This Fitness Expert’s Top Workout Essential Is One You’re Ignoring

| Feature
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(Photo: LaurenRoxburgh.com)

When one of the most in-demand trainers, bodyworkers and alignment experts tells us to add something to our workout, you know we're going to do it immediately.

Luckily for us, Lauren Roxburgh is one of the most knowledgeable authorities on fitness and body transformation — and she's all about using your foam roller.

MORE: 7 Ways to Work Your Foam Roller

Dubbed the "body whisperer" by Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop, Roxburgh is the author of the best-selling Taller, Slimmer, Younger: 21 Days to a Foam Roller Physique and has spent the last 15 years developing a completely unique restorative workout method.

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(Photo: Carbon38)

Her method transforms, sculpts and detoxifies the body's soft tissues while strengthening and elongating the muscles — in other words, you'll see a leaner, stronger and overall healthier bod

So how do we get started? Well, for one thing, if you don't have a foam roller, you should get one.

Roxburgh says that using a foam roller has infinite benefits; for one thing, it smooths out and hydrates the fascia, which is a thin layer of connective tissue that lies under the skin and wraps around every muscle and organ in the body (think of it as the scaffolding in your body).

By smoothing and hydrating the fascia, your foam roller is oxygenating your blood, improving your circulation and even flushing toxins from your body. The foam roller also helps to lubricate your joints, reduce inflammation and improve the connection to your core muscles (which you lose as you age). 

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(Photo: Rod Foster)

The good thing about the foam roller is that you can use it as a workout on its own or as a self-care or active recovery tool that complements your usual workout.

"If you’re going to use it as a complement to another workout, I recommend that you actually use the roller before you do whatever else it is you like to do," Roxburgh says. "Rolling beforehand will help to wake the body up, hydrate the connective tissue and boost blood oxygen circulation so your workout is more efficient."

And if you've stayed away from foam rollers because you've heard they can be painful or uncomfortable, it's time to lay that myth to rest.

"Many people use a roller that is too hard, especially when they are first starting out," Roxburgh says. "Even with a softer roller, rolling is not always going to be comfortable — but it should be the sort of pain that feels good, because it’s doing you good. Rolling shouldn’t really hurt. If you find yourself grimacing, I recommend trying a slightly softer roller."

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(Photo: Collin Stark)

In fact, Roxburgh developed her own foam roller that she found to be the perfect density for most people, the Lo Rox 'Aligned Life' Roller.

To fit a foam roller workout into your fitness routine, try one of Roxburgh's full workout videos here, or check out her YouTube channel

Even fitting in a 5-10 minute foam roller session right before bed can do wonders for your physical and mental health, setting you up for a "deeper, more restorative sleep."

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(Photo: Carbon58)

The bottom line is that Roxburgh's method empowers your body to be more connected to its true strength — all while helping you along your fitness or weight loss journey.

"When your body is aligned, it simply works better," she says. "Your metabolism and digestion are more efficient, your nervous system calms down, which means you lose weight more easily - and keep it off!"

"After many years helping clients get into their correct alignment I’ve found the benefits are well beyond just physical," Roxburgh says. "Many of my clients find that once their bodies are aligned, other parts of their lives also start to align as well. This ends up benefiting your mental health, your relationships, your work, your overall sense of well being and even your choices of what to put in your body."

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