Cellulite is a fairly miserable fact of life for most women. Some 90 per cent of post-adolescent women will smile knowingly at the description of dimpled ‘orange peel-skin’ on parts of their legs and bottom. Its presence is determined by various factors - including genetics, diet, nutrition, hydration, circulation and exercise. This means that exercise alone will not remove it, but it can help minimise its distribution and effect as part of a concerted health and fitness campaign to reduce it.
Fat burning exercise to reduce cellulite
One of the secrets to any successful anti-cellulite campaign is to remove as much excess body fat as possible. Cellulite is caused by a build-up of fat on the lower body caused by an excess of fat storage hormones in that area. If you can control those hormones with a healthy diet and nutrition and burn as much fat as possible with exercise, then you are certainly going to get on top of the problem.
Interval training is a terrific way of burning fat and if you stick to structured weight training workouts, you can also keep your metabolism elevated after your training to burn even more calories. Remember that the greater your muscle mass, the more effective your body needs to be to oxygenate those muscles. That means more calories required and more fat burned when you do use those muscles properly.
In terms of cardio exercise you have several options. Walking is a great way of burning up to 300 calories an hour, especially if you incorporate intervals of speed walking. A good posture and length of stride can also strengthen muscles in your glutes and bottom.
Running and cycling will also do the trick although again, remember the value of intervals. Warm up at a gentle pace before sprinting for a set period of time and then recovering for a similar time period, before going all over again. The more repetitions you can incorporate into your session, the better your calorie and fat burn.
Firming and improving the tone of the muscle underneath the cellulite will help smooth the skin's appearance. It’s a good idea to focus on strength-training moves that build up the hamstrings, quads, buttocks and hips. Try to aim for training that targets the lower body at least two/three times a week, increasing the weight over time to really challenge and tone those muscles.
There are a variety of effective workouts to choose from but we’ve chosen a few you might like to try:
- Lunges - Walking or stationary lunges target all of the lower-body muscles and this particular exercise can be embellished with a small-medium sized weight in each hand. Take one large step forward and lower your body so that both of your knees form 90-degree angles. Remember to keep your front knee over the ankle. Then when you have stabilised the position, hold for a brief moment and then return to your starting position and repeat. Depending on your fitness levels (remember if you are new to this then build up slowly) you should aim for 30 to 50 reps on each side.
- Side steps - This exercise can be extremely effective with the use of resistance bands tied around your lower shins. Stand with your feet apart with tension in the bands. Then step to the right to extend the band and the tension and feel the leg muscles get to work. Repeat on the left side and aim for a workout of 30-50 reps.
- Squats - It’s important to remember to keep your weight in the heels and your back straight as you lower your hips and bottom down and back (as you were about to sit in a chair). If you can try to lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Don't let your knees extend past your toes. Try to aim for 30-50 reps.
- Step-ups - Stepping is a great way of toning the leg muscles and you can use either a bench or the elliptical machine in a gym. If you do opt for the stepper in the gym, make sure the resistance is right for you and don’t slouch over the arm rests. If you are using a bench, step up then step down with the same leg. Aim for 20 reps on each leg.
- Leg raises - Lie flat on your back and slowly raise your right leg off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and then lower. Switch sides and repeat. Aim for 20-30 reps.
Whilst exercise is an important part of the cellulite equation, you need to supplement your workouts with a healthy balanced diet if you are to win the battle of the dimpled thigh and bottom. A low fat diet that is high in low fat protein and vegetables and avoids sugary foods and fruit is the key to success. Drinking plenty of water will help flush out the toxins that contribute to cellulite and try not to hit the caffeine too hard either. Herbal teas are a good way to go and as little alcohol as possible will help too.
Regular massage of your thighs and bottom will also have a positive impact as it will enhance circulation and lymphatic drainage, to help the body get rid of toxins that lurk in fatty cells, as well as well as helping the skin look smoother.