7 Exercises To Get Rid Of Cellulite On Thighs & Butt

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // March 8, 2024

These seven exercises to get rid of cellulite will help firm and tone the common dimpled and lumpy texture found around your thighs and butt. This workout is more effective than expensive creams and treatments, and you can get started with my tried and tested exercises today!

The first time you see a dimpled thigh is like seeing that first gray hair: it catches you off guard! You don’t have to be overweight or a certain age to notice cellulite; in fact, it’s something 93% of women have, so you’re certainly not alone.

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 it. (Spoiler alert: strength training is the cheapest cellulite treatment out there!)

Here, we’ll lay out a lower body workout with the best exercises to reduce cellulite on your problem areas, and then I’ll tackle the most commonly asked questions about cellulite.

Getting completely cellulite-free skin may not be attainable—but if you try these seven exercises, you can tighten and tone your body, which certainly helps reduce it!

These are the some of the most effective cellulite exercises for your hips, thighs, and buns. Just follow along with my instructions:

Workout Instructions:

  • 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 twice for a 20-minute, low-impact workout to reduce cellulite.


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    1. Plié Squat

    Plié squats tone your inner thighs and glute muscles to create a firmer, more lifted butt.

    How to perform plié squats:

    1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned out. Bend knees, lowering torso and keep your back straight and abs tight. Tuck your tailbone.
    2. Squeeze your glutes and come to the standing position.

    Reps: 8-12
    Sets: 2

    2. Pistol Squat

    Pistol squats are an effective lower body exercise that strengthens your glutes, quads, and core while training your body for better balance and ankle stability. However, this is an advances exercise so I advise holding on to something like a counter or table for help.

    How to perform pistol squats:

    1. Stand with feet hip-distance apart and extend one leg long in front of the body.
    2. Bring hands to your 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 the desired number of reps and switch sides.

    Reps: 8-12
    Sets: 2

    3. Side Lunge (or Lateral Lunge)

    Side lunges, also known as lateral lunges, strengthen the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings while targeting the inner and outer thighs.

    How to perform lateral lunges:

    1. Start standing with legs slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and toes pointed forward.
    2. 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.

    Reps: 8-12
    Sets: 2

    4. Elevated Lunge

    Elevated lunges are a version of the traditional lunge that focuses on strengthening your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. Also known as a Bulgarian Split Squat, these are effective.

    How to perform elevated lunges:

    1. Begin by standing a few feet in front of a step or bench platform and reach your left foot back so toes are on the bench and heels lifted.
    2. 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.
    3. Squeeze the glute as you press yourself back to start, keeping the weight in your right leg. Continue moving down and up for the desired number of reps and switch sides.

    Reps: 8-12
    Sets: 2

    5. Deadlifts

    The deadlift works more muscles than any other exercise, including your back, glutes, legs, and core!

    How to perform deadlifts:

    1. Start standing with feet hip distance apart and dumbbells resting in front of thighs.
    2. Tighten your abdominals and keep a flat back as you bend the knees slightly, lowering the dumbbells towards the floor.
    3. Squeeze the glutes and use your hamstrings and legs to lift and return to your upright position.

    Reps: 8-12
    Sets: 2

    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 backside!

    How to perform glute kickers:

    1. Kneel in all fours and bring right knee off mat, holding right heel above the knee with foot flexed.
    2. Squeeze the right glute and press right towards the ceiling. Release slightly down and squeeze up again. Repeat for the desired number of reps, then switch sides.
    3. Keep abs tight throughout.

    Reps: 8-12
    Sets: 2

    7. Single-Leg Hamstring Bridge

    Single leg hamstring bridges are a great exercise that strengthens the hamstrings, glutes, core, and lower back.

    How to perform single leg hamstring bridge:

    1. 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.
    2. Squeeze glutes and lift hips off the mat into a bridge. Lower and lift the hips for the desired number of reps, then repeat on the other side.

    Reps: 8-12
    Sets: 2

    Now that you know effective exercises for cellulite reduction, let’s talk about a few of the most commonly asked questions about this prevalent type of fat.

    What is Cellulite?

    Cellulite is a type of fat that has a unique dimply appearance as a result of subcutaneous fat that is stuck between the muscle and the fibrous cords called fascia connecting 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. 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. So strength training tightens your fascia and makes it harder for the fat to pillow through.

    What Causes Cellulite?

    While the exact cause of cellulite is unknown, several factors can contribute to the appearance of cellulite including age, hormones, genetics, dietary habits, and lifestyle.

    Your weight and muscle tone can also affect whether you have cellulite, although weight loss doesn’t always help reduce it. Even the fittest people can struggle with cellulite!

