The Best Moves for Shapely Hips

Woman doing lunges
Getty Images/Cultura RM/Corey Jenkins

If you've got saddlebags, which is a lovely term we use to describe fat stored around the hips, thighs, and butt, you're not alone. This is an area where we tend to store excess fat, especially women.

You may spend time doing lots of exercises like leg lifts and the like to get rid of them but, unfortunately, we can't target specific areas of fat with exercise.  In other words, spot reduction just doesn't work. So, what does work?

What You Need to Target Those Saddlebags

1.  A Solid Cardio Exercise Routine - Cardio is your first line of defense against fat, helping you burn more calories each day, which is how the whole weight loss thing works.  A sample cardio program might look like this:

Day Intensity Length Sample Workouts
Mon HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) 20-30 min Sprint Interval Workout
Tues Moderate Intensity 45-60 min Brisk Walking or jogging
Wed Low-Moderate Intensity All day Use a pedometer to get 10,000 steps
Thurs Moderate-High Intensity 30-60 min 45-Minute Treadmill Workout
Fri Moderate Intensity 30-45 min Cardio Endurance Workout
Sat Low-Moderate Intensity 30-60 min Walking or a long bike ride
Sun Rest Rest Rest

2.  A Strength Program for Your Entire Body - You might be tempted to only work your lower body to get rid of saddlebags and, yes, you definitely need great lower body moves. But you also need to work your entire body. Why? Well, first, you want your whole body to be strong. Second, the more muscle you have overall, the more calories you burn daily. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so the more you have, the more weight you'll lose.

Some of the best lower body exercises you can do to work on all those glutes, hip, and thigh muscles include:

Try this best butt workout and then learn more about setting up a complete program.

3.  A Healthy, Low-Calorie Diet - This is probably the most important element of losing weight.  Your first step is to calculate how many calories you need to eat to lose weight and then learn more about how you can change your diet for successful weight loss.

Keep in mind that if you tend to store excess fat around the thighs, it may take a little longer to lose the fat there. Your genes and hormones determine where you lose fat so your best bet is to follow a consistent exercise program, eat a healthy, low-calorie diet and let your body respond to that. If you're losing inches, even if it isn't from that specific area, you're on the right track.

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