|Posted by BGF FitnessSite on September 24, 2016 at 12:30 AM|
In general, the fitness industry tells us that cellulite is genetic and if you have it, there's not much you can do to change it. Thankfully, they were WRONG!
Traditionally, we are told that cellulite is caused by fat under the skin pushing against connective tissue (fascia), which causes a lumpy or uneven appearance. Cellulite is also be caused by a stagnant lymphatic system or diminished collagen production.
Basically, if we have cellulite, it can be attributed to one or all of these causes:
• A Stagnant lymphatic system, which we can remedy with any movement that stimulates lymphatic drainage, massage, and fascial release.
• Tight or dehydrated fascia, which we can remedy with foam rolling and yoga.
• Diminished collagen production, which we can remedy with nutrition.
These are not quick fixes; it takes some consistency on your part. Stick with it and the improvement will come.
Increasing muscle mass can help, but in my experience as a personal trainer cellulite will remain an issue until these other areas are addressed. Yes, lifting can improve the appearance of cellulite, but the answer is not really found there.
To use myself as an example: I lost close to 100 pounds and took my body fat percentage from over 34 percent to as low as 19 percent, which is pretty lean for a woman and STILL had an issue with cellulite as you can see in the picture above. We can also see that many power lifters and cross fitters still have cellulite despite heavy lifting and body composition.
I’m not trying to be discouraging, but rather to shift your attention to some other possibilities and solutions.
Here's some great information from one of my favorite wellness educators if you'd like to look into symptoms of a stagnant lymphatic system…
What Can We Do?
1. Yoga. After three months of consistent Buti Yoga practice, my cellulite began disappearing. This is because yoga stimulates the lymphatic system in a highly efficient way. Buti yoga specifically incorporates lots of binds and pulsing, which makes it that much more efficient.
I had practiced and taught yoga for about two years but did not have a consistent daily practice. Currently, yoga is my main form of exercise (4-6 times per week) and this is where I noticed the biggest change.
How Does the Lymphatic System Benefit From Yoga Exercises?
"Lymph fluid is not pumped through the body like blood, but is moved through the channels mostly by the contraction and massage of skeletal muscles. Yoga exercises that involve muscular contraction of the legs and arms are particularly effective in aiding the transport of lymph fluid.
Also beneficial to the lymphatic system are yoga postures that invert the legs and allow gravity to act on the lymphatic channels. From gentle leg inversions like Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) to more advanced inversions like Salamba Sarvangasana (supported shoulder stand), these inverted yoga poses use gravity to their advantage by stimulating the passive flow of lymph fluid and increasing the rate of drainage.
Performing full or partial inverted yoga poses can be particularly beneficial to those who have occupations that require prolonged sitting or standing. These work positions increase the occurrence of fluid buildup in the blood vessels and lymphatic channels of the legs. With light yoga inversions, swelling, discomfort and other chronic conditions can be alleviated. Please note that if you have high blood pressure, history of circulatory problems, eye or inner ear conditions, you should consult a health professional before performing yoga inversions.
Since lymphoid tissue works primarily in defending the body against the infections and the spread of tumors, improvement in circulation of lymph through yoga exercises presents great healing benefits and strengthening of the immune system. Regardless of experience level, anyone can engage some form of yoga exercise to nourish the lymphatic channels and stimulate lymph flow."
2. Massage and Rolling. I use the roller pictured below along with a traditional foam roller a few times per week. Focus on the effected areas of YOUR body. I work most on the back and side of my legs, stomach (C-section/post baby damage control), and low back (thoracolumbar fascia). You’ll need to identify the areas you want to work on.
Check out the picture below to see where our fascial lines are. Some are deeper than others, but this picture gives you a general idea of areas to place focus. Remember to focus on all of these areas; the idea is to get lymph moving throughout the entire body.
3. Eat all the collagen boosting things. Consider adding more of the following foods:
• Organic Bone Broth
• Dark Leafy Greens - Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens
• Red Stuff – Beets, Tomatoes, Red Peppers
• Pumpkin Seeds
• Orange Stuff – Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Papaya, Mango, Squash
• Fish and grass-fed meats
• Berries – All Kinds
(These are pretty much the staple foods in a paleo lifestyle.)
I drink Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides in my morning smoothie or with unsweetened almond milk, which contains kosher bovine collagen aka the good stuff and I’m not paid or asked to promote that brand – it’s just what I use. The benefits go way beyond improved appearance of cellulite, but that’s our focal point today. There is a host of bovine collagen protein powders and supplements available on the market.
It’s also beneficial to clean up your diet. Detox, reduce processed sugar intake, remove empty calories,fewer grains, less dairy, more veggies, and whole foods, etc.
Remember that this works if you do. Peace!