Does The Elliptical Help Get Rid Of Cellulite? (How Much?)

Elliptical machines provide a great cardiovascular workout and can help you lose weight and build muscle, but does the elliptical help get rid of cellulite? 

Yes, and no. Elliptical machines can help you get rid of cellulite but only by building muscle and helping to smooth the overall shape of your body. To learn more about what elliptical machines can and cannot do to help with cellulite, read on.

Cellulite is a skin condition where the skin looks lumpy and has little divots in the skin. The fat deposits underneath the skin can start to show through when excess fat develops.

For many people, age and genetics can also create cellulite even without excess fat. The leading cause of cellulite is excess fat buildup. This is why efforts to lose weight, and therefore fat, can help lower signs of cellulite.

Cellulite typically develops on the stomach, butt, thighs, and hips. Women experience more cellulite than men because of their difference in fat storage.

Men have a smoother fat storage because they have a criss-cross connective fiber pattern, but women have a vertical fiber pattern, so fat can more easily "push" out of the pattern and be visible.

woman getting a massage

Does The Elliptical Help Get Rid Of Cellulite?

The elliptical trainer can help you get rid of cellulite, but unfortunately, nothing can help you get rid of cellulite permanently or completely. The two methods of reducing cellulite are reducing fat and increasing muscle.

The reduction in fat will mean that less fat is poking through the connective tissue and showing up to create the lumpy cellulite look. The increase in muscle means that the fat will have more support and stay in place with, again, less fat coming through the area.

How long and how often should you exercise on an elliptical to get rid of cellulite? We get this question often because people want to know exactly what they need to do to get rid of their cellulite.

We recommend starting with a program that has both cardiovascular fat-burning days and resistance training days (to build muscle more effectively). It will take anywhere from 3 months to 9 months before you see a significant reduction in your cellulite.

On cardiovascular fat-burning days, focus on getting 20 to 40 minutes of exercise on the elliptical. Try to keep your heart rate up through a long, intense workout or an alternating intensity workout such as HIIT.

On resistance training days (to build muscle), focus on increasing the level of resistance and moving at a more leisurely pace. The goal on this day is to challenge your muscles with high levels of resistance to force them to work in a way similar to weight training. This combination will help you reduce your cellulite over time.

If you're ready to start shredding fat and reducing cellulite with an elliptical, you can read our complete guide to the best affordable ellipticals!

Elliptical Help Get Rid Of Cellulite

Best Elliptical Exercises For Cellulite

Front to Back

Front to Back is a difference in changing the movement on the elliptical. When you cycle forward, for example, you’ll feel that you are propelling forward and driving forward with your feet.

Cycling backward with your feet, however, means lifting your feet and creating a backward propelling motion. Front to back alternates between both forward motion and backward motion to create a different experience while working out. 

20-Minute HIIT

A 20-minute HIIT session on an elliptical machine is a great way to burn fat and slim down. We recommend beginning by alternating 20-second “sprints” and 40 seconds “jogs.” The way to do this is to start with 20 seconds of moving as fast as you can and then relax and move at a casual pace for 40 seconds.

Repeat for the next 20 minutes. This type of HIIT workout will jumpstart your metabolism and burn more calories than a fixed pace workout. 

30-Minute Sprint

A 30-minute sprint is difficult to maintain. This is essentially trying to maintain a race pace for 30 minutes. Push yourself for the entire 30 minutes. Try to keep a high heart rate throughout the entire 30-minute sprint.


Tips For Using The Elliptical To Get Rid Of Cellulite 

If your primary goal with using the elliptical is to get rid of cellulite, there are three tips that can help you:

Emphasis On Glutes

As you work out, focus on form. When you think about moving through the workout, imagine squeezing your gluteal muscles. Focus on stretching and tightening your gluteal muscles as you work out.

Increase The Resistance

Add resistance. The greater the resistance used while on the elliptical, the more tension and stress the muscles are placed under. This is one of the best ways to use the elliptical to contribute to building muscle. More muscle is what helps to create smoother skin, with or without weight loss.

