Sayonara to Saddlebags!
Continuing our four-part series on body trouble zones, today we’re talking about saddlebags, an unfortunate term to describe fat typically found around the lower body – specifically the thighs. But did you know that saddlebags are an optical illusion and not related to the thighs at all? Saddlebags are the result of an underdeveloped area under your butt, where your hamstring (the back of your thigh) ties into your glutes. The fat in this underdeveloped area falls outward to the side, causing saddlebags. If saddlebags are a thorn in your side, fear not! Below are some exercises to incorporate into your routine that will banish them forever (or, at least for as long as you’re keeping up with your exercise routine).
Single Leg Hip Raise
Lay flat on your back, and bend one leg, resting the other on the floor, straight out. Raise your straight leg to a 45-degree angle, tighten your core muscles, and raise your hips up. Pause for two seconds, then lower back to the floor. Repeat for a total of 15 reps, then switch to the other side.
Lie on your tummy, resting your head on your crossed arms. Tighten your core and glute muscles, then lift your legs six to eight inches off the ground (keep them separated). Bring your feet together, squeezing with your butt and inner thigh muscles, then separate your feet and lower back to the ground. Do three sets of 20 reps, with a 30-second rest between each set.
Lying Glute Release
Lie flat on your back, bending both feet. Cross one leg over the other (foot should be on top of the thigh), and wrap your hands around the other bent leg (aim for the middle of your thigh). Pull the leg toward you, and hold for 20 seconds before switching to the other side.
To see visuals of these exercises, plus a full routine incorporating them with other saddlebag-busting exercises, click here. And be sure to share your favorite exercise tips for saying sayonara to saddlebags!