If you’ve come to this article in search of how to reduce cellulite, then you’re in the right place! The first time you see cellulite on your thighs or butt is akin to seeing that first gray hair: it catches you off guard.
You don’t have to be overweight or a certain age to get cellulite; in fact, it’s something 93% of women have and yet all of us want to know how to reduce cellulite. While you may not be able to completely get rid of the cellulite on the back of your legs or bum, there are some things you can do to reduce cellulite. (Spoiler alert: strength training is the cheapest cellulite treatment out there!)
When you build nice, firm muscle underneath your skin, it will fill the space with solid structure and create a smoother surface. Basically the webbing of muscle fibers tighten up and they won’t allow the fat to push through. Plus, the more muscle means the more fat burn, and more fat burn means less fat to produce cellulite!
So before you have a panic attack, sit back, breathe deep, and get ready to learn the seven best exercises to reduce cellulite on your thighs and butt plus a few facts about cellulite.
Go through this workout to reduce cellulite 2-3 times per week for best results.
All you will need is your bodyweight for this workout! One movement will require a chair or something with a higher surface, you can use a step, couch, etc. Be creative with the space and equipment you have in your house!
- Perform each lower body exercise for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds between exercises.
- Repeat the entire circuit of the 7 lower body exercises x2 for a 20 minute low impact lower body workout to reduce cellulite on the butt and thighs.
1. Plié Squat
Plié squats tone your inner thighs and glute muscles to create a firmer, more lifted butt.
How to perform plié squats:
- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and toes turned out. Bend knees, lowering torso and keeping your back straight and abs tight. Tuck your tailbone.
- Squeeze your glutes and come to standing position.
2. Pistol Squat
Pistol squats are an effective lower body exercise that strengthen your glutes, quads and core while training your body for better balance and ankle stability.
How to perform pistol squats:
- Stand with feet hip-distance apart and extend one leg long in front of the body.
- Bring hands to hips or the front of your body for balance. Sit back into a squat with the weight in the heel of the foot, then slowly stand back up using your glute and hamstring muscles. Repeat for desired number of reps and switch sides.
3. Side Lunge
Side lunges strengthen the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings while targeting both the inner and outer thighs.
How to perform side lunges:
- Start standing with legs slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart and toes pointed forward.
- Shift your bodyweight to one leg, bending the knee until it reaches a 90-degree angle and the other leg is straight. Glutes are pressing back behind you. Return to center and switch sides.
4. Elevated Lunge
Elevated lunges are a version of the traditional lunge that focuses on strengthening your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves.
How to perform elevated lunges:
- Begin by standing a few feet in front of a step and reach your left foot back so toes are on the bench and heels lifted.
- Bend the right knee, lowering your body toward the floor until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. If your right knee extends in front of your ankle when you lower, move your right foot farther forward.
- Squeeze the glute as you press yourself back to start, keeping the weight in your right leg. Continue moving down and up for desired number of reps and switch sides.
The Deadlift works more muscles than any other exercise, including your back, glutes, legs, arms, shoulders and core!
How to perform deadlifts:
- Start standing with feet hip distance apart and dumbbells resting in front of thighs.
- Tighten your abdominals and keep a flat back as you bend the knees slightly, lowering the dumbbells towards the floor.
- Squeeze the glutes and use your hamstrings and legs to lift and return to your upright position.
6. Glute Kicker
The glute kicker is an exercise that will strengthen and tone your glutes, build stability in your core, and help you tone your booty for a more firm back side!
How to perform glute kickers:
- Kneel in all fours and bring right knee off mat mat holding right heel above knee with foot flexed.
- Squeeze right glute and press right towards the ceiling. Release slightly down and squeeze up again. Repeat for desired number of reps then switch sides.
- Keep abs tight throughout.
7. Single-Leg Hamstring Bridge
Single leg hamstring bridges are a great exercise that strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, core and lower back.
