Cellulite can show up at any age – girls, teens, and women. Cellulite is strands of connective tissue that separate fat cells and connect to skin, causing a honey-combed shaped pattern. In men, the connective tissue has a horizontal pattern that forms a criss-cross pattern, making their skin less dimply. Although cellulite can show up on girls or teens, it is more likely to show up on women, because as they age, the stands of connective tissue thicken and their skin gets thinner. This makes cellulite more noticeable in women. Additionally, we gain fat as we age. According to Prevention magazine advisor Wayne Wescott, PhD., the average woman loses five pounds of muscle and replaces it with about fifteen pounds of fat every decade of her adult life.
Getting rid of cellulite properly is done with exercising three times a week, targeting the lower body muscles from every angle. This will reduce the underlying fat stores and replace lost muscle tissue, giving the lower body area a taut and toned appearance.
Before starting any exercise, you should warm up thoroughly by stretching, walking, stationary cycling, or light calisthenics. Then, perform one set of ten to fifteen repetitions of the following exercises:
Side by Side
- Keep your hands on your hips and stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Point your toes out about 45 degrees. Keep your back flat and straight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest them at your hips.
- Take a giant step to the left and bend your knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor, keeping your right leg extended. Your left knee should not stick out over your toes and your butt should not dip below your knee. Pause. Then, return to the starting position and repeat the exercise to the right side without resting.
- For this exercise you will need ankle weights or a light dumbbell behind the knee. Do not arch or hump your back because it will prevent you from putting stress on your back. Get down on your forearms and knees. Keep your back straight nad your head in line with your back so that you are looking down.
- Slowly swing your right leg back and lift your right foot toward the ceiling until your thigh is parallel to the ground, while keeping your back straight. Keep your foot flexed. Hold for one second. Then, return to the starting position. Do one set for each leg.
Lying Inner-Leg Lift
- You will need ankle weights for this exercise. Keep your upper body stationary, resisting the urge to sway back and forth. Lie on your left side, with your head on your upper arm. Place your right hand on the floor in front of your chest. Bend the knee of your top leg, placing the foot of your top leg in front of your other knee. Keep your bottom leg straight.
- Slowly raise your bottom leg as high as you can, comfortably. Hold for one second and then slowly lower. Do one set with each leg.
Squat & Side Lift
- Wearing ankle weights, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your hands on your hips. Your elbows should be out to the sides and your toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head straight and your eyes facing forward. Slowly bend at the knees and squat back, as if you are trying to sit in an imaginary chair. Keep your back flat and make sure your knees don’t stick out over your toes. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause.
- Straighten your legs, lifting your left leg off the floor and out to the side as you stand. Pause again and then return to the starting position. Repeat, but using your right leg. Alternate legs throughout the exercise.
- You will need an exercise band for this exercise. Keep your back flat on the floor without arching your lower back or twisting your torso. If you can’t keep balance, lie next to a chair and hold onto one of its legs for support. Loosely tie the band around your ankles and lie on your back with your arms down at your sides. Stick both legs straight up, directly above your hips, spreading your feet wide enough that the band is slightly taut. Flex your feet.
- Slowly open your legs as far as you can, until the tension becomes too much to pull any farther. Pause, then slowly close your legs back to the starting position.
- Stand two feet in front of a sturdy chair or bench, with your back to it. Bend your left knee and extend your leg behind you. Put the top of your left foot on the seat of the chair or bench. Keep your back straight, your head aligned with your spine, and your eyes facing forward.
- Slowly bend your right knee until it is parallel with the floor. Do not let your right knee stick out over your toes. Pause, then go back to the starting position. Alternate legs for each set
Alternately, you can do cardio exercises to tone down cellulite, such as running, walking up a hill, cycling, or cardio classes. Stop fat in its tracks by eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meat and proteins, and whole grains. Eating six smaller meals instead of three will speed up fat burning and keep you feeling full throughout the day. Avoid anything white – breads, pasta, cereal, crackers, etc., and look for darker vegetables. Reducing your blood sugar levels will accelerate fat burning. Be sure to drink plenty of water, because staying hydrated improves the texture of your skin, helping your body to release excess fluid it may storing. Also, getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night can also reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Other ways to remove cellulite are creams, massages, body wraps, skin brushers, or liposuction, but the healthiest ways are to follow the balanced diet and exercise plan to make sure the cellulite will disappear for good.