Saddle Bags. Those pesky little fat deposits found on the sides of hips, thighs and bum are a nightmare of many women trying to be fitter and look better. Luckily for you, it's not all that difficult to get rid of them as long as you have the motivation, the dedication and the time required to perform proper exercises. Although you won't be able to spot reduce the size of those areas specifically, you will be able to reduce the amount of fat you have all through your body, and eventually reduce the size of the saddle bags. There are two different types of exercises you can do in the same workout a few times a week to help reduce the appearance of saddle bags, and hopefully completely eliminate them from your life later on.
The first type of exercises you should look at when trying to reduce the size of any fatty areas on your body are cardiovascular workouts. These exercises get the heart pumping at just the right level of intensity to maximize calories burnt, and therefore the amount of fat burnt. Cardiovascular exercises come in many forms - we've listed a couple of the most popular cardio workouts for you to try at home or at the gym, and the advantages/disadvantages of both of them:
By far the most popular cardio workout is running or jogging. You can do this out in the streets or at your local gym on the treadmill, but either way, you'll be getting the full benefits of burning calories fast through the exercise, and also the benefits of a heightened overall metabolism up to 24 hours after it. If you want to give it a try, we recommend joining a running group in your local area. Not only will this keep you motivated and less likely to give up, but it also gives you the advantage of having experienced runners around you to guide you in the right direction. Running helps build up and tone down the muscles in the lower half of your body, so you should see an improvement to your saddle bags quicker than other cardio workouts.
The benefit of swimming over running is that it's a non impact exercise, meaning it's much better for the joints in your legs, such as your knees and your ankles. A non impact exercise is less likely to give you injuries, and less likely to weaken those joints that may be fine while you are young, but may come back to bite you when you're a bit older. Another advantage of taking up swimming is that it works your whole body rather than just your legs. If your aim is to lose weight on your arms, belly as well as your saddle bags, then this could work out for you better than running.
To complete your cardiovascular work, you can add in some resistance training to help firm up your bum, thighs and hips. Whilst it's true that you can't spot reduce a specific area on your body, what you can do is build some muscle on those areas, which will help make it firmer, and if done right, can also reduce the overall size of the area too. It's a common myth that doing resistance work will make you bulk up like bodybuilders, but this is not the case. The difference between putting on muscle mass and toning up your muscles so that they're more compact is down to your diet, and the number of repetitions you do.
A great exercise you can do to work your lower half is lunges. There are several variations of lunges and you can adopt slightly altered versions to work different areas specifically. For example, you can do 5 sets of 15 repetitions of side lunges, which will help reduce the size on your hips. A normal front facing lunge will help to work your thighs, reducing the size of them and making them much firmer.
Squatting is the number one weapon in a woman's battle for getting a nice bum, thighs and hips. Like lunges, it's easy to do, and can be done anywhere you want. To do a squat, have your legs shoulder length apart. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, slowly bend your knees down so that they form a right angle. Wait a couple of seconds, and then come back up to the starting position. Easy.
If you find that these exercises start getting too easy with time, then you can start adding some light weight to your workouts. As long as you're keeping the repetitions the same, then you'll still be toning up those muscles.
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Great weekly tips to keep you healthy and fit
Great weekly tips to keep you healthy and fit