If you have cellulite on the backs of your thighs, you're not alone. Cellulite is a common complaint among women of all sizes, and it's not easy to get rid of. Cellulite is simply fat that's bulging through the connective tissues that separate your fat cells into pockets, reports the American Council on Exercise. Cellulite is a tough problem to tackle, since it's impossible to remove all fat from your body. However, you can help improve the appearance of cellulite by losing excess weight and strengthening the thigh muscles that lie under the fat.
An effective cellulite-targeting workout includes both calorie-blasting cardio to burn fat and muscle-building exercises to strengthen and firm the thighs. To make the most of your cardio workout, try interval training; this type of exercise helps you burn more calories per minute, keeps your body challenged and can be done in as little as 15 minutes. To perform an interval training workout, simply alternate short bursts of very high-intensity activity with longer periods of moderately-paced exercise, such as two minutes of jogging followed by 30 seconds of sprinting or three minutes of stationary biking at medium resistance followed by one minute at high resistance. Repeat for 15 to 30 minutes at least three times per week.
Two to three sets of reverse lunges can help combat cellulite. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides with palms facing in and a medium-weight dumbbell in each hand. Take a large step back with your right foot and lower your body down until both knees form 90-degree angles; keep your chest tall and shoulders back rather than slumping forward. Hold the position for one count before returning to the starting position. Complete 12 to 15 repetitions and switch to the left leg.
The Romanian deadlift effectively targets your thighs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and arms in front of your body, with palms facing your thighs and a medium dumbbell in each hand. Hinge forward at the hip as you slowly bend forward, allowing your arms to hang in front of you; maintain a flat back and keep your shoulders back. Contract your glutes and raise back to the starting position. Complete eight to 10 repetitions and two to three sets.
Loop a resistance band around your shins and walk your feet out to the sides until you feel tension in the band. Bend your knees about 45 degrees and step your right foot a few inches to the right, then move your left foot to the right, trying to maintain constant tension in the band. Complete 12 to 15 steps to the right before switching to the left. Repeat this two times.
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, holding a medium dumbbell in each hand and letting the dumbbells rest on the front edges of your shoulders. Contract your core and slowly lower down as though you're going to sit back in a chair, stopping when your thighs are parallel to the floor; keep your weight in your heels and don't let your knees move past your toes. Hold the position for one count and push through your heels to raise back up to the starting position. Complete two to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.