Have you ever asked yourself will running help me get rid of cellulite? How effective is jogging really when it comes to eliminating the appearance of that orange peel skin? So many people jog but could they spend their time doing other forms of exercise that would have a much better effect on the look of their hips and thighs?
Will Running Help Me Get Rid Of Cellulite?
No and here’s why:
- Jogging does not tone or sculpt the muscles in your legs much at all, it just burns calories
- Excessive jogging can raise cortisol levels which makes us hold fat around the abdomen
- Cellulite is due to unbalanced hormones…jogging will not help balance your hormones like other forms of exercise can
- Jogging, in particular, does not work some of the key muscles (your glutes and hamstrings) as other forms of exercise
Which Exercises Will Get You The Best Looking Legs…The Fastest?
While jogging helps burn calories it is not the most effective form of exercise at fighting cellulite. Yet I see so many women start running only to be frustrated with little results. And it only gets worse as you age.
You see after the age of 25 people lose on average 5lbs of muscle every 10 years. This has two terrible effects. First it slows down your metabolism. You see muscle burns fat even while at rest (roughly 50 calories a day for each pound of muscle). So as you lose muscle it becomes harder and harder to burn calories.
Secondly, that “toned” look you desire is simply having more muscle. Now we’re not talking about being bulky or manly. It’s about having just enough muscle in all the right places to give you the subtle curves and perk you want.
The good news is you can build muscle and get toned at any age. You just have to do the right forms of exercise and eat right.
To reverse the look of cellulite you need to do three things:
- Balance your hormones
- Sculpt your muscles
- Burn fat
Unfortunately, excessive jogging can actually contribute to high levels of the hormone cortisol which encourages the body to store fat around the mid-section so for this reason alone, moderate forms of cardio such as jogging should be minimized or limited to part of your overall exercise program.
Long distance running doesn’t tone your legs. You see jogging also doesn’t work the muscles all that much, which is another way of saying it isn’t going to give you that toned look you desire. It certainly won’t tone the hamstrings (backs of your legs) and glutes (your butt) which is typically the areas worst affected by cellulite. Those muscles just aren’t that engaged while jogging.
Lastly, for the time you spend jogging you don’t burn all that many calories as compared to other forms of exercise such as strength training, high intensity interval training (HIIT), and sprinting.
But jogging does indeed burn calories. Done in addition to a HIIT and a sprinting program it can indeed speed up results but by itself if just won’t smooth your legs.
So the best exercise for your legs (and in this order) are:
- HIIT and/or Strength Training
- Steady State Cardio
So what you should do and how much of each depends upon how much time you have in a given week to exercise. If you are crunched for time (say 30 minutes a day), do sprinting and HIIT every other day 3 times a week.
If you have an hour a day you could add in a couple of strength training sessions focusing on squats and deadlifts plus accessory exercises for the legs, hips, and core.
If you have an hour and a half to two hours a day to exercise then you can add in 2 to 3 low-intensity runs of 5km. You should go at the kind of pace where it would be comfortable to hold a conversation. At this point you would have already done plenty of high intensity and strength building work so this exercise would be just to burn extra calories.
What is The Best Form of Exercise to Fight Cellulite And Sculpt My Legs?
While strength training (anything from barbells to body weight training) and HIIT are great, you need a well-thought out program to ensure you fully develop your legs and hips to get the body you desire.
Most programs do not put enough emphasis on building the hamstrings and glutes muscles. Squats and lunges while helpful are incomplete if you really want your legs and hips to look their best.
On the other hand, sprint training makes getting great legs simple.
No other form of exercise will dramatically work every muscle in your legs and hips (not to mention your core) as well as sprinting. But you should do it properly to avoid injury and get the quickest results.
How to Avoid Injuries When Sprinting
“Sprint training” isn’t just sprinting all by itself. There are several forms of sprint drills track athletes do to warm up for their actual sprints. These sprint drills not only develop the muscles you need to sprint but they condition the body to sprint with perfect form.
The most effect sprinting drills to help rid you of cellulite are:
- Side-to-Side Skip
- Straight Leg Run
Don’t be fooled. Although these drills look very simple they are deceptively intense. You are sure to be feeling your muscles worked in all the right places after a good sprint drill session.
The best way to do these drills is over the course of just 20 metres. Choose anywhere from 5 – 10 drills and do them one after another with no rest. This will get the fat burning started.
Focus on your form. The better your get at the drills the better your results.
Find out more about sprint drills by clicking here.
What Exercises Will Smooth Your Legs?
The best way for a beginner to start sprinting is to sprint up a hill again for only 20 metres. Hill running is best option because the hill acts as a kind of “sprint coach”. When you sprint up a hill you lean forward, swing you hands up high, pull you knees up high, and your hips and hamstrings are fully engaged.
This is precisely what you want to do when sprinting but so often people mess up the form when they sprint on a flat surface. So hill running is best for beginners.
Why only 20 metres? Because most of us don’t have the strength to maintain good form for a length any longer. When you form falters you will no longer be working the muscles optimally. Remember practice doesn’t make perfect…perfect practice makes perfect. So multiple sets of 20 metre sprints is the best option.
The Program For Cellulite-Free Legs
Always remember that it is a combination of a bunch of little things that add up to an astounding looking body. Train smart, not long (like sprint training). Eat well which means eat good quality foods, eat often, and drink plenty of water. Get good rest. Get to bed early, get a solid 8 hours of sleep, and manage your stress.
Do all of these things and it won’t be too long before your friends are asking you how do you get such great legs!