Foam rolling goddess Lauren Roxburgh. 

When GP talks, we listen. No, we're not talking about going vegan (though we do dabble every now and then): Gwyneth and Goop and have been huge proponents of foam rolling for ages, in particular singing the praises of rolling expert Lauren Roxburgh, who has put together some extremely comprehensive foam roller workouts for the lifestyle site. What was once a lowly physical therapy tool has become a crazy-hot fitness trend that reaps really amazing results.

Whether you're super minimal in your approach to fitness and just want to amp things up or are hard-core (and perhaps recovering from an injury), these tubes of wonder can work their magic on every inch of your body, releasing tightness, adding core-stabilizing intensity, and providing alignment guidance for undoing a long day at your desk. 

When we added Starwood Fitness to our roundup of rad fitness gear in The Wanderlust, our subscription box, it was their fab rollers that caught our eyes first. Then we fell for their resistance loops and exercise balls — not to mention their recovery massage gear, which is a must-have after a particularly grueling gym session. We love how multi-purpose and travel-friendly their gear is, which stems directly from their love of fitness at all levels. We chatted with co-founder William Duffield about foam rolling, workouts on the go, and got him to single out his must-have piece of equipment gear. GP, you called it! 

BIKINI: Foam rolling is so hot right now. What are some benefits of this fairly simple tool?

William Duffield: It certainly is, and for good reason. Self-massage or self-myofascial release using a foam roller can be particularly effective at treating a connective tissue known as the fascia. The fascia connects muscles, nerves and organs throughout the body and gives the muscles the mechanical stability needed to contract forcefully. Myofascial release may increase blood flow to your muscles, increase the mobility of the fascia and help to get rid of adhesions in your muscles and connective tissue. Some of the potential benefits may include minimizing the risk of injury, assisting greatly with injury rehabilitation and improving mobility and flexibility. Regular use of a foam roller helps you move more freely, may increase your range of motion during some exercises and can ultimately help you train harder, recover faster and feel better. 

It was a shoulder injury I experienced years ago that made me develop a greater appreciation for the use of mobility and massage tools. If you love to train, there's nothing worse than an injury that stops you from doing so. A foam roller can be a valuable tool to help prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. Use of foam rollers, massage balls and mobility bands were invaluable to me during recovery — and still are in helping to keep my shoulders injury free. 

 

Starwood Sports foam rollers in action. 

BIKINI: If fitness classes just aren't your thing, how can the right props elevate your personal workout?

WD: Use of power bands or mini loop bands can be a great way to make some of the best exercises that bit more challenging. Additionally, power bands are incredibly versatile. For example, bench presses done against the resistance provided by the bands at either side can be a great way to intensify a workout. 

BIKINI: Any tips on fitness on the go or travel?

WD: I would take some power bands to help provide additional resistance if I had to train in gyms that are a little light on heavy plates. I'd also pack a massage ball especially if travelling light, as it's easy to fit in a small travel bag, too.

BIKINI: If there was one piece of fitness gear you'd recommend that everyone, regardless of age or ability, have at home, what would it be?

William Duffield: Ideally a foam roller and at least one mobility band. The latter would be especially valuable to perform exercises such as shoulder pull aparts to help ensure balanced strength throughout the shoulders. A foam roller would be the go-to recommended tool if there had to be just one. 

Starwood Fitness is just one of the many fantastic fitness brands we've bundled into The Wanderlust. Our Rio subscription box is on sale now!