Dear Cassey: What’s the best exercise to get rid of cellulite?

Dear Cassey,

Can you recommend the best exercises to get rid of cellulite?

Searching For The Secret

Hey Searching!

I get this question A LOT! Cellulite makes anyone feel a little self-conscious, but it’s actually muchhhh more common than you might think. And there are some misconceptions about where it comes from and how to deal with it! So let’s do some myth busting and then I’ll give you a few tips that might help!

First, EVERYONE has cellulite. Everyone! And listen to this – it wasn’t even a “thing” until the early 1900’s. Before this, women were commonly painted with beautiful, dimply thighs and it was a celebrated part of being feminine. But then, the term “cellulite” was created basically just to sell spa treatments. And that’s when it became “unattractive.” Crazy, right?!

Now, there’s this idea that only people who are “overweight,” or have a higher body fat percentage have dimply thighs, hips and tummies, but that’s not necessarily true. It’s totally normal for people with a LOW body fat percentage have cellulite too. Cellulite itself isn’t actually fat! It’s the result fat cells pushing up between the fibers that connect muscle to skin.

It IS possible that having more fat cells in your body might actually just make the cellulite more prominent and noticeable, but body fat isn’t the only factor that determines if you have more or less cellulite than someone else. Other things that can cause more cellulite include:

  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Your skin type/complexion
  • Aging

I know – the fact that cellulite is purely cosmetic doesn’t make it any more loveable, right? We all want smoother, tighter skin! So back to your question – are there any exercises that specifically help to get rid of cellulite?

Not exactly.

So many factors go into what causes cellulite. Exercise COULD help. Since the appearance of cellulite really comes down to overall body fat, the best way to get rid of cellulite with exercise is …to reduce body fat! And doing that means you need a healthy diet, regular activity, and consistency. It’s not an overnight thing.

And remember – there is no spot training body fat! If you’ve been trying to lunge and squat your way to smoother thighs, it’s time to change your strategy a little 😉 Yes, building muscle can help with cellulite, but you can’t choose the area you want to target.

But the most important thing to remember is this: 80-90% percent of women have cellulite (!!!). Even though the highlight reel of social media may make it SEEM like a cellulite-free body is the norm, it’s really not. What you’re seeing most of the time is the work of good lighting, a tan, and probably a filter 😉

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!

40 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: What’s the best exercise to get rid of cellulite?”

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  1. Isabella says:

    Does what you’re eating affect acne? If so, what can you eat to help with it? I have so much acne, and it’s hard sometimes not to get insecure about it. I would also love some hair tips! Yours is so long and beautiful! But like, different care tips for different hair types.

  2. Ray watson says:

    I was skeptical at first about dermal MD cellulite serum because I never tried anything like this before, but after reading reviews online and talking to friends who have used similar products in the past, I decided that this seemed like a good product worth trying out. I started using it two days ago, and so far everything seems fine! There isn’t much change yet—just some slight dimpling on my thighs—but they are becoming less noticeable every day which is exactly what they said would happen.

  3. Lexiii says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I’m in some serious need of some help. I’ve been on a weight loss journey for almost three years now after I was put on a scary high dose of prednisone to help with my Crohn’s disease. While on the meds I gained 24lbs. When I stopped them I only lost a few pounds and have still been working on it ever since. I’m highly active and do reformer Pilates along with a ton of your workout videos and a little weights and cardio. I workout everyday. But as much as I try to hide it my body is internally weak even though I feel stronger working out. The weight accumulated around my hips, butt and thighs and I’ve been working nonstop to drop the weight. I’m even working with a nutritionist but can’t seem to lose anything. Everyone around me is super skinny and fit, and then there’s me. I just need help or some advice because it’s been a long journey with no light at the end of the tunnel.

  4. Brunie says:

    Hi Casey! Hope you are doing well. I just tried your 15 minutes thighs burner workout, loved it in dire a need to loose some inches from my inner thigh. How many times a week should exercise my inner thighs in order to see fast results?

  5. Nat says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I’ve been on a weight loss journey for over 10 years now but I can’t seem to lose any weight at all regardless of what I do. I have trouble maintaining a healthy lifestyle with daily workouts and eating healthy simply because I do not enjoy it and I don’t find it sustainable on a long period of time. I even got the 90 day program but I quickly fell off the band wagon a week into doing it. The same is happened with the summer sculpt challenge.

    Struggling and unhappy

  6. Hungry says:

    Hi Cassey! I’m trying to eat healthier and smaller portions. But when it’s that time of the month I feel hungrier. Does my body really need to extra fuel? Or should I try fight the urge to snack extra?

