In the following excerpt from Taller, Slimmer, Younger—A-list bodyworker, trainer, and alignment expert Lauren Roxburgh demonstrates how you can slim down, reshape, and elongate your abdominal area to a leaner, younger look with just a little determination and a foam roller. Are you ready to roll?
Muffin Top Melting
Back of the Core
You are going to feel delicious after this session. Not only will you melt away your muffin top, but you’ll also work toward a more flexible, fluid, elongated, and decompressed spine. You know that wonderfully rubbery feeling you get after a massage? That’s the same thing you’ll achieve through this sequence. You’ll mobilize and tone your spinal muscles and the back of your legs, with a focus on releasing and strenghthening the deep muscles of your back. Tuning into these powerful intrinsic muscles will keep your spine erect for a taller, sleeker appearance. Looking good and feeling good—what more can you ask for?
• Place the roller behind you.
• Come to a figure-four position with your left knee bent, right ankle crossed over your left thigh, right above the knee. Your forearms should be on the mat, palms on the roller, thumbs facing in. Lean your body to the right while feeling a subtle pressure on the right quadratus lumborum (QL), a lower back muscle between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips.
• Keeping the roller stable, press down into your foot while you inhale and curl your tailbone up; exhale and come back down.
Repeat this movement eight times on each side.
• Lie belly-down on the mat, with arms long in front of you and the roller placed just below your elbow joints, thumbs facing up. Reach your heels away from your heart to feel oppositional energy and decompress your spine.
• Inhale and roll the roller toward you, extending your spine and lifting your heart as you roll your shoulders back (taking care to keep your glutes relaxed the entire time so you don’t jam your lower back while lifting up). Be sure to pull your abs up and in to support your back and elongate the front of your body.
• Exhale as you slowly resist on the way down, returning to the position you started in.
Repeat this movement eight times.
• Balances spine and spinal muscles.
• Elongates sides.
• Reduces muffin top.
• Brings more mobility to the spine.
• Provides the spine with more undulation.
• Decompresses the vertebrae.
Adapted from Taller, Slimmer, Younger by Lauren Roxburgh. © Lauren Roxburgh 2016. Ballentine Books, an imprint of Random House.
Photo Credit/Collin Stark