How to perform single leg hamstring bridge:
- Lie on back with bent knees hip distance apart, and feet flat on mat stacked under the knees. Extend one leg long towards the ceiling.
- Squeeze glutes and lift hips off the mat into a bridge. Lower and lift the hips for desired number of reps, then repeat on other side.
Now that you know effective exercises for cellulite reduction, check out a few common questions and facts about this very common type of fat:
What is Cellulite?
In short, cellulite is a type of fat.
However, its unique, dimply appearance is because this particular type of subcutaneous fat is stuck between the muscle and the fibrous cords that connect the skin to the muscle. The more fat cells that accumulate, the more they push against the skin and cause those cords to pull down.
This creates the “cottage cheese” appearance you love to hate. And the looser the muscle fibers are in any part of your body, the easier it is for the fat to push through like little pillows.
What Causes Cellulite?
While the exact cause of cellulite is unknown, there are several factors that can contribute to the appearance of cellulite. Age, hormones, genetics, dietary habits and lifestyle.
What Are Some Other Ways That I Can Reduce Cellulite?
Strength training is the best way to reduce the appearance of cellulite, however there are other things you to take into consideration when trying to reduce cellulite.
Incorporating cardiovascular exercise is very important to your overall health. If you’re trying to lose weight and focus on cellulite reduction, including cardio along with the strength training workout above will be important.
You can’t outrun a bad diet. Eating healthy is critical to losing fat. Focus on lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and reducing your intake of refined carbs and processed foods.
When/Where Does Cellulite Usually Show Up?
After puberty, pretty much anyone can get cellulite, regardless of their weight. Young girls can have it, but it actually becomes more visible in older women simply because their skin is thinner.
In addition, women and men alike tend to gain fat and lose muscle with age, both of which contribute to having cellulite.
Cellulite can show up anywhere that fat accumulates, but it’s most commonly found on the butt and thighs. These areas carry the most fat, so they naturally have more of a chance of accumulating cellulite.
Is Cellulite Genetic?
Yes, cellulite tends to be passed on through families. But as you saw in the beginning of this article, there are specific strength training exercises that can help reduce the appearance of cellulite on your lower body.
Do Skinny People Get Cellulite?
Yes! Having cellulite doesn’t mean you are overweight. Thin people have it. Even models have it. (They just have professional air-brushing and spray-tanning!)
However, if you do happen to be overweight, losing weight can reduce cellulite.
Related: How To Get A Butt You Will Love
Can I Get Rid of Cellulite If I Lose Enough Weight?
You may reduce the appearance of cellulite if you’re currently overweight. Losing weight will shrink your fat cells and reduce your body fat.
However, as we’ve pointed out, thin people get cellulite too. So shed any extra weight that may be exacerbating your cellulite, but then focus on practical solutions like the strength training exercises in this article that will firm you up head-to-toe.
Do Creams or Other Treatments Reduce Cellulite?
Probably not. According to the Mayo Clinic, cellulite treatments are mostly ineffective: “cellulite treatments, including massages or cellulite creams, advertise remarkable results. But most of these treatments don’t live up to their claims.”
In fact, most doctors agree that even the extreme surgeries like liposuction may not reduce your cellulite. Save your money and spend it on home gym equipment!
So… Is it Possible to Get Rid of Cellulite?
We love the phrase “progress, not perfection.” The truth is, getting completely cellulite-free skin may not be attainable. The models you see in the magazines have been spray-tanned and photo-shopped so many times, any hint of cellulite they possess is not going to show up on the glossy pages of your magazine.
However, if you try the seven exercises listed above, you can tighten and tone your body and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
And like we said above, the vast majority of women have cellulite so you are NOT alone. Do yourself a favor and follow a some body-positive influencers on Instagram; women who show their curves, cellulite and embrace the beauty within them. Wanting to become healthier is never a bad thing but loving yourself just the way you are is also something to work toward.
Want to download these exercises or print them out? Click below!