  7. Just Can't Journal says:

    Hi Cassey!
    Are there any tips or tricks for starting to use a fitness journal? I have purchased may journals with the intention of writing, but have never been able to get into the groove of recording my workouts or meals. I have seen so much research on the benefits of journaling, but cannot seem to stick with it.
    Just Can’t Journal

  8. Margot R says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I’ve been counting my calories pretty carefully lately (don’t worry, I always stay above 12,000 calories, but not by much, and I’m nowhere near underweight), but I’ve stopped losing weight. People tell me I might be going into “starvation mode.” Is that real? How can I fix it?
    Trying my best

  9. Jennifer says:

    Dear Cassey,

    Genetically I have a wide rib cage and thick thighs. I am very in shape I can (usually) keep up with your workouts, and I try to eat healthy and listen to my body. But I still have issues with my body image. I don’t look the way society wants me to look even though I’m completely healthy. Do you have any mental advice to help change my mindset??

    My mind is wack

  10. Luz Verónica Delvasto Algarin says:

    Dear Cassey
    I am 22 years old and I have been working out and doing my best to stay healthy since I can remember (fitness fam). But since I’m living on my own I’m struggling. At first, I was not healthy at all and now that I got back on track I can’t figure out my schedule with work and classes. I don’t know if it’s better to work out before or after dinner, or how much time it’s good enough in between! and is hard because I’m busy all morning till 5pm and I can’t find a way to figure it out because there is so much contradictive information online that it just gets me confused.
    I would really appreciate your help Cassey

    Att: Still Trying

  11. Debora says:

    Love your answer! At some point we gotta love the body we have to be able to love it and take care of it. Don’t let your cellulite or anything else keep you from living a full life!

  12. Sanne says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I have a question about flexibility (sorry if my English isn’t great, it’s not my first language).
    I work out with you for the past 3 years and I love it! <3
    Last year (with a lot of staying home due the virus), I wanted to challenge myself.
    I admire people who are flexible, I think it's so elegant, so I printed the journey to splits challenge.
    I do it every day (for almost a year), but after 3 months of doing it (I was never flexible) the progress went from fast to slow.
    I take pictures, so I can see that there is minimum progress (I can't show you the pictures, because I don't have insta *shocking*).
    So… my question, am I doing something wrong or do I ask to much?
    I'm still going strong, but sometimes it's hard to stay motivated.
    Lots of love,

  13. Apolline says:

    If people are insecure about their cellulite, I would recommend deep massages ! You can do them by yourself, there’s a lot of information from reliable sources (always check your sources, really !) on the internet about them. It can help “break” the cellulite and make the fat more even and smooth. Those massages are usually also great for your circulation, which is far more important !

  14. Harriet says:

    I have been trying to loose inner thigh fat for years but nothing works. Do you have any suggestions or best exercises to do

  15. Kelly M Persich says:

    Even with lowering your body fat the fat cells that have been pushed up through the fiber that connects your skin to your muscles, may not disappear. Women’s connective tissue is an X whereas men’s’ is straight, which is why women have cellulite. There are some temporary treatments such as massage, creams, laser, radiofrequency, and acoustic wave therapy. There is a surgery that can be done to cut some of those fibers, this lasts the longest 2-3 years. In the end why spend thousands of dollars, embrace it!

  16. Stuck & Frustrated C.M.E says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I am stuck. I did my 90 day journey in the beginning of the year which has lead me to wondering about ED. How to recognize ED or Exercise Compulsive Disorder. During my 90 day journey, I only wrote down what I ate and did a mental health check every week or two. I would do meal prep twice a week and found myself fearful of food because I did not want want to gain weight. At some point, I felt like I did not even want to eat anymore. Then, I was running 1.5 – 2 miles (5 days out of the week) along with the Pilates workout. I noticed that I was dropping weight and became obsessed with losing weight. In the last month of the journey, I started logging what I ate into my Fitbit App, which showed that I was under eating. I indulge even more sweets because I had a lot of calories left over. Looking back at it, I was extremely exhausted most of the time and I continued to exercise even if I had injuries. Plus, my body felt super cold most of the time. Now, I changed to doing more Pilates and a 1 mile run (3 days out of the week) which has lead me to staying the same weight for the past two months. I decided to get back to doing a 1.5 – 2 mile run, but I injured my hip a little bit. It is making a popping noise, and I am frustrated because I stopped doing my exercises. In the beginning, exercising for me was a stress relief for my depression and some relief of my anxiety. Now, I am stuck on not losing weight to taking care of myself mentally and physically. I don’t know much about eating disorders which makes me question… how can I recognize it? How can I prevent it?

  17. Laura Martinez says:

    Thanks for the advice on cellulite. My question is there any exercises to help reduce a FUPA? Or maybe we could have a challenge or video specifically targeted towards the FUPA?

