Five Simple Exercises to Smooth Thighs
by E.C. LaMeaux
Unsightly cellulite, which is comprised of fat deposits just beneath the skin, appears as lumps or dimples, usually near the buttocks and upper thighs, and is most common in women. Building muscle can make cellulite harder to notice and help burn more calories. While cellulite deposits might never go away completely, burning body fat will make them shrink and be less visible. Here are top five exercises to blast stubborn cellulite.
As long as we’re expending more calories than we’re taking in, we will begin burning the body’s fat deposits. As cardio workouts burn calories, they can reduce overall body fat, which also makes cellulite harder to see. Any exercise such as walking, running, hiking or cycling can help in the overall battle to burn calories and blast cellulite.
Stair climbing burns at least 10 calories a minute, according to the nonprofit National Wellness Institute, that promotes healthy lifestyles worldwide. Plus, stair climbing has the added benefit of working all the muscle areas that tend to get hit with the greatest amounts of cellulite.
Janet Wallace, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology at Indiana University-Bloomington, advises that leg lifts are the best exercise for toning the outer thighs.
Lie on the floor on your side, placing one elbow on the ground and prop your head up with that same hand. Place the other hand on the floor beside your waist. With legs straight and toes pointed, lift the top leg up as far as it will go, then slowly lower it back down. Do 10 to 15 reps, and then turn over and work the other leg.
An MSNBC health segment recommends this fat-busting move to target all the areas that are most susceptible to cellulite. While kneeling on hands and knees, lift a leg up behind you until it’s pointed upward at a 45-degree angle. Slowly bring the leg back down and repeat the movement with the other leg. Start with 15 reps and work up from there.
Stand comfortably with feet about a foot apart. Slowly bend the knees to lower your body until both thighs are parallel to the floor. Then gradually stand back up, squeezing gluteal and back-of-the-thigh muscles as you rise.
If performed consistently, this exercise will increase muscle strength in the thighs and buttocks, which also helps burn fat, according to the Mayo Clinic. Less fat equals less noticeable cellulite. As with the other exercises, start with 15 repetitions a session and work up to more.
E.C. LaMeaux posts a body of work at Gaiam Life (Life.Gaiam.com), from which this was adapted.