Exercise to Get Rid of Cellulite - What Works Best?

Exercise to reduce or eliminate cellulite? Can I "work off" cellulite with exercise?

Doctor Answers (12)

No quick fix, but here are a few answers

+13

The fact that almost daily a new cellulite treatment comes out shows that nobody has yet come up with a permanent solution. Endermologie seems to help on a temporary basis and if you don't mind the expense and repeat treatments. Many patients are reasonably happy with the temporary results.

We have seen large surface irreguarities, permanent pigmentary changes, and permanently increased cellulite from aggressive superficial liposuction techniques, lasers and radiotherapy devices, so I would avoid them.

There are three primary causes for cellulite:

1. Irregularities in the superficial fat just under the skin. In my opinion you can't treat these yet. The problem is the subdermal plexus, the blood supply to the skin. Techniques which have attempted to eradicate this layer have resulted in ischemic changes of the skin, permanent hyperpigmentation, non-fixable "moguls" in the skin resembling terrible cellulite. I have seem patients literally spend tens of thousands of dollars and look worse than before they had treatments.

2. Irreguarities in the deep fat septae that translate to irregularities in the skin. Here there is room for improvement if deep fat can be sculpted away, reducing the cellulite appearance by breaking deep septae. This is the single biggest area that can be improved surgically.

3. Looseness. If there are loose areas of the skin that can be treated with clever, minimal lifts within anatomic creases, for example a posterior buttock lift, subtle, medial thighlift originating in the groin crease, etc. this helps.

What you can do about cellulite:

1. Be as fit and trim as possible.

2. Avoid yo yo weight gain/loss. Have a healthy lifestyle and stick to it. Exercise regularly and stick to it. You may not have quite the body you want, but if you are an American woman above the age of 18 chances are you will have some cellulite. Yo yo weight gains/losses result in stretching and contraction of the skin, loss of elastic fibers, etc.

3. Avoid the sun. Sun causes destruction of the elastic fibers of the skin and worsening or cellulite.

4. Don't smoke. Causes changes in the skin, reduction in elastic fibers, diminshed blood supply to skin.

Sorry I did not present a cure-all, but we try to be honest. There is some empowerment in knowing what can and can't be done, and with living with those things we can't really change.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

There is no fix for cellulite

+4

There is no significantly successful way to treat cellulite unfortunately. My sincere advice is that you do regular exercise, keep a stable weight, and don't waste your hard earned dollars in this struggling economy on any treatment that promises you a cure for cellulite. You will be disappointed!

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

No great answer

+3

I gave Dr. Moelleken an "I found this helpful" vote for his excellent summary.

Cellulite is a common term referring to skin surface irregularities and dimpling of skin, predominantly in the thighs and buttocks (think cottage cheese thighs). Causes for the appearance have been blamed on differences in connective tissue structure and on adipose tissue biochemistry. Research has confirmed that women get cellulite more often than men. Some physicians have attributed the defect as secondary to enlargement in fat cells in the superficial tissue below the skin, resulting in compartmental bulging between the connective tissue. Since the well-developed and organized septa that make up the connective tissue do not give way to the increased volume in a limited space, this becomes transmitted as surface irregularity between the deeper pockets of fat.

To date, no significant differences in biochemistry, physiology, or blood and/or lymph flow of the tissue and structure organization in cellulite tissue have been demonstrated scientifically.

However heredity can be a factor.

Here are things you can do to help:

  1. Avoid things that will damage your skin (sun, tobacco products).
  2. Avoid weight loss and weight gain.

I hope this helps.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

You might also like...

Cellulaze Best for Cellulite Reduction

+2
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, exercise will not get rid of cellulite. I would suggest Cellulaze to reduce your cellulite. Cellulaze is the only minimally invasive laser procedure designed to attack the structure of cellulite beneath your skin. It delivers longer-lasting results after only one short treatment. It is the first and only cellulite laser treatment that treats the actual problems underneath the skin to deliver a proven longer-lasting result from just one simple treatment. Cellulaze is backed by many years of clinical research. Studies have shown it increases the thickness of your skin by 25% and the elasticity of your skin by 29%—significant claims that haven't been made by any other treatments. Thicker and more elastic skin can help flatten and smooth the skin surface to improve the appearance of cellulite. In addition, 93% of patients surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied with their results at one year post their procedure, and all would recommend the Cellulaze cellulite laser treatment to a friend.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

No exercise to definitively treat cellulite

+2

Unfortunately, there are no exercises that can permanently eliminate cellulite.  If you are serious about cellulite treatment, you may want to consider Cellulaze.

Cellulaze is an FDA approved one time treatment that utilizes a 1440 nm wavelength laser to accomplish 3 things:  1) melt away fat bulging out 2) break up fibrous septae (attachments) that create the indentations and 3) help thicken the dermis (skin) to prevent future recurrence.   The procedure can take between 60-90 minutes and can be completed under local or just IV sedation (depending on the length of your procedure and number of areas being treated). To see your final results takes between 3-6 months. You can visit the cellulaze . com website to learn more about the procedure and find a plastic surgeon who performs the procedure near you. Best of luck!
Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Cellulite - there is no permanent cure

+2

No treatment will eliminate cellulite.  There are several maintenance type treatments that may keep the cellulite to a minimum such as Endermologie and Velashape, but in those who find significant improvement will notice that the cellulite is more apparent some time after the last treatment is over and continuing on a maintenance program is beneficial.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

In a word, no, but exercise helps in other ways

+2

Despite what personal trainers preach, and seemingly scientific articles in fitness magazines, there is no real evidence that exercise can improve cellulite. Part of the problem is terminology, since cellulite isn't just extra fat, and exercise will not "spot reduce" anyway.

There are a number of treatments that can help but no definitive solution. We have had some success with the Thermage cellulite tip.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Cellulaze and Squats for Cellulite

+1

Cellulite is a puckered skin contour and often occurs on the thighs. I have found that micro-laser subcision with Cellulaze helps to release the connective fibers which tether the skin.

Because this treatment is performed under local anesthesia and requires minimal recovery time, it is feasible to begin a guided training program within a few days.

Although "leg days" at the gym are not always fun, doing squats, lunges, band walks and dead-lifts will augment the effects of a Cellulaze treatment and enhance the overall outcome.

Good luck!

Daniel Levy, MD
Bellevue Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Cellulaze for Cellulite

+1

The best way to get rid of cellulite is Cellulaze. This procedure will help to smooth out the lumpy areas as well as keep it cellulite-free. The skin will also become thicker as a results of Cellulaze.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Cellulite exercise, cellulite fitness, cellulite weight loss

+1

I have seen cellulite more often in women who are heavier.

Losing weight can improve cellulite although thin women also have cellulite.

Many cellulite treatments including Endermologie and Velashape temporarily improve cellulite but require continued repeat treatments.

Depending on the degree of cellulite Cellulaze or fat injections can improve cellulite of the thighs and buttocks.

Please consult in person with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with experience in this condition prior to making any treatment decisions.

Luis A. Cenedese, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.