  18. Leah says:

    Hi! I love you and your videos! I’m feeling discouraged with all the exercise and healthy eating I do and not seeing the results I want. I have IBS, so I’m really restricted with what foods I can eat. I know you can’t spot reduce fat, but I feel like all of my fat goes to my thighs. How can I slim my thighs down and see results all over my body knowing that my IBS forces me to have a really restrictive diet?

  19. Abby says:

    Been dancing ballet for 12 years and I have always loved how my legs look! I love your workout and been following your monthly calendar since 2015. Happy with my fitness level as an advance popster but my thighs have become chunkier with muscles that aren’t that feminine as used to be .. my husbands said it’s because of all the nonstop squats, lunges and their jumping variations we do almost everyday and recently doing with weights !! Can you start introducing other moves that actually make the legs more lean and slim than looking muscular ..

  20. Jessica Guyett says:

    Hey Casey!
    First of all, LOVE you and your workouts.
    Second, my weight has been fluctuating all over the place lately. One morning I’m a low number, the next morning I’m up by a pound or two. It’s really disheartening especially after coming off of a plateau.
    Any suggestions or helpful advice?
    Insecure and self conscious

  21. M.J. says:

    Hi Cassey! I just wanted to let you know that I love your workouts and I have been following your workouts for almost a year. I have no problem working out and I have been doing challenges that push my limits, such as the 21 day tone, 1,000 ab challenge, and most recently the hot girl summer sculpt. On average, when not doing the challenges, I workout 5-7 days a week for between 15-45 minutes a day depending on how busy my work was. For instance, on weekdays I tried to workout at least between 10-20 minutes a day or 30 minutes if I am lucky. On weekends, I am able to follow all the workouts on your calendar fully and doing all the workouts, which would be the average 45 minutes. However, the main problems that I have includes the eating and showing my body on social media. For eating, I have been catching myself eating foods that aren’t healthy for me nor help me lose weight and reduce bloating. I have been trying to follow the meal plan for the hot girl summer sculpt, but I couldn’t follow it everyday since my eating schedule is either interrupted due to the demand of my work or I can’t say no to food when offered by my friends and family. Also, during the hot girl summer sculpt, I had celebrations, such as Mother’s Day, staff appreciation week at work, and my best friend’s graduation from her master’s program, that happened where I could say no to eating food that aren’t good for my weight loss. Although I don’t regret the celebrations and having fun with my friends, coworkers, and family, I do feel bad that didn’t follow the meal plan accurately and I feel like my body isn’t changing. I would love to participate in the 90 day journey, but I am worried that I won’t be able to follow it accurately since I can’t say no to the people that I care for when they offer me delicious food or if the demand of my job is high that day, I may be forced to eat something unhealthy just to save time. If I do say no, then I feel like a terrible person as I am saying I hate you to them and I don’t want to skip a meal due to being unhealthy as I know that is bad and I rather eat something rather than just skip it entirely. I also am concerned if I participate in the 90 day journey, I feel like I can’t eat out at all during this journey and the meal plan may feel restricting to me and I need some guidance on what to do. In terms of sharing my pictures on social media, I am just getting back to showing myself on social media, but I don’t want to show all of my body on social media just yet, such as wearing a swimsuit or a sports bra and shorts, as I feel self conscious and it may attract the wrong attention. I don’t know if I will be ready to take that step and you may not see my before and after photos on social media, but I just want to let you know that I am about to complete the hot girl summer sculpt with the powergirl walk and the workouts have really help me out a lot. Hopefully, I have a steady workout schedule by the end of this challenge by working out at least 20-30 minutes a day for at least 6-7 days a week. The hot girl summer sculpt has also taught me useful skills, such as meal prepping that will be beneficial for my lunches at work as well as some breakfast meals before starting work for the day and possibly some dinners to during the week. I also limit my take out consumption and reduce my fast food intake as I didn’t order fast food at all during the challenge, but I did order takeout for Mother’s Day for my mom and I and partaking in food provided from my work and food offered from my friend’s graduation. However, this will not stop me from working out and I love to cook anyway. So, I could try the recipes from your 90 day journey at my own pace. Thank you so much and I hope you have a great day.

    I also want to thank you for liking the omelette that I shared during the hot girl summer sculpt challenge as it really made me happy, especially after a long and stressful work week that I had, and really boosted my confidence that day.

  22. HSM says:

    Hi Cassey!
    Your hair always looks so long and healthy in your videos. Are there specific foods you can eat to have healthier hair? Thanks! – HSM

  23. wondering says:

    hey cassey,
    I was wondering are there workouts that I can do to frim up my butt without making it bigger?