Consult With A Personal Trainer

Although this isn’t an exercise, consulting a personal trainer is one of the best ways to get rid of cellulite. A personal trainer can help you narrow in on your specific problem areas and then design a plan that can attack those problem areas.


Other Types Of Exercises That Help With Cellulite  

Working to remove cellulite goes beyond cardio workouts. You also need to strengthen the muscles in your lower body where cellulite tends to show up. These exercises can help build muscle in the lower extremities.

Around-The-Clock Lunges

This exercise works the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and thighs. With this exercise, you start by standing upright with your hands at your hips. Start with a classic lunge and move your foot outward, directly in front of you. When you return, lunge to the right at a 3 o'clock position.

From here, return to the starting position and then lunge behind you in a backward lunge. Now switch to the left leg and repeat the process again. This "around-the-clock” movement hits different parts of these muscles and forces them to work in tandem.

around the clock lunges

Goblet Squats

Another great cellulite exercise is the goblet squat. The goblet squat works the glutes, quads, thighs, and hamstrings. With these squats, you need a prop. We recommend a small weight.

Start with 3lbs or 5lbs and then progress to 10lbs, 20lbs, 30lbs, or more. Slowly squat while holding the weight to your chest. Move slowly for the full effect. 

goblet squat

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

These primarily work your hamstrings and are more of an advanced exercise. Perform this exercise after mastering the around-the-clock lunges and goblet squats.

The single-leg Romanian deadlift works by holding a weight in one hand and slowly letting that leg move backward while reaching for the other foot. Let the leg on the weight side naturally move backward, and make sure to keep your knee straight on that leg. Now switch sides. 

single leg romanian deadlift

Burpees

The burpee is a classic exercise that can burn calories and build muscle. The burpee begins with a jump and hands up in the air, followed by a squat that quickly turns into a push-up, and then the jump begins again! This combination of exercises can quickly exhaust even the most experienced fitness professionals. Use this to torch calories quickly. 

burpees

Single-Leg Supine Hip Extension

Another exercise we like focuses exclusively on the glutes. Start by lying down on your back and bending your right knee while keeping your left leg extended. Next, begin to raise the hips upward but keep a straight line with the rest of your body (right knee bent, left leg remains extended). Slowly lower the hips back down and switch sides.

single leg hip extension

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How long does it take to tone legs on an elliptical? 

Every person has a different body and different body needs. Toning your legs on an elliptical will take different amounts of time, depending on the current condition of your body. It takes approximately three to nine months of regular, consistent workouts to build a significant amount of muscle.

We would recommend adding lower body weight lifting workouts to your workout schedule to build the necessary leg muscle to help smooth cellulite.

Does cellulite go away with moderate working out? 

Cellulite goes away as both fat is lost and muscle is built. The degree to which cellulite goes away also depends on genetics. Women, in particular, have a difficult time getting rid of cellulite because of the way fat is stored (in a criss-cross pattern), and the fat moves through that criss-cross and shows up on the body.

Moderate workouts may require more time to make a difference, but the bottom line is that a low body fat percentage and a solid baseline of muscle is the best way to get cellulite to “go away.”

Which is better for cellulite, elliptical or treadmill? 

This depends on how you use the machines. It also depends on your current body composition. The treadmill burns more calories and is probably the better machine for fat loss. However, the elliptical (at a high resistance level) would lead to better muscle growth. The real best option is the one that you will use the most. Consistency is key when it comes to improving cellulite conditions.  


Conclusion

If you want to get rid of cellulite, the elliptical can certainly help. We recommend focusing on a workout program that includes both fat loss and muscle-building exercises.

Eating a healthy diet can also help get rid of cellulite. It is important, though, to remember that cellulite is a natural part of human bodies, and although you may be able to limit how much of it you have, you are unlikely to ever entirely eliminate your cellulite.

Paul J