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Cellulite: Why We Have It – and How to Get Rid of It

One of my facebook friends, Patti, asked me a great question this week. She asked “Is there any REAL help for cellulite dimples? Bought some smaller shorts today :), but now, there’s that cellulite!!!”

I’ve got good news – I DO have an answer! Here it goes!

celluliteMy answer isn’t a cream, nor is it a complicated surgical procedure. My solution is something that has been around for years – diet and exercise. Surprised?

You see, I don’t believe the issue is always the lumpy fat we call cellulite. I think the problem due to the amount of body fat we gain, as well as the muscle we lose. The unfortunate combination can leave skin loose and lumpy. Cellulite can also be a problem after losing weight because the weight loss leaves our skin loose, and many times people lose muscle if they aren’t working out or getting enough protein.

“What causes cellulite?”

celluliteLet’s look at the facts. Women, who do not exercise, lose an average of 5 pounds of muscle per decade before menopause and up to a pound a year thereafter. Since cellulite is more common for women, this causes a couple of problems.

Each pound of lean muscle lost decreases your metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. If you already have a problem with cellulite, the slowing metabolism will only make matters worse. Weight gain causes the cellulite to be more pronounced as the fat cells grow.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the firm muscle that once supported the skin and fat is now shrinking. Lumpy fat cells are growing, and smooth firm muscle is withering away. Have I scared you into working out yet? I’ll try harder! 🙂

Although diet and exercise may not get rid of all the cellulite in the world, it can make a HUGE difference. A low-calorie diet can reduce and manage overall body fat, affecting the size and visibility of cellulite. Exercise can preserve and increase lean muscle mass, which can prevent, and even reverse, a lot of the problems.

“I gain muscle too easily so I don’t like to lift heavy weights because it just makes me bigger than I already am”.

strong legsBuilding lean muscle not only increases your metabolism to help fight weight gain, but it builds firm shapely muscle to support our aging skin. The problem is, many women who already feel like they are already too thick, are scared to lift heavy in fear of appearing bigger. This fear often keeps them away from the very thing they need most – weights.

Resistance exercise is not what makes people look thick, DIET is what makes people look thick. If you want to trim down your thighs or waistline, you have to reduce calories. If you don’t, you will just be a more fit version of the thick you. Unfortunately, many women start lifting weights, which builds much needed muscle, but they keep the same amount of body fat (because they aren’t paying close enough attention to their diet), so they do feel bigger. The key to success is to reduce body fat and build muscle. Then, you will be one happy camper with less noticeable cellulite – and you’l be stronger, fitter and healthier.

Butt implantsHere is a perfect example of how adding muscle mass can drastically improve cellulite. I googled butt augmentation to find a before and after photo of someone who just added “muscle” (pictured left). As you can see, just by increasing the simulation of muscle mass greatly improved the appearance of her body fat. Of course she didn’t have to go under the knife to get that result, but it’s a great illustration of the point I’m trying to get across to you today. (…and if that doesn’t make you want to do squats, I don’t know what will!)

tone legsSome may argue my theory, but I have seen too many transformations as a result of diet and exercise that are undeniable proof that it works. Although diet and exercise may not always get rid of the problem completely, I bet it works ten times better than any cellulite cream on the market!

GET TO WORK!

Here is a great lower body conditioning workout that not only will help burn fat, but will tone muscle. Powerful plyometric exercises are another great way to build muscle mass – plus it burns a LOAD of calories to help with reducing body fat. Give this workout a try and you’ll realize why we call it Dead Legs!

DEAD LEGS:
Mission: 
3 rounds for time

20 Jailhouse Squats (prisoner squats)
20 Mary Catherines (plyo switch lunge)
20 X Squats (Squat wide, jump feet together and then back out wide, making an X)
20 Crisscross Squats (180 Jumps)
20 Bridges (butt lifts – with hands and feet on floor, lifting butt to up toward the ceiling)
1-Minute Wall sits 

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SARAH: Glute & Thigh Workout

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 12.40.22 PMIt’s time for another custom Designer Whey workout!! I asked YOU guys what kind of workouts YOU wanted. Then, each week, I pick one and create a new custom workout named after that person! Today’s workout is called Sarah, dedicated to Sarah Parker from FitBetty.com.

Sarah writes “I would love to have a good workout to get my legs/glutes/thighs in better shape! I always need help in this area, and it’s time for me to shuffle up my workouts again! Love weights, bodyweight, and plyometrics, kettlebells…it’s all good!

Well, Sarah! Ask and you shall receive!

