Let’s start by saying that everybody is unique and beautiful in their own way. We are taught to find flaws in our own body by looking at so called “perfect” people on television and the internet. However we think that nobody should punish themselves for not having the great butt or abs you might like. Even though there is always room for improvement, there is no need to fixate on the things you don’t like about your body. Focus on the things you do like and work on improving things by living healthy and make lifestyle changes that make you feel even better.
The butt – and cellulite with it – is something that is heavily scrutinized. Here are a couple of facts. Cellulite, also called orange-peel skin, is very common, more so in women than men. Many people think it is some kind of disease, but this isn’t the case. Furthermore it can be caused by many things, but luckily, it can also be solved! So fear not if you are affected by cellulite; we have 6 exercises to reduce cellulite on your butt and legs.
What is Cellulite?
Many women feel insecure when they find they have cellulite on their thighs and butt. It shows as visible dimples on the skin. But you don’t need to worry as it is totally harmless and very common. In fact, around 80-90% of the women worldwide are estimated to be affected by cellulite after puberty. It is most common on the thighs (92%) and butt (74%).
Cellulite is caused by a build-up of fat under the skin. The uneven skin and dimples are caused by the skin being pulled downwards to deeper tissues, by underlying collagen fibre bands. This makes the fat come together in pockets and thereby makes the skin uneven and look slightly lumpy.
Cellulite is not the same as Cellulitis. Cellulitis is a bacterial condition underneath the skin. Even though it looks kind of similar, it is something completely different. The main difference is that the skin will look more reddish and is warmer when compared to skin affected by cellulite.
What Causes Cellulite
Cellulite is caused by the build-up of body fat underneath the skin. It does however; affect some women more than others. The amount of cellulite and the visibility of it can be affected by several factors, like genes, hormones, age, and thickness of the skin, body fat percentage and lifestyle. Also events like pregnancy or inactivity can stimulate the formation of cellulite.
Cellulite can become more visible when the skin becomes thinner and loose elasticity at a higher age.
Working Out to Reduce Cellulite
Cellulite is an increased amount of body fat, concentrated in lumps on certain parts of your body, namely your butt and your thighs. Removing fat in certain places – spot-reducing fat – is basically impossible, so we have to look at it at a different angle. To reduce the appearance of cellulite, we will have to start focussing on the muscles in those specific areas where cellulite is visible. Luckily there many great exercises for hitting the body parts where cellulite accumulates! Exercises to reduce cellulite are the ones that focus on high reps and decent strength. Although you might not be able to remove the fat deposits completely, burning fat and building muscle will certainly shrink them. This way we can build up muscle in the right places, burn a lot of calories and create a smoother and tighter butt in the process. I say: double win!
The exercises to reduce cellulite can easily be done at home, so you don’t have to worry about going to a gym. You can perform them by using only your body weight, but some weights will increase the efficiency and effectivity. We recommend the following equipment:
- A yoga mat to make the exercises more comfortable.
- Two dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells will give you the most options.
- If you don’t have dumbbells, one or two kettlebells will also be great.
Of course you can add more weights by using a weighted vest, or a barbell. You can also opt to use resistance bands. It is up to you how heavy you want to go.
So let’s dive right in!
The Top 6 Exercises to Reduce Cellulite on Your Butt and Legs
We have mentioned squats in our other article before, as it is one of the 3 “mother of all exercises”. This is especially true for your butt. A well-known saying in the fitness industry is “50 squats a day will keep the doctor away” and I guess this is close to reality. Whether you want to build muscle, lose fat or both; the squat is the exercise for you! This makes the squat one of the best exercises to reduce cellulite on your butt and legs.
Start standing up with your feet slightly wider apart than your hips. Your toes should point slight outwards, at an angle of 20 degrees. Look straight ahead and fixate on a point on the wall in front of you. Keep your eyes at this point during the whole movement. You can either use your bodyweight, or hold a dumbbell or kettlebell. If you use your bodyweight, put your arms straight in front of you, parallel to the floor. If you use a weight, keep it against your chest.
While keeping your body tight and your core flexed, breathe in and lower your body while pushing your butt back. Lower your upper body, while keeping your knees above your feet. Your knees should not move forward too much, and should never pass your toes. Lower your butt as far as you can and then push your body back up again, while breathing out. During the exercise, your weight should be focussed on your heels and the balls of your feet.
This is one rep. Do 3 sets, the first two with 20 reps, the last one with 10 reps.
Lunges are a great exercise. Powerful yet simple and, when performed right, a great way to strengthen most muscles in your lower body. This exercise targets your hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves.
Lunges are slightly tougher to perform than squats, as they are done in a split stance. This challenges your balance and creates extra tension on your muscles.
Start this exercise by standing straight, in a split stance. Your left foot is in front of your body, while your right foot is back. Your feet should be around 3-4 feet apart (depending on your own lenght) and positioned at shoulder width.
Lift your right heel, so this foot rests on your toes. Lower your body by bending your knees, until your back knee is only a few inches away from the floor. At this point – the lowest of the exercise – your front thigh should be parallel to the floor.
Now push up to complete one rep for one leg. Switch and do 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg.
You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms should be pointing straight down and next to your body. The more weight, the harder the exercise becomes. Make sure to keep good balance at all times and don’t fall over.
