Cellulite fight

Hailey Eustice illustrates a wide stance plie squat at Superior Athletic Club in Medford.

Forget the creams and miracle cures. Exercise can definitely make a difference in the appearance of your skin through improved circulation and muscle tone.

Is exercise a miraculous cure for cellulite?

Maybe not, but it can tone muscle, reduce fat and burn more calories, all important in decreasing and preventing cellulite. Admit it, ladies: Dimples are only cute on one set of cheeks!

Below are some simple exercises to help target the most cellulite-susceptible areas: hips, tummy and thighs. It's important to start every exercise session with a few, good stretches and a warm-up. Aerobic (cardiovascular) exercises, such as jogging in place, skipping rope or jumping jacks help loosen muscles, preparing them for the strain of more intense exercises to come.

Reverse lunge (glutes, quads)

1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides, holding a medium-weight dumbbell in each hand.

2. Lunge behind you with the right foot, bending both knees 90 degrees. Hold for one count, return to start and repeat. Do 12 to 15 repetitions; switch legs.

Dead lifts (glutes, hamstrings)

1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing inward.

2. Slowly bend forward, driving glutes behind you while keeping knees slightly bent. Keeping your back straight, tighten glutes and stand up. Do eight to 10 repetitions.

Standing calf raise (calves)

1. Stand on a stair or step with heels of both feet hanging over the edge. Keep abdominals tight.

2. Slowly lift up onto balls of your feet. Hold for one count, then lower feet until heels are just below the step. Do eight to 10 repetitions. For an added challenge, do the move on one leg at a time.

Side step with band (glutes, outer thighs)

1. Tie a resistance band around your shins, then stand with feet wide enough to feel some tension in the band, knees bent about 45 degrees.

2. Step right foot a few inches to your right, then step left with your left foot and come back to center. Take about 12 to 15 steps in each direction.

Wide-stance plie squat (glutes, inner thighs)

1. Begin in a wide stance with toes out as far as comfortable.

2. Bend your knees and lower down into a squat, keeping knees in line with toes, abdominals contracted and back straight. Go down only as low as you can without compromising flexibility or balance.

3. Using glutes and thighs, push back to start without locking the knees. Do eight to 10 repetitions.

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