    1. CW says:

      In the article above, Cassey says you can’t target fat loss in areas, including the butt. So, if by “firming it up” you mean reducing fat, then no, there isn’t a specific exercise that will do that. However, you can do glute exercises (glute bridge, curtsy lunges, this awesome Blogilates workout that will grow the muscles in your butt. May make your butt smaller, larger, no change, it really depends on a lot of other factors like diet, genetics, other exercise you’re doing for overall fat loss, etc.

  24. anonymous says:

    Dear Cassey,

    Burning question! I eat relatively balanced and try to work out a few times a week. I want to be strong, but I’d also like to be slender. I know that being skinny isn’t important and I’m not really concerned with being super skinny or fixated on a specific weight. But I feel like when I work out, I end up just getting thicker rather than becoming lean and toned, like the muscles are just building up under the fat. I do both strength and cardio, especially HIIT. I thought that the more muscle you have, the faster you burn fat, but I’m not sure that’s working for me. I know that sleep, diet, water, and exercise are all important. Is there anything else I should know? How can I work towards being lean AND toned, not just one or the other?
    Struggling With Thickness

    1. Apolline says:

      That’s totally normal ! It’s really common that we first build up muscle under the fat, so for a time, yes, we can get bulkier. Keep at it ! It’s easier to build muscle than to shed fat, so it’s normal if it takes a while 🙂
      As long as you’re consistent, it will produce results. It requires a bit of patience though.

  25. Amy says:

    Hi Casey!!! I’ve been trying to loose thigh fat for ages now and I don’t seem to be able to even after completing your monthly calendars and hot girl summer sculpt:( please could you help me xxxxxxx

  26. Sowmiya says:

    Is saddlebag take long time to reduce i have it for long time is that really a cause for my inner thigh darkening

  27. Natie says:

    Cassey How can we send a burning question living in other country? (Brazil)

    1. blogilates says:

      You can comment here!

  28. Melanie Lindahl says:

    Dear Cassey, can you improve the look of stretch marks? I’m 22 and over 2020 I gained nearly 15 pounds. I was already thin, (105) pounds and lean, so even gaining that much has caused so many stretch marks ALL over my body. So, can you completely get rid of them OR only “improve the appearance” ? THANKS!!! – Mel

    1. heidi says:

      Hi! obviously I’m not Cassey! but years ago I had gotten lots of stretch marks due to gaining a lot of weight in a short period of time. Something that helps with reducing there appearance is keeping your skin moisturized. I bought derma-e vitamin e cream and would apply it to the stretch marks twice a day (morning/night) and also apply aloe vera gel after showering and it decreased the appearance of my stretch marks a lot. Derma-e also have a scar gel too, but I honestly didn’t see any improvement from that. Also stretch marks are VERY NORMAL, but I get it, it can make you feel less confident. Best of luck Melanie!

  29. Bigger not better says:

    Dear Cassey

    How do you get lean with lifting weights?
    I did weights and cardio 4-5 times a week for a couple months and ate clean and healthy. I just got bigger and bigger. My clothes no longer fit me. I stopped training because I those results where not what I wanted.
    I heard from a personal trainer that it is just part of the process and that you need to keep on going because eventually the layer of fat will come off and then you will just be lean, toned muscle.
    Is this true?

    1. C says:

      I’ve been having the same problem! I am definitely more muscular but my arms and legs have gotten thicker from working out so clothes fit tighter… would love to hear Cassey/others advice here!

  30. LeighAnne says:

    Hi Cassey!! I love your workouts but I can never do any of the ones where I’m laying down on my side such as the single arm pushes or the inner leg lifts because my upper thigh bone really hurts when pushed into the mat. I’m not sure if I’m doing it wrong or if I should put a blanket underneath my hip/upper thigh. Any ideas!? Thanks!

  31. ANU says:

    How to deal with toxic people within our family. When your own family members make us insecure in many ways and we can’t avoid them, how can we make them understand when they not ready to hear ??

  32. Rupsa says:

    Dear Cassey,
    if anyone is trying to become flexible and is healthy(fat)…should they first shred off the fat first or should they straight go on to do stretches to become ?
    Wondering and searching…love you!

  33. Ella says:

    Dear cassey,
    I live in isreal and I cant get out of my house because of the ascalation so I can’t go on a run or walk and Its the only cardio workout I dont hate
    What suod I do?
    your’s, waiting for this to end

  34. Lucky says:

    Hi Cassey! I always see plenty of healthy sweet snacks from you and others, which are great whenever I have a sweet tooth. BUT I happen to be one of the few who prefers savory snacks. I always end up seeing carrots/celery with hummus, crackers, or avocado, which I don’t have often. Do you have any other savory snacks you could share? Thank you!

  35. Doubtful Teen says:

    Dear Cassey, I’m 15 years old and I have been wanting to do your 90 day challenge. However, I’m wondering if this is good for me and if i am at the right age. I need your thoughts!!! Doubtful Teen