Now you can sculpt and smooth your backside and thighs. This quickie circuit will tone up your entire lower body.
Cellulite – it isn’t pretty. And it won’t go away without a ﬁght. Really, it’s just fat that happens to be packaged in lumps instead of layers, says Wayne Westcott, a professor of exercise science at Quincy College in the US, who has done numerous studies on exercise and cellulite. Various factors – genetics, hormones and bad circulation, to name a few – ﬁgure into whether you’ll get the bumpy stuff .
But the ﬁtness connection boils down to this: “When you lose muscle or don’t have much of it, there’s no underlying foundation, so fat clumps up,” Wayne says. You can’t spot-burn, but you can spot-ﬁrm, he says. So because cellulite tends to accumulate on your butt and legs, your smoothing strategy needs to be to hit the lower body hard with high reps of moderately heavy strength moves.
“This will attack that fat – by building the crucial muscle foundation below it and burning calories in general – and repackage what’s left of it into smoother layers,” Wayne says.
We went to top trainer Joey Gonzalez, the CEO of Barry’s Bootcamp in the US, to cook up a fast cellulite-ﬁghting routine. The workout studio dedicates Tuesdays to butts and legs. You’ve got six moves that all use dumbbells: “Just having the weights in your hands for lower-body moves is enough to kick your heart rate up, melt more calories and force your muscles to work harder,” Joey says.
“Do it regularly and you’ll burn off that stored fat and lay down tight, dense muscle in its place.” Cellulite problem? Not anymore.
Do two sets of each move for the number of reps indicated. If you do all your reps but don’t feel burnt out, tack on ﬁve more (per side if needed). Limit rest to 15 seconds between moves. You can do this routine three days a week on alternate days.
Two sets of dumbbells – one heavier (7kg or 10kg) and one lighter (4kg to 6kg). If you can get your hands on only one set, choose 6kg or 7kg.
1 Lateral Goblet Lunge
Works butt, inner thighs, hamstrings, calves
Stand with feet together, holding one heavier dumbbell vertically by one end with both hands at chest height, elbows bent by sides, to start. Keeping left leg straight and both feet pointing forward, step right leg as far right as possible, bending knee and lowering hips deeply [shown]. Push off right foot to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 20 reps. Switch sides and repeat.
2 Dumbbell Curtsy Lunge
Works butt, quads, hamstrings, outer thighs, inner thighs, calves
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding one lighter dumbbell in each hand with arms by sides to start. Keeping hips and shoulders square, step left leg behind and across right leg, bending both knees 90 degrees [shown]. Push off left foot to return to start. Switch sides and repeat. That’s 1 rep. Do 20 reps.
3 Goblet Plie Squat
Works butt, inner thighs, quads, hamstrings, calves
Stand with feet wide and toes turned out, holding one heavier dumbbell vertically by one end, with both hands at chest height, elbows bent by sides to start. Squat, pushing knees out to sides [shown]. Return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 20 reps.
4 Weighted Bridge
Works butt, hamstrings
Lie face up on ﬂoor with knees bent and feet ﬂat, holding one heavier dumbbell horizontally on hips with both hands to start. Lift hips, squeezing knees inwards, and hold for 3 seconds [shown]. Lower hips to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 20 reps.
5 Heavy Lying Abduction
Works hips, inner thighs
Lie on ﬂoor on left side, torso lifted, left forearm on ﬂoor perpendicular to body, legs stacked, with one lighter weight resting above right knee, right hand resting loosely on weight to start. Lift right leg and hold for 3 seconds [shown]. Lower leg to return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 20 reps. Switch sides and repeat.
6 Single-leg Dead Lift
Works lower back, abs, butt, hamstrings Stand with feet hipwidth apart, holding one lighter weight in each hand, with palms turned towards body and weights resting on thighs. Lift right leg a few centimetres off ﬂoor to start.
Hinge forward from hips, lowering torso towards ﬂoor and extending weights down close to legs as you extend straight right leg behind you until body forms a T [shown]. Slowly return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 15 reps. Switch sides and repeat.
Do cellulite creams work?
“It depends on the person and the severity of the cellulite, but you may see results for a few hours,” says Dr David Bank, a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York. Pick a formula with caffeine and massage it in – think deep-tissue-level pressure – for at least five minutes.
Speed Up Your Fat Melt
To torch even more calories during this workout, try it Barry’s Bootcamp–style by alternating two-minute treadmill sprints after every two moves. No treadmill? Do burpees.