All women strive for a toned butt and thighs. These areas are problematic for most women simply because of our unique anatomy. “Saddlebags” are fat deposits that reside over the muscles of hips, butt, belly, and thighs. They occur with age and may be embarrassing because they alter a woman’s figure. Anna Kaiser, a celebrity trainer, explains that increasing the intensity of your cardio and strength-training program along with maintaining proper nutrition may be one of the best ways to take control of the saddles – literally!
1. Inner Thigh Leg Lifts
Inner thigh leg lifts work your thigh and glute muscles. Start by lying on your right side, with arms folded and directly positioned underneath your shoulder. Ensure that the bottom leg is extended out straight while the left one is crossed over the one on the bottom side. Lift the extended leg up and down repeating 12-15 times per leg.
Planks engage nearly all muscles of the core. Lie down on your stomach with the hands placed palm down underneath your shoulders. Gently push yourself up until all your weight rests on your toes and arms. Ensure that your back is straightened from the neck to the legs. Stay in this position for 30 seconds before moving back to the floor. Repeat for 3 times
Bridges mainly target and engage the glutes. Simply lie down on your back and slide your feet up so that they lie flat on the floor. Squeeze your but when raising your hips upwards and hold on this position for a few seconds before returning your hips to the floor. Repeat for 12-15 times per set for 3 sets.
4. Side Lunges
Side lunges work your hamstrings, hip abductors, quads, and glutes. Start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart while your arms are extended in front of you. Step out on one side while bending your knee into a squatting pose, making sure your knees don’t extend past your toes. Ensure that your spine is straightened to create a line from your neck to your tailbone. Move back to the standing position and alternate with the other side. Repeat for 10 times per set on each leg and aim for 3 sets.
These saddlebag workouts target your quads and hamstrings. Stand in front of a small bench or step. Opt for a higher step or hold some weights if you would like to increase the intensity. Step up with one leg followed by the other one. You should now be standing with both legs on the step. Using the same leg you started with, step down and follow the other one. Repeat up to 15 times for each leg aiming for 3 sets.
6. Side-Lying Leg Raises
Side leg raises target the hip abductors as well as the glutes. To perform side-lying leg raises, simply lie down on your side with your head propped up on your bottom arm. At a snail’s pace, raise your upper leg straight up while ensuring* that your hips are properly aligned. Steadily lower your leg and repeat 15 times for each leg.
Squats engage the inner and outer thighs, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. They should be performed when standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width while the arms are extended in front of you. Slowly bend your knees, ensuring that your chest is open and the head is over you’re your hips. Once you reach the sitting position, push through your heals and slowly rise to a standing position; repeat up to 10 times per set. Aim for a minimum of 3 sets.
Precaution While Doing Any Exercise
- Always look for a flat carpeted floor when performing saddlebag workouts.
- Avoid over-training, especially if you are a beginner.
- Get your doctor’s consent to exercise if you have underlying medical conditions.
- Wear the right attire including sports shoes and comfortable clothing.
- Discontinue exercise if you experience severe pain and seek medical assistance.
- Talk with a trainer if you are new to exercise.
Saddlebag exercises are great in shaping up and building strength on lower body muscles. The best part? They can be done anywhere because they don’t require any equipment! It is always advisable to take cautionary measures when engaging in any form of exercise. Don’t forget to seek the assistance of a professional trainer if exercise is new to you and immediate help from your doctor in the case of any injury.