Sarah Glute & Thigh Workout

What you’ll need: Barbell & 15lb-20lb dumbbells (or kettlebells)
Tip: Click on the links of each exercise to watch video instruction.

butt and legs1 Warm Up

2 Power Moves

3 Glutes & Quades LEFT

3 Glutes & Quades RIGHT

The Finale

*Repeat Entire Workout 4 Times Through.

Follow @Fit_Betty on twitter and see how she liked this workout!

Here’s the workout graphic to Pin or Share! 🙂

Sarah Workout

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

1 Workout and 15 Body Sculpting Exercises Every Woman Should Try

Julie SlowiakThis month I’m using YOUR suggestions for my Designer Whey Workouts this month! Last week, Julie from “Reaching My Fullest Potential“, wrote “I am planning to compete for the first time in Figure next spring and am hoping to strengthen and build my upper back, shoulders, and glutes. I would like to see a workout that uses the barbell and dumbbells.” 

Before I share the workout I created for you Julie, I thought I’d share some extras with ya! First, you are plenty lean, so I’d be sure to beef up your protein intake (which I bet you are already doing!) and really lift as heavy as you can. I’d do a lot of negatives (which means push-press, split jerks & pull ups with a slow controlled downward movement would be helpful). While I wouldn’t put legs, shoulders and back in one workout, I can suggest a few exercises that are a must, along with many other staples, to help develop those areas. Here are just a few of my personal favorites!

15 Exercises Every Women Should Try!

handstandsShoulders:

  1. Barbell Press (I do 55lbs 12 reps)
  2. Push-press (I do 65-75lbs 12 reps)
  3. Split Jerks (I do 75-85lbs 8-10 reps)
  4. Snatch (you can use a dumbbell if you don’t have kettlebells)
  5. Upright Row LOVE THESE! (I do 55lbs)
  6. Handstands (Ok, I just think they are FUN – but they also really challenge your core and stabilization muscles through your shoulders & upper back). Hold each handstand for as long as you can, keeping active shoulder and core tight.

Rear Delt & Upper Back:

  1. Pull Ups (I always try to do them on my own first, and then I do assisted ones)
  2. Face Pulls – (real delts and upper back)
  3. T-Bar (flared arms, out 90 degrees from your side, to work more upper back)
  4. Bentover Barbell Row (mid back)

Glutes (Lower Body):

  1. DEEP Overhead Squat (I love this for core, glutes & inner thigh – even no weight rocks)
  2. Weighted Walking Lunges (I do 15lb or 20lb dumbbells)
  3. Runner’s Pose Stomp
  4. Slow Knee Repeater (NO weight on that back leg)
  5. Curtsy (use a light weight to add resistance)

Remember, this isn’t ALL the exercises for each body part – just a few of the ones I like! 🙂 Now for the workout dedicated to Julie!

The Julie (Curve-Building) Workout:

bikini competitorsThis Figure Athlete inspired workout is a lower-body conditioning workout that gives you more bang for your buck! I used exercises that will sculpt the legs & glutes – plus tone the shoulders, tightens the core, and burn a bunch of fat! This would be a great workout to do alone or add to your current cardio or conditioning program. OR, you can throw this workout in as an extra refresher later in the week after you have done your normal leg and shoulder days. ENJOY!

Tools: Dumbbells or Kettlebells and a barbell.

Warm- Up:

Workout:

          3 Times Through with 1 Minute Rest Between Rounds

NOTE: Remember, you’ll never see any of these curves if you don’t work as hard on your diet as you do on your workout!

The Julie Workout

Butt Lifting Workout

If you want a good butt-lifting workout, this workout never gets old. It hurts just as much as the FIRST time EVERY time! ha! Before you get started, focus on WHY we endure these type of brutal workouts. Focusing on the “why” can be just what you need to endure one more rep.

Benefits of a good glute routine: 

1. Lifts your butt
2. Turns pear shape bottoms to apple bottoms
3. Reduces the appearance of cellulite
4. Smoothes skin (wrinkles) and improves texture
5. Improves strength
6. Gives you a youthful appearance (at least from the rear! ha!)
7. Fills out deflated bottoms that otherwise sag, shake, rattle and roll.

The Reebutt Workout

Yes, his workout is a tribute to Reebok – because they are totally kicking people’s BUTTS these days – and people are loving it! Try this super simple, but SUPER EFFECTIVE (ouchie) workout. Be ready to feel fire in your pants!!

Follow Along with me!  (doesn’t it look like Steve is about to grab my booty here?! ha! Way to go YouTube – you know how to pick ’em!) hahaha

Written Workout:

Go from one exercise straight to the next without rest for the best results. If it starts to burn (like a UTI, as Steve says), then shake it out and get right back at it. The reason this workout is so effective is because we’ll stay on one leg the whole time, and then swap legs and focus on the other leg.

