Can You Get Rid of Cellulite with Exercise?

Medically Reviewed on 11/22/2021

What exercises get rid of cellulite?

Cellulite makes skin look lumpy and is usually found on the thighs, stomach, or butt. There is no way to fully get rid of cellulite.
Cellulite makes skin look lumpy and is usually found on the thighs, stomach, or butt. There is no way to fully get rid of cellulite.

Cellulite is an extremely common skin condition. It makes skin look lumpy and is usually found on the thighs, stomach, or butt.  It is most common in women, but men have also been known to have it. There are many surgeries, procedures, creams, and other types of treatments that purport to get rid of cellulite. However, many of them do not work. This begs the question: What does work? Do simple exercises work to heal cellulite? Are there exercises to get rid of cellulite? Keep reading to learn about what works. 

Cellulite is caused when specific fibers in your skin tighten in a certain way. This tightening can cause your skin to be pulled and broken down, which then pushes up your normal layers of fat to the skin's surface. Your skin then looks puckered or puffy.

Cellulite can become more transparent when you get older and lose elasticity in your skin. When you are overweight, the appearance of cellulite can be more obvious than if you are leaner. However, people who are not overweight can also have it. Exercise can help reduce the appearance of cellulite through weight loss, but there is no guarantee that it will.

Sometimes, losing weight actually makes the appearance of cellulite more striking. There really is no guarantee that any specific type of exercise will treat or get rid of the appearance of cellulite. The logic behind weight loss helping cellulite is that when you exercise, you build more muscle than fat, and, as previously mentioned, cellulite's appearance comes from fat.

Know, of course, that every person has fat on their body, and there is no way that you could ever exercise to a point where you do not have fat on your body. Cellulite is often natural and normal, and it is best to simply accept this even as you try to reduce the appearance of cellulite on your body.

Can you realistically get rid of cellulite?

There is no way to fully get rid of cellulite. That is why it is best to set your expectations realistically. Understand that you can only hope to reduce its appearance. Also, know that age and lifestyle choices such as what you eat, how you exercise, and the way you take care of your body can influence your levels of cellulite. Genetics and gender also play a huge role in risk for cellulite.

Some of the best treatments for cellulite reduction are:

  • Acoustic wave therapy. This method uses sound waves to penetrate down into your skin through the layers of the fascia into your muscles. It helps to break down fat and promote lymph node drainage. It can also formulate new blood vessels, stimulate circulation, and create more collagen and elastin. It has been shown that after multiple sessions, this treatment can reduce the appearance of cellulite.
  • Laser treatments. There are many different kinds of treatments that utilize lasers to treat cellulite. One of the most popular of these is Cellulaze, which works by inserting a laser fiber beneath your skin. It thickens your skin, which helps to reduce your cellulite. Laser treatments are found to be effective for around six months. Unfortunately, most people see a return of cellulite after that time.
  • Non-laser energy treatments. There are a host of treatments that utilize non-invasive technologies such as ultrasounds, infrared lights, or other heat-based systems. Often, these treatments are non-invasive, but they usually require repeated treatments to maintain the reduced appearance of cellulite.
  • Subcision. This is a procedure where your dermatologist places a needle under your skin to break up the fat bands in your skin. This procedure is quite effective and has been shown to reduce the appearance of cellulite for up to two years.
  • Vacuum-assisted precise tissue release. This is a procedure in which razors break up your fat bands. Once these bands are broken up, other tissue will rise and replace your cellulite. This treatment is experimental and is still being studied for its effectiveness.
  • Creams and lotions. There are a variety of creams and lotions out there that have been shown to decrease the appearance of cellulite marginally. However, the effectiveness of these is disputed. In addition, some of them have been shown to have adverse effects, such as promoting breathing problems.
Medically Reviewed on 11/22/2021

AIP Conference Proceedings: "Acoustic Wave Treatment For Cellulite-A New Approach."

American Academy of Dermatology Association: "Cellulite Treatments: What Really Works?"

American Board of Cosmetic Surgery: "Cellulite Treatments."

Nemours TeenHealth: "Cellulite."