STRENGTH TRAINING & CARDIO EXERCISES
Wayne Westcott, fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, conducted an eight-week study evaluating the role cardio and strength training play in cellulite reduction. Study participants did three weekly 20-minute sessions of cardio and three weekly 20-minute full-body strength training sessions. Participants lost 1 lb per week and those who dieted doubled their weight loss. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), this weekly formula for exercise improves body composition and reduces cellulite.
Lunges and squats are examples of lower body strength training exercises, and upper body exercises include bicep curls, push-ups and rows. According to ACE, it is impossible to target a specific area for weight loss--toning the entire body contributes to cellulite reduction and burns fat in the thighs and buns. Appropriate modes of cardio exercise include swimming, hiking, running, cycling, dancing and speed walking.
Lunges tones the glutes, inner thighs and leg muscles while firming surrounding skin. Mayo Clinic reports that cellulite becomes more visible when skin loses elasticity. To perform a lunge, stand up straight and bend your knees slightly. Next, adjust your feet so that they are shoulder-width apart and relax your shoulders. Step your right foot forward three feet, aligning your right knee directly over your right ankle while lifting onto the toes of your left foot. Lower your left knee towards the ground, stopping before it hits the floor. Finally, push up through the heel of your right foot and return to standing. After completing 15 lunges with your right leg, switch leg positioning and do the same with your left leg.
ACE recommends the dumbbell squat exercise as an effective way to reduce cellulite in the lower body. Squatting challenges the inner thighs and glutes while slimming the legs. To do a dumbbell squat, hold a light weight in each hand and rest your arms by your side. Next, adjust your feet so that they are hip-width apart, align your knees with your ankles and bend your knees slightly. Tightening your abdominal muscles helps you maintain proper form during this exercise. Stick your glutes out behind you and lower your hips toward the ground. Finally, stop when the backs of your legs are parallel to the ground, push up through your heels and return to standing. As you build strength, increase the weight you hold for additional gains.