20 Squats
20 Right Lunges
20 Right Stomps
20 Right Leg Cook Hip Lifts

20 Squats
20 Left Lunges
20 Left Stomps
20 Left Leg Cook Hip Lifts

REPEAT 2 TIMES (4 total)

Don’t be lazy this winter! #GetAfterIt – or I’ll have to get after you!

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sweat & Tone with Air Squats

Air Squats can ramp up any workout. In this workout, you can see we alternated air squats with standard body sculpting movements. The result: One tough fat-melting, calorie-burning, muscle-toning workout! Check it out…

Air Squat Workout

Sweat & Tone Workout

Here is the written workout below, with links to video instruction for each workout. Below are tips on how to do a proper air squat. KILL IT!

  1. Air Squats
  2. Barbell Biceps Curl
  3. Air Squats
  4. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    or Push-press (if weight is heavy)
  5. Air Squats
  6. Weighted Plate Crunch

4 Rounds for Time
(timing the exercise ads intensity)

10 Common Mistakes For Air Squats:

Poor Technique Air Squats1. Knees go over toes
2. Butt is tucked under – dropping down, not sitting back
3. Shoulders are rounded
4. Back is rounded
5. Body leans forward, bending at the hips
6. Head is down, instead of looking straight ahead
7. Weight is on the balls of the feet
8. Heels lift up as the body lowers into the deepest position
9. Squat is too shallow
10. Exercise is done too slow

7 tips to doing a great air squat:

  1. Air SquatsEach squat is nice and deep, with your butt dropping below the knees
  2. Hips stay open, body stays vertical (not bending at the hips)
  3. Butt sits backward, back is straight, shoulders are rolled back (not rounded forward)
  4. If you lean forward, or posture struggles, raise hands overhead to improve form
  5. Knees are not over the toes. If they are, use a chair to reference where your bottom “sits”. Your bottom should not sit down, but sit back as you lower, as if sitting or touching a chair. Stretch arms forward to help balance issues.
  6. Weight remains on the heels and not on the toes (Test: can you tap your toes while in the down position?) If you struggle with this. Squat down all the way down, like a baby on the beach playing in the sand). Settle in and stay there until you can shift your weight on your heels, open your hips, spread your knees out and get the feeling of where you need to be in that downward position. Once you feel this, and understand how to balance your weight in that position, you should be able to repeat it as you do the air squat.
  7. Pace is FAST and FLUID

Here is a fun video that shows the intensity, pace and form of an air squat. 

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Blast the Backside: Glute & Ham Workout

Blast the Backside WorkoutAnother Great Glute & Ham Workout this week! Here’s what I did. REMEMBER, I’m hitting glutes twice a week. My other Leg day is quads and glutes. 🙂

4 Sets of 18-20 Each:

Finish this workout with doing the stairs, step mill, treadmill on a steep incline or the elliptical on a high resistance setting.

TIPS*

LEG CURLS: Change things up and do single leg curls to hit your legs a little differently. Or, boost your training by doing a few sets of negatives using too heavy of weight to do alone. Have your partner help you push the weight to the fully contracted position. Then you control the weight back down on your own for a great negative exercise.

STOMPS: I always do one exercise (like lunges or stomps) to fire up the quads too, so expect them to be blazing hot! The key to stomps is making sure the heel of the moving foot comes all the way down and touches the ground – not just the toe touching. Then sit on it – meaning, your bottom should drop down low with each step in.

CURTSIES: Be sure to not put ANY weight on the back foot. Use it only for balance. Also, with each bend, you should come ALL the way back up to a stand. It’s the upward motion that works the glutes. So, all the way down, and all the way up. Add a dumbbell in the dropped hand for more resistance.

Have a great workout!!

BLAST THE BACKSIDE WORKOUT

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

GYM TIME: Leg & Abs Workout

Leg & Abs WorkoutFirst up: My leg workout I did this week.
Second: I share one of my favorite workouts Steve has put together.

If you are like me, you get tired of your same workouts and like to try new things, so occasionally I post my workouts for you guys to try out – or mix a new move in. Here was my quad & ab workout this week – as well as a workout by Steve that you can do at home!

Leg Workout: Do 3-4 sets of 18-20

Begin with a Warm Up
(I normally just do leg press with no weight)


Sit Ups
Ab Circuit

The thing I dislike just a little more than legs (which I reallllly don’t like) is abs. I seriously dread it – so much so, that I made “doing more abs” one of my New Year’s Resolutions. My workout wasn’t anything special or unique this particular day, but I got it done!
🙂

After my workout, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. YUMMY!

Butt, Leg & Abs Workout

Don’t have access to gym equipment? Try this workout at home!