    Cellulite is also much more common in women than men. The main reason? Women typically store more fat in the thighs, hips, and butt, which are the most common areas for cellulite. (Doesn’t seem fair, does it?) Cellulite is also known to creep up after having a baby.

    Lastly, you may notice more cellulite as you age (when skin loses its elasticity), or if it runs in your family. (Yep, it’s genetic!)

    Most Common Areas for Cellulite

    After puberty, pretty much anyone can get cellulite, regardless of weight. Young girls can have it, but it 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 fat accumulates, but it’s most commonly found on the butt and thighs. These areas carry the most fat, so they naturally have more chance of accumulating cellulite.

    Additional Ways to Reduce Cellulite

    A regular strength training routine combined with a healthy lifestyle is the best way to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

    I also recommend incorporating cardiovascular workouts into your routine. A combination of cardio and strength training can lead to weight loss, which shrinks your fat cells and reduces your body fat—thus, reducing the appearance of cellulite.

    In addition to exercise, a healthy diet is critical for fat burning, cellulite reduction, and overall wellness.

    These are a few of my favorite tips for focusing on healthy nutrition:

    • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush out toxins and improve skin elasticity
    • Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and vitamins that can help promote healthy skin.
    • Avoid processed and sugary foods, which can contribute to inflammation and damage to skin tissue. This is so crucial that I even wrong a guide on how to quit sugar!
    • Incorporate lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, and beans into your diet to help build and repair muscle tissue.
    • Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate the body and make cellulite more noticeable.

    Cellulite Creams and Other Treatments

    Unfortunately, topical creams and other treatments are not known for being reliable. According to the Mayo Clinic, cellulite treatments are mostly ineffective, stating that treatments including massages or cellulite creams don’t typically live up to their claims.

    Additionally, most doctors agree that even extreme surgeries like liposuction may not reduce your cellulite. (So, you can spend that money on home gym equipment instead!)

    You can achieve smooth, toned skin on your thighs and butt with enough hard work and patience. Keep up your workouts, and remember to celebrate your progress along the way!

    Fitness, Healthy Living, Lifestyle, Lower Body Workouts, Strength Workouts, Workouts

    Printed from GetHealthyU.com


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    You say at the beginning of the cellulite exercises that we need a resistance band for 2 of the exercises, but it does not seem to be the case in these 7 exercises above.

      on Reply

      Hi Maria - well thank you for making us aware of this. We actually updated this workout and forgot to take out this portion from the old exercises and workout. We have changed it so you will NOT need to use a resistance band as you can see in the video! Thanks for staying on top of us with this!

    on Reply

    I didn't expect much, however after four kids and endless weight losses and gains, I've plenty of cellulite and loose skin around my stomach, so i was willing to strive whatever. With dermalmd cellulite serum I began noticing a difference almost immediately! My pores and skin is firming and tightening.

    on Reply

    YAll need to go look up Ashley Blacks cellulite myths !! The fascia blaster is a huge help with cellulite

    on Reply

    can cellulates be invisible after the exercises though one now have 5 years with deep cellulates on the butt

      on Reply

      Hi Monica - cellulite is tough... Strength training and exercise will definitely help but if it still isn't going away, some topical creams and serums can make a difference.

    on Reply

    I used dermalmd cellulite serum with a cellulite massager and saw a reduction in cellulite. However, I also had changed my diet and started working out more simultaneously when I using this serum. I did enjoy the cool feeling of the serum and it helped to use on sore muscles as well. I would highly recommend dermalmd.

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    Any exercise in particular to help tone muscle right above my kneecap and below my quad? Cellulite or sagging skin is starting to show there.

    on Reply

    I am in the medical profession. I have seen obese people with the smoothest skin, no cellulite! It is definitely hereditary.

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    For cellulite reduction try to use Dermalmd cellulite cream it's really great product. I tried it and it was very effective the product didn't smell at all like some others have a really bad odor that I don't like. But It really helped stain away the cellulite from my ass and my inner thighs that was showing the most. highly recommend.

      on Reply

      Did you know that adding red light therapy to your anti-cellulite gel is proven to enhance your treatment? You can see the science behind it here if you'd like: http://www.infrared-light-therapy.com/red-light-therapy-cellulite/

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    I have pain in wrists and am not able to do tricep dips or put any weight on wrists. Can you provide exercises for triceps. I do skull crushers, and push ups on my fists and sometimes use dumbbells, and triceps kickbacks.

      on Reply

      I am a physical therapist and I have women clients with injuries from using very heavy weights. Do not follow the guidelines you often see on the internet. If you are slender with long limbs avoid heavy weights - your wrists arent "bad" they are trying to tell you its too much and you are causing a strain. You must engage the scapulae with any arm exercise and probably should use 5# or less if you are having pain.

        on Reply

        Good advice. Thanks!

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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