Written by Katherine Barrington, Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach
Exercises for cellulite are one of the ways to fight and reduce a lumpy skin appearance. While you may not be able to target specific areas of your body for fat loss, there are exercises you can do to strengthen and tone specific muscles or muscle groups. There is no magical cure for cellulite, but performing certain types of exercise may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite or to remove it altogether. Keep reading to learn about the best type of exercises for cellulite and to receive sample exercises to try at home.
What Type of Exercise is Best for Cellulite?
If you are overweight or obese, you have a higher risk for developing cellulite, especially around the thighs and buttocks. Cellulite is a condition in which the skin takes on a lumpy or dimpled appearance and it develops when fat cells accumulate, pushing against the underside of your skin to create an uneven surface. You cannot spot-reduce cellulite, but reducing your total body fat percentage can definitely help. Contrary to what you may think, cardiovascular exercise like running or biking may not be the perfect solution.
Cardiovascular exercise is great for burning fat and shedding weight, but it may not actually be the best type of exercise for cellulite reduction. Experts agree that strength training may actually be more effective in reducing cellulite than fat loss alone. Cellulite becomes more obvious when skin begins to lose its elasticity and when the muscle under the skin loses tone. Strength training is the best way to strengthen and tone your muscles and it will help you to burn more calories and shed more fat when combined with cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis.
Sample Exercises for Cellulite Reduction
Although you cannot spot-reduce fat or cellulite, there are exercises you can do to strengthen and tone the muscles in parts of the body where cellulite tends to develop – primarily your thighs and buttocks. The following exercises are great for building muscle in these areas:
Plié Squats – Stand with your feet about three feet apart, your toes pointed slightly out, and your hands on your hips. Bend the knees and lower your body until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor then push back to the starting position and repeat for 15 reps. Repeat for another 15 reps but raise your right heel each time you lower your body – repeat on the opposite side.
Clockwork Lunges – Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Lunge forward on your right foot until it is bent to a 90-degree angle then push back to the starting position. Lunge to the right then return, then lunge to the left and return. Finally, step back with your right foot until the left knee is bent to 90 degrees. Repeat with the left leg and complete 15 reps on each.
Calf Raise Squats - Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Thrust your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push back to the starting position and when you reach the top, shift your weight to the balls of your feet and raise your heels off the floor. Return to the start and repeat for 15 reps.
Hip Bridges – Lie flat on your back with your hands to your sides and your feet propped up on a step or balance ball. Raise your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line, squeezing your glutes. Hold the position for 3 seconds then return to the start and repeat for 15 reps.
Dumbbell Deadlift - Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hold a light dumbbell in each hand, your palms facing in toward your body. Bend forward at the waist until your chest is parallel to the ground but keep your legs straight and maintain the natural curve of your spine. Hold for one second then return to the start and repeat for 15 reps.
In addition to these five exercises for cellulite, there are many different variations on squats and lunges that can help you to tone your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. If you find that you enjoy strength training, you might want to move up to using more weight when you perform these exercises. Barbell squats, lunges, and deadlifts are all great for building and strengthening the muscles in your lower body.
Tips for Preventing Cellulite
Incorporating some of the exercises for cellulite listed in the previous section may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite you currently have, but there are some other things you might think about doing to prevent cellulite in the future. Engaging in an active lifestyle will help you to maintain a healthy bodyweight which will reduce your risk of developing cellulite. Making healthy dietary choices is beneficial as well – try to focus on wholesome, low-fat foods like lean proteins and fresh fruits or vegetables. Be sure to get plenty of fiber in your diet but try to limit your intake of high-glycemic carbohydrates. Regularly engaging in stress-reducing techniques may also help you prevent cellulite.
Cellulite is something that affects many men and up to 90% of women at some point in their lives. While there are genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors which may contribute to your risk for developing cellulite, there are things you can do to reduce it and to prevent it from coming back. Follow the tips provided in this article to reduce the appearance of cellulite now and in the future.
The Best Exercises for Cellulite
~ Written by Katherine Barrington, Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach