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The 10 Best Exercises to Target Cellulite-Prone Areas

  • 5 min read


by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

Have you ever wondered if there were exercises to target cellulite-prone areas?

Cellulite consists of fat deposits located just under the skin, often appearing as lumps or dimples near the buttocks and upper thighs, particularly in women. Increasing muscle mass can make cellulite less noticeable and help in burning more calories.

So, does exercise help reduce cellulite? While exercise may not completely eliminate cellulite, it can reduce the size of these fat deposits.

In this article, we will dive deeper and discuss more on cellulite and exercises to target cellulite-prone areas.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before starting any exercise program, making changes to your nutrition plan, or adding any new supplements to your current regimen.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite affects approximately 80-90% of women at some point in their lives. It is caused by fat deposits beneath the skin, known as adipocytes or “fat cells,” which create a lumpy appearance.

While cellulite can appear anywhere on the body, it is most commonly found in the thigh and glute areas due to the higher concentration of fat cells in these regions.

Cellulite is not a disease but rather an aesthetic issue influenced by several factors, such as:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Poor circulation
  • Hereditary
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Best Exercises to Target Cellulite-Prone Areas

Below are some of the best exercises you can do to target cellulite-affected areas:

1.     Aerobic exercises

Aerobic exercise includes activities that raise your heart and breathing rates over a sustained period. Regular aerobic exercise helps burn calories and, when combined with a healthy diet, can aid in weight loss. This, in turn, can reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Common aerobic exercises are:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Jumping rope

You can do aerobic exercise daily, but it’s important to note that some activities, like running and cycling, carry a risk of injury. Therefore, varying your aerobic routine can be beneficial.

2.     Stair climbing

Stair climbing burns about 10 calories per minute and effectively works the muscles in the butt and thighs. This is particularly beneficial since these areas often have the highest concentration of cellulite.

3.     Lunges

This exercise strengthens leg muscles, including those used for walking, running, and jumping. In addition to that, lunges help you burn more calories compared to many other exercises.

4.     Curtsy lunge

Another exercise that is effective for cellulite is the curtsy lunge. It targets the gluteus medius, quads, and hamstrings, helping to strengthen these muscle groups.

Strength-building exercises are most effective when the body has adequate time to recover, making it important to avoid performing the same exercises on consecutive days.

Scheduling recovery days allows muscles to repair and grow, improving the effectiveness of your workout routine.

Ideally, you should perform exercises like curtsy lunges two to three times per week to maximize muscle development and reduce the appearance of cellulite.

5.     Squats

Squats are an excellent exercise for toning the glutes, thighs, and hips, making them effective in combating cellulite. Also, they enhance overall lower body strength and stability.

By incorporating squats into your routine, you can improve muscle tone in key areas and boost your overall physical performance.

6.     Squat jump

This explosive exercise is an excellent way to build agility and strength. Although it is said to be high impact, it may not be suitable for those with knee issues. If that’s the case, then stick with the traditional squat, where your feet are always placed on the ground.

7.     Deadlifts

Deadlifts are a compound exercise that mostly targets the hamstrings and glutes, which makes them effective for tightening and toning the back of the thighs. Our thighs are mostly prone to cellulite, so deadlifts can be the perfect solution for this.

8.     Split squat

Split squats, also popularly known as the Bulgarian split squat, need an elevated surface, ideally a bench. Split squats target the hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

9.     Jumping jacks

Jumping jacks are very simple yet one of the most effective exercises for improving heart rate and engaging various muscle groups, such as the hips, thighs, and butt.

10.                      Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact, full-body exercise that mostly targets cellulite-affected areas while boosting overall muscle tone and cardiovascular health.

How Long Does It Take to Reduce Cellulite?

Cellulite is a common cosmetic concern that primarily affects women. According to research, approximately 85% of females over the age of 20 may experience cellulite to some degree.

While cellulite can be challenging to get rid of, studies suggest that there are no long-lasting treatments proven to be effective in its complete removal. This is why exercise may be the most promising approach for those seeking to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Physical activity offers numerous health benefits, so unless advised otherwise by a medical professional, there is no harm in adopting an exercise routine as a long-term strategy to improve the appearance of cellulite