How to Firm Thighs & Get Rid of Cellulite

Young woman measuring her thigh with a measuring tape

Cellulite has a dimpled or pitted appearance. Your skin is attached to the underlying muscle by fibrous cords of connective tissue. As fat accumulates, it pushes your skin up while the cords remain attached and pull your skin down. This creates depressions on the surface of your skin -- much like a button sewn to a cushion. While cellulite most often accumulates on the hips, thighs and buttocks, you may find it anywhere on your body. Tone your thighs and shed excess weight to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

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Perform exercises that target your thighs and glutes at least twice a week. Squats and lunges are two examples. Toning your thighs compresses the fat beneath your skin, which reduces the appearance of cellulite.

Bench press equipment

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Exercise your other muscle groups, such as your arms and chest, to balance your body and increase your overall muscle mass. Adding muscle increases your metabolism and helps you lose weight.

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Do 45 minutes of weight-bearing aerobic exercises, such as walking or running, at least three days a week. Such exercises burn fat while toning your thigh muscles. Elliptical trainers and stair steppers also tone your thighs and buttocks while burning fat.

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Add Pilates and yoga poses that focus on your hips and thighs to your fitness routine. The bridge up, warrior series and balance poses, such as the tree, force you to engage your leg and thigh muscles. Yoga and Pilates also incorporate stretching, which contributes to long, lean muscles.

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Eat healthy, low-calorie meals to encourage fat loss. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and lean proteins. Eat at regular intervals several times a day. Reduce your caloric intake by 250 to 500 calories daily to lose 1/2 to 1 pound per week.

Woman massaging leg

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Massage your thighs with your fists or a textured massage head. Use a circular motion. Vigorous massage can temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. Massage your thighs for at least a minute, twice a day. For instance, massage your thighs in the shower, before bed or in the morning before getting dressed for the day.


Weight loss won't completely rid your body of cellulite. Talk with your doctor about cosmetic procedures, such as liposuction and radiofrequency treatments.