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FEB 6, 2024

How To Get Rid Of Saddlebags: The Best Exercises For Toning Your Thighs and Hips

How To Get Rid Of Saddlebags: The Best Exercises For Toning Your Thighs and Hips

Read time: 7 minutes

It’s amazing how some areas of the body are given the worst nicknames. And saddlebags is no exception. If you somehow weren’t aware, saddlebags are the fatty deposits around the outside of your thighs and hips. And they can be notoriously hard to shed. But they’re also not to be mistaken for hip-dips. They’re entirely different.

Regardless, a lot of people hate the way saddlebags look and feel, and want to know the best exercises to help tone them down and get your body on track for the figure you want. Thankfully, we’ve got an assortment of workouts that are designed to target these areas and maximize fat burning to help.

Shedding Saddlebags Through Exercise

As we always say, while exercise alone won't eliminate saddlebag fat, it can help tone and strengthen these targeted areas. The trick is to incorporate targeted lower body exercises and cardio activities into your routine to get visible results.

Remember that consistency and patience are crucial when working towards a better appearance, so stay committed and focus on those small victories on your path to success.

Effective Squats & Lunges

One of the most effective ways of shedding saddlebag weight is by performing squats and lunges regularly. Not only are these exercises convenient and easy to perform, but they also target several muscle groups simultaneously.

  1. Start by doing basic squats without weights until you feel comfortable with your technique; then, move on to weighted squats using dumbbells or resistance bands as you progress.

  2. Lunges are also great for targeting the muscles in the hips and thighs. They can be done in various forms like walking, reverse, side, or front lunges. Start with bodyweight lunges before adding weights as you increase intensity.

  3. An effective lunge technique involves standing up straight with feet hip-width apart. Step forward with one foot while raising the back heel off the ground. Lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle before pushing yourself back up and repeating this on the opposite leg.

  4. Variants like jump squats and jumping lunges can be incorporated into your routine for added difficulty and cardio benefits.

Utilizing Exercise Machines

There’s a whole host of exercise machines that are an excellent way to engage in resistance training and stimulate muscle growth while working out at the gym. They come with various features that allow you to adjust weights and angles, making them ideal for toning muscles in targeted areas like your thighs and hips.

  • Exercise machines like the leg press, hip abductor and adductor, and the seated row can help tone your lower body while reducing saddlebags.

  • For instance, the leg press targets leg muscles while putting minimal strain on joints compared to weighted squats. This machine will predominantly target hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, calves, and hip flexors -- all muscles commonly affected by saddlebags.

  • However, it's crucial to note that you may need more than machines to guarantee desired results. To reap maximum benefits, they must be complemented with other exercises and a balanced diet.

Role of Cardio in Reducing Saddlebags

It may sound obvious but cardio exercises help burn calories and reduce overall body fat percentage. And this is critical when toning specific body parts like your thighs and hips. Incorporating cardio into your workout routine creates a calorie deficit in your body - which means burning more calories than you consume, leading to weight loss. Simple.

  • To maximize outcomes, it’s recommended that you engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercises several times a week. Aim to work up a sweat with exercises like swimming, biking, jogging, or walking briskly.

  • Aside from traditional cardio exercises, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to tremendously affect burning fat around saddlebag areas and improve cardiovascular health overall.

Best Cardio Exercises for Thighs and Hips

Cardio exercises are fantastic for burning fat, particularly around the thighs and hips, where saddlebags build up. These exercises elevate your heart rate, causing the body to dip into its fat stores for energy. Some great cardio exercises for targeting saddlebags include walking, jogging, swimming, biking, and dancing.

Dancing is an excellent cardio option as it targets your lower body in a fun way. Taking entry-level dance classes can be a great way to burn calories, work up a sweat, and have fun at the same time.

Dietary Approaches for Targeting Saddlebags

Making simple yet effective changes in what you eat and drink can significantly reduce the appearance of saddlebags. A well-balanced diet rich in healthy carbs from vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and sweet potatoes can aid in burning fat.

  • Protein-rich foods like chicken, turkey, fish, and beans can also help build muscle while burning fat.

  • Avoid high-fat foods and keep snacks healthy by selecting fruit slices or vegetables with hummus instead of chips or candy bars. Planning meals can reduce the impulse to snack on unhealthy foods.

  • It’s best to consult with a dietician or doctor before drastically changing your diet plan.

  • Keep track of progress weekly; minor changes will bring about desired results while remaining long-term sustainable.

Another great way to support your dietary goals is by incorporating shaker bottles into your routine. This is because the best shaker bottles are perfect for mixing protein shakes effectively, which can really help with a muscle-building and fat-burning diet. And protein shakes made from whey, plant-based proteins, or casein provide essential nutrients for muscle repair and growth after workouts.

Lifestyle Changes to Help Minimize Saddlebags

Saddlebags can become a problem due to a number of various factors. This can include hormonal fluctuations or even genetic predisposition toward a larger pelvis. But while targeting these specific areas can be challenging, incorporating certain lifestyle changes can help reduce the appearance of saddlebags.

  • Making dietary adjustments is an excellent place to start. Substituting unhealthy carbs with healthy ones like brown rice, quinoa, and whole grains can significantly reduce body fat while increasing nutrient intake. Eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and lean protein sources will also help your body burn fat. Also, try incorporating sweet potatoes into your diet. They’re an excellent source of vitamins A and C and delicious!

  • Being active is also essential in minimizing saddlebag fat accumulation. Incorporating cardio activities like walking, swimming, biking, jogging, or dancing will increase your heart rate, which helps burn calories. For specific problem areas, squats and lunges can tone your legs, while fire hydrants, hip extensions, or raises can target your hips and glutes. Yoga or Pilates are also great options for physical activity and relaxation.

Before we finish, it's worth noting that everyone's journey is different. What works for one person may not work for another. But a balanced approach will help you progress towards your goals with greater ease - as consistency is key in any exercise routine or dietary adjustment.

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Written by Matthew Stogdon

Matt has been writing for two decades, across print and digital media. He is also an accomplished filmmaker, with several accolades under his belt.

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