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Combat Cellulite

Timeless Fitness Tips...

One problem area many women have is cellulite in the thigh area and other places.

Combat Cellulite

Cellulite has been called any given number of names, including cottage cheese, orange-peel skin, saddlebags, pruned legs, and even dimples. No matter the name, cellulite is unattractive and in some cases, unhealthy.

Most women have some on their body somewhere and are unhappy about it, and would love to be rid of it.

Cellulite is another one of those unpleasant facts of life we need to just learn to live with and accept. There have been surgical procedures developed to rid areas of your body riddled with cellulite but it is now thought that when you remove cellulite from one part of your body, it is likely to turn up on another part.

Let's consider the facts behind cellulite. Cellulite occurs when body fat gets sandwiched into many tiny pockets separated by strong, hair thin threads called septa, which anchors skin to muscle. Most women store fat in the hips, thighs and buttocks where this "tufting" becomes so pronounced that it dimples.

Men have it easier when it comes to cellulite. Their septa attach in a crisscross formation instead of the vertical strands that are found in a woman's skin. Also, the thought that only heavy or obese women suffer from cellulite is not true. Women of any weight can have cellulite. There are even super-models that complain they have it.

While we are all aware cellulite is unattractive, it can also have adverse health effects. Accumulation of fluid can occur in the layers of the skin, it can cause impeded blood flow, toxin build-up, nutrient depletion and deterioration of the connective tissue as it loses elasticity and undergoes fibrosis, the development of an organ of excess fibrous connective tissue.

There are a couple ways we can help combat cellulite and its negative effects. First, you can reduce your overall fat intake to lessen the build-up of cellulite. Second, exercise can help build muscle tone, which in turn can make the contours of your body, including the cellulite, look better. Keep at it -- if nothing else, you can prevent it from becoming more pronounced and more importantly, from becoming a health risk. Third, you can use cellulite cream to lessen the appearance of ugly cellulite.

Exercises to Combat Cellulite

Lying on your side, do 10 repetitions of each of the following exercises:

Side Lying Exercises

  • Bring both knees forward so your hips are at a 90 degree angle. Straighten your top leg out in front of you while maintaining the 90 degree hip placement. Lift the top leg slowly up about three feet off the ground and then lower.
  • Straighten both legs so your body is in a straight line. Tilt your hips forward slightly. Lift your top leg about three feet off the ground then lower.
  • Put your top leg out in front of you on the ground. Move your bottom leg forward slightly. Lift the bottom leg 8 to 12 inches off the ground and down.

Repeat all three exercises on the other side.

Inner leg lift

Kneeling Position Exercises

On your elbows and knees, do 10 repetitions of each of the following exercises:

  1. Extend one leg straight back with your toe on the ground. Lift that leg up toward the ceiling and then back down. Switch legs.
  2. Lift your knee off the floor. Extend that same heel back and up so that your leg is pointing toward the ceiling and then bring the knee back into you, toward your neck. Switch legs.

Standing Position Exercises

Woman doing step exercising

From a standing position, do 10 repetitions of the following exercises:

  1. Start with your feet together. Step out in front of you in a lunge position. Touch the ground with the opposite hand. Come back up and step to the starting position. Switch legs.
  2. Put one foot on a step or prop that is 12-18 inches high. Slowly step up and down with the other foot. Switch legs.

You can increase the intensity of this workout by going through it more than once or increasing the amount of repetitions.

Three More Exercises to Combat Cellulite

Squat/Calf Raise. Squat, then stand tall, lifting heels to shift weight to balls of feet. Lower to start.

Hip Bridge. Raise hips so knees, hips, and chest are aligned. Hold 3 seconds. Lower to start.

Dumbbell Deadlift. Holding dumbbells, hinge at hips, keeping legs straight. Return to start.

According to research published in Fitness Magazine, 80 percent of woen who worked their major leg muscles three days a week with about 30 minutes of resistance exercise reported some improvement in the appearance of cellulite after six months.