Here is an old post that’s still relevant today.
Want to get rid of cellulite and build a rock-solid foundation?
The strongest and arguably most important muscle groups in your body are legs and glutes. I refer to them as the foundation of the body. They have to carry us around all our lives. Strong legs translate into good balance and fluid stride.
Unfortunately, a lot of exercisers neglect to train legs and glutes properly and consequently have a weak foundation for their upper torso. Let’s change that right now with a routine that’s sure to have them looking like you are a fitness model.
There are four major muscle groups in the lower body:
- the gluteus (buttocks area)
- quadriceps or front of the thighs (quads for short)
- hamstrings or back of the thighs and
- calf muscles.
Get rid of cellulite with these HIIT weight training routines
The following basic exercises will target gluteus, hamstring and quadriceps muscles. Remember we need to ramp up the intensity and weight by doing HIIT weight training when exercising legs . . . simply because they can handle it.
Let’s start with the buttock muscles . . . or as they are affectionately called the ‘glutes’ and the quads. Everyone wants a tight, toned butt and doing the following exercises will have you looking good in no time. It will require some consistent HIIT weight training, but trust me – it’s worth it. Your butt didn’t get soft and flabby overnight so you have to train them longer and harder to see good results.
The first exercise is the squat. Contrary to popular belief squats are easy to learn. It’s natural for the body to get into a squatting position. Every time you sit down and stand-up you are doing a modified squat. After adhering to a few safety rules, you can progress from chair squats to using actual weights.
Rules for squatting includes:
- Maintain a straight back.
- Keep your head up and focus your eyes on objects at standing eye level.
- Don’t let your knees go too far beyond your feet in the squat position.
- Keep your knees in line with your feet. Toes should be pointed in their natural position – slightly outward.
- Keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder width on the bar.
- Don’t rest the bar on your neck but across your upper shoulders.
- Perform squats only once per week.
Let’s begin with the chair movements. Stand in front of a sturdy, straight back chair, facing away from the chair. Holding your hands straight out in front of you, sit and stand a few times. You may need to assist yourself by holding the chair at first, and that’s OK. After repeating this exercise a few times, you will get the hang it. Do five repetitions and rest. You should be able to do five sets of five repetitions.
After doing the chair exercise for a couple of weeks you can move to the next stage – using a straight bar with weights at a squat rack or machine. They can also be done at home with a weighted bar across your shoulders.
When doing freestanding squats, make yourself as comfortable as possible. Use light enough weights to allow you to do eight to ten repetitions.
A weight-lifting belt – although not necessary – may help to protect your lower back from injury when doing squats.
The next exercise is the dead lift. You can use dumbbells or a straight bar. While standing, bend over and grasp weights. If using a straight bar, hold it at shoulder width.
Bend knees slightly and keeping your back as straight as possible, raise and lower weights to floor for one repetition. In this exercise you are using your hips to move the weights. Maintain proper form throughout the movement. Be sure to use light weights or even just the bar by itself until you get use to the movement.
Lunges are an excellent exercise for targeting the buttocks area as well as your quadriceps muscles. I call them the cellulite buster.
To perform lunges – place a barbell across the back of your shoulders or hold a set of dumbbells in each hand. Lift your chest up and look straight ahead. Put your right leg forward as if taking a long stride. Begin to slowly bend your knees as you lower your hips. Bend low enough so that your rear knee is almost touching the floor. Slowly straighten your legs and raise your body back to a standing position. Do eight to ten reps on each leg for one set or you can alternate legs for each rep.
Be sure that your knees do not go past your toes in the down position. You might want to practice doing these without weights since your balance comes into play.
To help you get a tight butt and strong hamstring (muscles at the back of your thighs), you must add leg curls to your lower body workout routine. To do this exercise you will need to find a leg curl machine in your gym. Ask someone there to point it out and to demonstrate how to use it. Exercise bands can also be used.
The key to performing leg curls is to do a full range of motion. This means that you must straighten your legs at the bottom of the movement. As you raise your legs . . . pulling your knees backward, you want to squeeze the buttocks and hamstring muscles. Bring your legs back as far as possible and squeeze for a second at the top, then lower your legs for one repetition. The exercise is similar to doing an arm curl. Do eight to ten repetitions. Three sets of this exercise are good for now.
A great shaping exercise for the quads is the leg extensions. You might need to ask someone to point out this machine on the gym floor. The movements are very basic. Get comfortable on the machine by adjusting the seat and length of the extension. Use light enough weights that will allow you to do ten to fifteen repetitions. Do a full range of motion for each rep. Squeeze the quads at the top of the movement. Three sets are more than enough.
Calf exercise can help diabetics with the circulation and ‘tingling in feet’ feeling. Do these once or twice each week.
Most gyms are equipped with a calf machine. If not, you can always improvise. Adjust the machine to accommodate your legs. Squeeze the calves at the top of the movement for an effective pump. Do three sets of fifteen repetitions. Your calves should be fully pumped after that.
Calves can also be done at home by doing standing calf raises. These are very basic leg exercises. To do them – hold on to the back of a sturdy chair and raise your body on tippy toes. They can be performed using both legs or one at a time. Do four sets of ten repetitions and rest. As you get better at doing these, graduate to unaided calf raises (no chair support).
Remember to stretch your leg muscles at least three to four days per week. Stretching will help to keep them flexible and toned and also reduce the tingling in feet and legs for diabetics.
Don’t forget: A good HIIT cardio routine will also help tone and maintain your glutes as well as the rest of the leg muscles.
There are variations to the above leg routines but these are the core exercises for developing strong, shapely butt and legs and get rid of cellulite and jiggly thighs. You won’t need to exercise them more than once per week.
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