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The Best Workout Plan to Get Rid of Cellulite

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 3/28/2009

The only way to get rid of cellulite is to work it off with a two-pronged attack: aerobics and lower-body exercises. Banish your cellulite and get beach-ready with this effective cellulite-burning workout.

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    What is cellulite?

    90% of women have cellulite. Appearing mainly on the thighs, butt, and hips, cellulite looks like dimples on a woman’s skin. It is often described as having a cottage cheese type look.

    Cellulite dimples are caused by fat pockets beneath the skin. Underneath the skin, the fat contains fibrous bands. These bands take on a zig zag rather than straight, smooth shape—thanks to a combination of female hormones and genetics—and that irregular zig zag shape allows fat to push through the connective tissue, resulting in visible cellulite bumps and dimples.

    Since genetics and hormones are big factors in determining who gets cellulite, even lean, fit women can get cellulite. But no matter what genes you have, the amount of fat in your body also plays a large part in determining if you’ll see cellulite. Excess weight can make cellulite more noticeable.

    The best way to get rid of cellulite caused by excess weight is to take a two-pronged approach: combine aerobics with lower body exercise.

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    Aerobic Exercise to Get Rid of Cellulite

    To get rid of cellulite, add fat-burning cardio exercise to your routine. To maximize fat loss, get 200 minutes of aerobic exercise per week—that’s about 40 minutes, five days a week.

    According to Wayne Westcott, author of “No More Cellulite,” a study conducted with 115 women found that 200 minutes per week of intense cardio was the magic number to stimulate fat loss.

    Good aerobic exercises to get rid of cellulite include walking, running, and bicycling among others. Check your heart rate while you exercise to be sure you’re in the fat-burning zone.

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    Lower Body Exercises to Get Rid of Cellulite

    Tone your hips, butt, and thighs—the most common places cellulite accumulates—with these lower body exercises. Start by doing one set of 10 to 12 reps, and work your way up to more sets as you grow stronger. As the exercises become too easy, add dumbbells or ankle weights to increase the difficulty.

    • Squat Kickback. Add a twist to the standard squat by kicking a leg back and squeezing your glutes. Hold the initial squat for three, then rise and hold the leg back for one. Repeat.
    • Glute Squeeze. Lie on the floor with knees bent, feet under knees, and back on the floor. Press into your heels and squeeze the glutes, lifting your hips. Lower your hips half way to the floor for two counts, then raise again.
    • All Fours Kickback. Get on the floor on all fours. Keep your head down and back straight and support most of your weight on your forearms. Slowly swing your right leg back and press your right foot up toward the ceiling. Stop when your thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold for one count and lower to starting position. Alternate legs for each set.

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    A Note About Diet and Cellulite

    It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning: a healthy diet must be part of your “get rid of cellulite” exercise plan. You won’t lose weight unless you watch your calories.

    And don’t even think about crash-dieting. Crash dieting can actually cause cellulite or make it worse. The typical crash diet will cause you to lose weight rapidly—so rapidly that your skin can lose elasticity and make cellulite dimples more prominent. Gradual weight loss combined with muscle-building exercises that change the shape of your lower body are the most effective cellulite-busters.