Best Exercises to Beat Cellulite

Updated August 26, 2019
Woman in white underpants holding an orange

While it's possible to reduce the appearance of cellulite with exercise, some people are genetically destined to have some cellulite - particularly in the thighs and backside region. Completely erasing cellulite may not be possible, but reducing the appearance is an attainable goal.

Strength Training

Strength training - not spot reducing - is the key in minimizing the appearance of cellulite.

Legs, Thighs, and Butt Cellulite

Tightening up the legs and buttocks with body weight exercises or weighted exercises like squats, lunges, and other lower body strength moves can reduce inches and firm up the body overall. This will help make the look of cellulite less prevalent.

Woman jump squats in gym exercise class

Arm Cellulite

Cellulite isn't exclusive to the lower half of the body. Many people experience cellulite in their upper arms, especially in the triceps area. Doing strength exercises specific to the upper arms can help smooth out this area and make it stronger.

Cardio Training

Cardio training is good for the heart and overall health, but cardio alone is not the best route to take in an effort to reduce the look of cellulite. Cardio, together with strength training, will help increase blood circulation throughout the body and may help reduce cellulite. And while easy to moderate cardio like walking will benefit health, it's more likely a higher intensity exercise regimen like high intensity interval training (HIIT) will reduce the look of cellulite quicker.

Targeted Cardio

There are some forms of cardio that will target certain parts of the body - note that this isn't spot reduction, but is more about utilizing those parts of the body to make them stronger and have more endurance. Choose cardio that will target the portions of your body featuring cellulite. For example, if your hips, thighs, and buttocks have the cellulite that bothers you, cardio kickboxing might be a good choice for you since it utilizes the lower body throughout the workout. Running, like other forms of cardio, can help reduce the look of cellulite but will not get rid of it.

Small Group Of People Exercising in a Gym

Cellulite Workout Plan

The goal in reducing cellulite is to reduce body fat while strengthening muscles. This can be done by doing two-three days of strength training weekly, along with three-four days of cardio. Allow yourself at least one recovery day consisting of rest, very light cardio, or a gentle mind/body workout like yoga. Here is a sample strength day workout with a focus on the lower body:

  1. Start with a warm up to ready your muscles to work.
  2. Do 60 seconds of slow, controlled squats - these can be weighted or unweighted, but weights increase the intensity.
  3. Do 60 seconds of pulsing squats.
  4. Hold a squat for 60 seconds.
  5. Do 30 seconds of donkey kicks on one side, then 30 seconds on the other side.
  6. Do 60 seconds of flutter kicks.
  7. Do 60 seconds of heavy kettlebell deadlifts - hand weights or a barbell will work for this too.
  8. Do 60 seconds of weighted lunges on the right leg.
  9. Do 60 seconds of weighted lunges on the left leg.
  10. Hold a plank for 60 seconds.
  11. Repeat the sequence once or twice, starting with Step #2.
  12. Cool down and stretch.

Nutrition for Best Results

For best results, combine nutritional changes with exercise to help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Lowering the intake of simple carbs and increasing the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables will help, as will cutting out processed food. Changing your diet will help you see results much faster (a few weeks as opposed to a few months), although these changes won't be dramatic at first and you will probably notice them faster than the people around you will.

Workout and fitness dieting

Cellulite Doesn't Mean Unfit

Having cellulite doesn't mean you are unfit or weak; some people are just genetically predisposed to this condition. Focus on your overall fitness and physical capabilities instead of your appearance and you'll be on the right track to good health.

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Best Exercises to Beat Cellulite