The Workout:

  • 15 Skaters
  • 5 5-Second Crescent Pose/5-Second Warrior 3 Combo on one leg only

(Repeat above & do other leg)

  • 15 Slam Ball (or Plyo Jump Squats)
  • 15 Slam Twist Abs
  • 15 Double High Knees
  • 15 Stomps (one side)

(Repeat the above couplet and do the other side)

Repeat 3-5 times for a complete workout.

Simple Quad & Glute Workout

Quad & Glute Workout

We are approaching bikini season so it’s time to take our lower body workout up a notch! Cardio burns fat, but weight training is what plumps up the bottom, smooths out the skin and minimizes the appearance of cellulite – plus it gives us the “right” kind of curves!

Personally, I’ve always wondered why we break up our upper body workouts into smaller body parts, but we expect to do our legs in one day and it be just as effective. So, I decided I needed to change this.

I started breaking up my legs – one day I do quads and glutes and later in the week I do hamstrings and glutes. I LOVE it – and considering I hate doing legs, that’s a really good thing!

Here was my workout yesterday!

Simple Quad & Glute Workout

Reebok SubLite ShoesWarm Up: Air Squats

4 Super Sets:
15 Back Squat (Heavy)
15 Overhead Squat with just the bar or pipe (DEEP!!!)

4 Sets – Walking Lunges (with 20lbs dumbbells) 30 steps

3 Sets – Leg Extension (toes pointed out)

3 Sets – Leg Extensions (toes pointed in)

Finish with step ups, knee repeaters, curtsies or skaters to really kill it!

PS: Just in case you noticed my new shoes! OMG I love them! They are my new Reebok SubLite Train. They are nice and flat (great for lifting) and super light. They have a high heel (for good achilles support) and they lace up a little higher than running shoes (great for mountain climbers and other exercises where a shoe might want to slip off the heel). The SubLites & Nanos are my favorite shoes for the gym!

reebok sublite

 

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

3 Easy Ways to Ramp Up Your Workout

The difference between a good butt workout and a GREAT butt workout are in the small details.

Butt Blasting Tips1. TIME: The less you rest, the more difficult the workout will be. Take little to no rest between exercises to completely fatigue the muscle.

2. WEIGHT: When doing lunges, step-ups and single-leg workouts, put all your weight on the working leg. Many people will shift their weight on the opposing foot to give the working leg a rest. Or, they will step up, and then step their weight down. To amp your workout up, using step-ups for example, only tap the back foot on the ground instead of shifting your weight back on the ground. You will feel a noticeable difference just focusing your weight on the working leg without even trying a new exercise.

3. ROM: ROM stands for Range Of Motion. If you want to really work those glutes, it’s important to squat and lunge as deep as your knees will allow. The deeper your squats are, the more you’ll work the glutes, hamstrings and inner thigh.

CLICK HERE to view my Butt Blasting Workout for Designer Whey

Worth It

THE SIX-PACK: 6 Awesome Ab Workouts

IMG_5472C smIn a Crunch (Literally!)?

I know how easy it is to get bored of workouts, but there really is life outside of traditional crunches and sit-ups. It just takes a little imagination, knowledge or guidance from a pro like my hubby Steve. Over the last year Steve has come up with some great workouts – and ab workouts are always a fav! I mean, who doesn’t want great abs?!

Here are some of my favorite ab exercises that Steve put together for various brands and workout programs – and as you can tell in his pic, they work! Not only will they give you a great workout too, but you’ll learn some new moves to broaden your exercise library.

Give them a try and let us know which one you like the most!

#1 Four-Minute Abs

20 Rock Climbers
20 Figure 8 Ball Pass
20 Reverse Crunch
20 Ball Crunch
4 ROUNDS

#2 Core & Cardio Workout

Thrusters
Left Handed 2-Point Stance
Right Handed 2-Point Stance
Left Elbow Plank with Pulses
Right Elbow Plank with Pulses

#3 Abs & Core Circuit with Balance Ball

25 Rotational Crunches
25 Dynamic Plank
25 Take It or Leave It
25 Oblique Side Bend

#4 Design Your Abs Workout

25 Sit Ups
25 Roll Ups or Toes to Bar
25 Oblique Sit Ups (25 on each side – 50 total)

Repeat 3 Times.

#5 Core & Glutes

Plank (10 seconds)
Upward Facing Dog (10 seconds)
10 Rounds

Sunbird Leg 3-Position Leg Lifts
10 circles per position (back, 45 degree, 90 degree)
3 Rounds

Plank + Knee to Opposite Elbow (a sit-through)
10 times on each side

REPEAT ENTIRE CIRCUIT

#6 BCx Core

25 Sit-ups
25 Crunches
25 Obliques (Left)
25 Obliques (Right)
25 Bicycles

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