Cellulite (aka “cottage cheese” thighs) is a hot topic for most women. Surprisingly, it’s something that over 90% of women deal with, whether you are overweight or not. In fact, thin clients that I work with struggle with cellulite on their lower bodies as well.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is caused by the fat stored directly beneath the skin’s surface. This fat presses against the fibers that connect the muscles to the skin. This pressing creates that unattractive, bumpy “cottage cheese” look to the surface of the skin.
Cellulite doesn’t have so much to do with amount of fat, but more about the underlying soft tissue (including muscle mass), water retention and the orientation of the fiber in the lower body on women (those lucky men don’t have to struggle with this nearly as much).
As with our tummies, when we’re looking to address the fat on our lower bodies, nutrition is key. But what if your nutrition is on track and you’re still not seeing results? Follow the training tips below and you will be able to tone and trim your butt, legs and thighs in record time.
How to Get Rid of Cellulite: 4 Training Tips
- Ditch the cardio and pick up some weights! Many women think that in order to tone their lower body they have to get out and run mile after mile (YUCK!). This is simply not the case. In fact, increasing lean muscle through weight training-NOT cardio-is the quickest and most effective way to help naturally reduce the appearance of cellulite, especially in the legs and butt. Focusing on weight training builds lean muscle, and lean muscle will continue to burn fat for you even when you’re at rest. Muscle underlies the collagen and fat layer, and when muscle mass is built and strengthened below, it pulls the connective tissues tighter.
- Use the 2 H’s: Make sure each of your lower body training sessions includes BeyondFit’s 2 H’s: hybrids & heavy! Your training focus should be to use heavy weights that induce failure. You should also focus on challenging these tough-to-tone areas from several angles with hybrid exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time.
- Don’t worry about “bulking”: Nutrition, not your training, makes you “bulky.” As much as I hate it, there seems to be a common notion among women that lifting heavy weights will make you “bulk up” or turn into the hulk. What most women don’t know, however, is that as long as attention is paid to fat-burning and quality nutrition, weight training will not make you bigger- in fact, it will actually make you SMALLER than simply doing cardio alone. Women who focus on building lean muscle get a tight, toned look, NOT a bulky, hulk appearance.
- Keep it short & sweet: On your training days, your goal is to repeat one circuit workout for as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes! Yes, that’s right, when burning fat (specifically lower body fat) is your goal, you want to keep your workouts short yet intense. At the end of your 20 minutes, induce additional hormonal responses by completing a 5 minute lower body fat burning finisher, alternating between two targeted toning exercises and resting as needed. And you’re DONE!
Here’s one of my favorite lower body workouts to get you started.
Note on your squats: To focus on the inner thigh, do squats with your legs wider than your shoulders and toes turned out 45 degrees. When you lower into the squat, check out your knees in the mirror to assure they are about 90 degrees at the bottom and are going in the same direction at your toes.
Final note on your weights: Remember, it is much better to perform these with heavier weight and take short rests throughout the set than to go lighter and be able to do the whole set and more with ease.
Want to learn more? Here’s a replay of the BeyondFit Lean Legs Workshop: 3 Steps to Target Tough to Tone Areas
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