to see the cellulite-busting effects of rolling, Roxburgh says “consistency is key.” She also suggests combining foam rolling with dry brushing.

“When you dry brush it helps tremendously because you get rid of dry skin, but it also helps with the lymph system,” she explains. “I’ll dry brush and then I’ll roll out. If you keep doing that regularly you will totally see a difference.”

While foam rolling can reduce the appearance of cellulite, it won’t cure it completely, says Dr. Binh Ngo, Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at Keck Hospital of USC.

“Cellulite is one of those skin conditions that’s very, very difficult to treat,” Ngo tells PEOPLE. “There’s really no cure. Foam rolling can improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, but in terms of strengthening fibrous tissues, there’s no study that points to the efficacy of this. On the surface, it may look like it’s smoothing [cellulite] out, but it won’t be a fix or a cure.”

WATCH: Everything You Need to Know About Cellulite

To get the benefits of foam rolling, try Roxburgh’s foam roller moves at home:

Side Hip Roll

Benefit: Roxburgh says this move helps the body to expel fluid retention and flush toxins in the side of the hips. It also increases the flow of nutrient-rich blood to the hips and helps smooth out and regenerate the fascia in the hips where women tend to store more stress and congestion.

Collin Stark
  1. Sit down, placing one hip on roller with your lower hand on the mat with the wrist directly under the shoulder.
  2. Bend your top leg and ground your foot down in front of the extended leg for support and leverage.
  3. Use your grounded hand and foot to slowly move the roller up and down the outer hip, staying on the 6-8 inch of area around the hip and upper outer thigh.

Spend 30 seconds to a minute on each hip rolling slow and with awareness.

Tush Roll

Benefit: This moves helps smoothing out, self-massage, hydrate and strengthen the connective tissue and also flush out toxins and even emotional energy that can get stuck in the tush and hips, Roxburgh says.

Collin Stark
  1. Sit on the roller and reach your right arm behind you with your left palm placed on the mat for stability. Cross your right ankle over your left knee in a figure four position.
  2. Shift your weight slightly over to the right hip/glute area and roll back and fourth a few inches in each direction.
  3. Next, roll in circles to help increase circulation and blood flow and reduce congestion.

Spend about 30 seconds on each side.

Front of Hip Roll

Benefit: This move helps increase circulation and boast the lymphatic system to flush toxins. Plus, it helps bring in hydration to repair and regenerate the damaged, dense, thick, congested and toxic cells in the front of the hips and thighs where women tend to have more congestion, Roxburgh says.

Collin Stark
  1. Lie down with your belly facing the mat, elbows placed directly under your shoulders, palms face down. Keeping your legs straight, place the roller just above the front of your knees.
  2. Engage your core to prop yourself up and protect your low back.
  3. Ground down through your forearms and bend your knees to lengthen the thigh muscles, thus breaking down the thickness and density around the thighs and increasing circulation.
  4. Using your arms and core, exhale as you roll the roller up the front of your thighs to your hipbones.
  5. Inhale as you roll the roller down to just above the front of your knees.

Spend 30 seconds to a minute on each hip rolling slow and with awareness.

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