The lateral lunge is a fantastic variant of the regular lunge. One of the downsides of regular lunges is that if focusses on forwards and backwards motion. To train your glutes and quads optimally, you will also need to work these muscles from the side. This is where lateral lunges come in. This exercise focusses extra on the inner and outer thighs and is thus a great way to boost your muscle forming ability and reduce cellulite in these important places on your body.
Start this exercise by standing tall with your feed at shoulder width, pointing forwards. Your weight should be on your heels and your back should be straight during the whole movement. Keep your hands in front of your chest during the lateral lunges.
Take a big step sideward with one leg and lower until the knee of your leading (standing) leg is bent to around 90 degrees. Keep your training (sidestep) leg straight. Now you can push back your training leg to complete one rep with one leg. It’s most convenient to do one leg at a time for 10 reps and then switch to the other leg. Do 3 sets of 10 reps per leg.
To increase the difficulty and thus work your muscles harder, you can add weights to the exercise. Make sure you are comfortable with the exercise and then hold either one dumbbell in both hands, or hold one in each hand for even more added weight.
Bridges are a great exercise to target your thighs and butt, and thus help you reduce cellulite in those places. You can perform this exercise with just your bodyweight, or use any kind of weight to increase difficulty.
Start the bridge by laying face up on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. If you want to use weights, hold it on your hips with both hands.
All you need to do now is squeeze your core muscles and glutes, while pressing your heels into the floor. This will lift your hips to the sky. Once your butt is up, your body and thighs should be a straight line. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds and then return to your starting position in a controlled manner.
This is one rep. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps.
Back kicks are a great exercise to target all the area’s most susceptible to cellulite. This exercise is also called the Donkey Kick and we describe it too in our Best Workout For Your Butt blog. When done right, this is definitely one of the best exercises to reduce cellulite.
You start this exercise by getting down on all fours. Your hands should be at shoulder width, while your knees are at hip width. Your back should be straight at all times during the back kicks.
Lift one leg up until your foot is pointing upwards, while the leg is kept in an angle of 90 degrees. Your lifted thigh should be parallel – or slightly higher – to the floor. Now whilst making this movement with your leg, squeeze your glutes and abs and keep your balance.
Slowly and controlled, lower your leg and do the same movement again for 10 reps. Then switch to your other leg. Do 3 sets of 10 reps with each leg.
To increase the difficulty, you can use resistance bands. These are great for extra muscle building functionality. Put the resistance bands just above your knees and see how this adds extra tension during the exercise.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, sideward movements are great for targeting slightly different muscle groups and thereby optimizing your workout.
Lying abductions are a great for toning your outer thighs.
Start by lying down on your right side. Place your right elbow on the floor and prop your head with that same hand. Hold a dumbbell in your other hand and place it on your left thigh for extra weight during the exercise. If you don’t use a weight, keep your hand on your hip.
All you need to do now is raise your left leg, whilst keeping your leg straight and toes pointing forward. Lift it as high as possible and keep it for 3 seconds in this upper position. Then slowly lower your leg to the starting position. This is one rep for one leg. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg.
Extra Exercises Worth Mentioning
We have just shown you 6 exercises to reduce cellulite on your butt and legs, but there are many more ways to build muscle, increase metabolism and reduce fat in those areas. A couple of worthy mentions are the following exercises. All of these can also be done at home and don’t require a lot of training materials; all you need is the equipment we mentioned earlier.
Step Ups are great to work your thighs and glutes. It is a good exercise for strength, balance and cardio. This can be done inside your house, or anywhere around the house, as long as you have a 1 or 2 feet high step. Simply stand in front of the step and step on it one leg at a time. Then step off it until both feet are on the floor again. This can be done with dumbbells, kettlebells, or basically any weight you can find.
Stair Climbing is also great for toning your thighs and butt, while working on your cardio at the same time. Walking up a stair isn’t a big deal for many people, but now try doing it for 10 minutes continuously. Going up and down non-stop for 10 minutes will surely make you feel the right body parts, which also happen to be the areas where cellulite is mostly found.
Last but definitely not least: Deadlifts. Deadlifting is a great exercise for increasing your core strength, core stability and general posture. Deadlifts target every muscle in your legs, lower back and core and are therefore great for helping you reduce cellulite. We will write a whole article about deadlifts soon, as there are so many great things about this exercise, we don’t want to spoil everything here.
Other Ways To Reduce Cellulite
Apart from spot-training specific parts of your body, there are also other ways to help you reduce cellulite on your butt and legs. There are diets, rollers, supplements and treatments. We will write a comprehensive article about this shortly, so we can talk about what is what and explain what is best for you.
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Cellulite is not the end of the world. Sure, many people might not exactly like the look of it, but it isn’t a huge problem and it can be reduced. There is no need to feel insecure about it, as most women – in the whole wide world – have (had) it. So there is no need to worry.
We have given you 6 great exercises which will, given some time, reduce cellulite on your butt and legs. They will target all the right areas and not only reduce cellulite, but also give you a great round and tight booty. All you will need to do is live healthy, exercise and results will follow soon enough. The great thing is that all these exercises can easily be done at home. So even when gyms are closed because of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, you can still work on your health and your butt.
If you have any questions about any of the exercises above, please let us know via the comment section below, of send us a private message via the contact page. We are here to help you!