If you’ve begun to notice those telltale dimples and bumps, you’re probably wondering what you can do to get rid of cellulite. There are certainly many products on the market, but the most effective method is to tackle the problem head-on. The first thing you need to do is understand what cellulite is and what causes it.
What is cellulite?
In the human body, connective tissue is what separates fat cells into different compartments. These strands also connect fat to the skin. For women, the fibers of this connective tissue form a honeycomb pattern. This means that if there is an accumulation of fat, it will eventually begin to bulge through this honeycomb shaped connective tissue, forming the small bumps and dimples that are common with cellulite. In men, the connective tissues run horizontally, rather than in a criss-cross pattern, so there is usually less bulging or dimpling.
How to Get Rid of Cellulite
The right workout plan can help you target trouble spots so that they are firmer and look smoother. The trick is to make sure that you’re working the muscles of your lower body from a variety of different angles. This can help reduce underlying fat deposits and replace them with muscle for a more toned appearance.
Exercises to Help Banish Cellulite
The following six exercises should help you get rid of cellulite and have a firmer lower body. Do one set of each exercise with 10 to 15 repetitions, 3 days per week. Make sure that you engage the muscles. Lift slowly, counting to 2 as you lift, and 4 as you lower. Before you begin, make sure that you warm up thoroughly. You can do some light calisthenics, jump on a stationary bicycle or even take a short walk.
Exercise #1 – Side to Side
Stand with your legs about shoulder width apart. Your toes should be pointed out at a 45 degree angle, with your back straight and flat. You can either hold a dumbbell in each hand or you can do this exercise without the weights to make it a bit easier. Either way, rest your hands at your hips.
Take a wide step to your left. Bend your left knee, bringing your thigh parallel with the floor. Keep your right leg extended. Be careful to not let your left knee move in front of your toes. You also need to keep your bottom from dipping below your knee. Once you’ve taken your giant left step, pause briefly; then return to your starting position. Immediately repeat the same motion to your right without taking a rest.
Exercise #2 – Kickback on All 4’s
When you do this exercise, remember to not hunch or arch your back. This exercise can be done with or without ankle weights. If you want to use weights, but you don’t have ankle weights, simply tuck a light dumbbell behind the crook of your knee.
Start by getting down on your knees, resting your weight on your forearms. Your back should be straight, and your head should line up with your back so you are looking down at your mat.
Keep your back straight and your leg bent, then slowly swing your right leg up behind you, lifting your foot towards the ceiling; your thigh should be parallel to the floor. Hold for one second, then slowly return to your starting position. Throughout the exercise, be sure to keep your foot flexed. Do a set with the right leg, then switch to your left side for another set.
Exercise #3 – Inner Leg Lifts
This exercise will help you strengthen the muscles on the inside of your leg, creating a nice lean look. Keep your upper body as still as possible during the exercise. Try not to sway back and forth when lifting and lowering your leg. You can start without using weights, then add weights when you’re ready for more of a challenge.
Lie on your left side with your left arm under your head. Your right hand should be in front of you to help provide support. Bend your top leg, placing your right foot on the mat in front of your left knee. Your left leg should be straight.
While holding your body still, slowly raise your left (bottom) leg as high as you can. Hold in place for one second, then slowly bring your leg back to the mat. Complete a set with you left leg, then move to the other side and repeat with your right leg.
Exercise #4 – Squat with Side Lift
Wear ankle weights for this exercise. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, and toes pointing out, slightly. Place your hands and your hips. When doing the exercise, keep your eyes facing forward and your head held up straight. You can hold a dumbbell in each hand if you want to make it more challenging.
Pretend you are going to sit on an imaginary chair. Slowly bend your knees and squat, bringing your bottom down like you’re getting ready to sit. Make sure that your knees don’t go past your toes, and keep your back straight. When your thighs are almost parallel with the floor, stop. Don’t try to go lower than this.
Hold the squat for a second, then straighten your legs. As you come up, lift your left leg up and to the side. Pause again, then return to your starting position. Repeat, this time lifting your right leg. Keep alternating until you’ve completed the set.
Exercise #5 – V-Leg Pull
Many women have a problem with their outer thighs. Toning this area will help reduce cellulite while also making you look leaner. You’ll need a resistance band for this exercise.
Loosely tie a resistance band around your ankles. You should be able to still separate your feet several inches. Lie on your back and place your arms down by your sides. Lift both legs up, so they are directly over your hips. Keep your feet separated enough that the resistance band remains taut. Keep your feet flexed.
Open your legs slowly. Stretch them as far as you can. When you can’t move them apart any more, take a short pause; then, slowly bring your legs back to your starting position.
Exercise #6 – One-Legged Lunge
This exercise might take a bit of practice before you feel comfortable. Take some time to learn the movement before you begin your exercise routine. If you want to add some difficulty, hold a set of dumbbells down by your sides.
Place a sturdy chair about 2 feet behind you. Place your left foot on the chair; the top of your foot should be resting on the chair seat. Keep your eyes forward, and your head straight.
Bend your right knee, slowly, until your thigh is almost parallel with the floor. Be careful to not let your knee move beyond your toes. Hold for a second, then slowly return to your starting position. Do a complete set on your right side, then switch and do a set with your left leg.
When you want to get rid of cellulite, you need to concentrate on these problem areas. Stick with these cellulite busting moves to make your legs look their best.
Learn more on how you can get rid of cellulite from Prevention.