Yes, you CAN get rid of saddlebags; don’t let anyone tell you it’s genetic or part of being a woman.

There are four proven exercise approaches to burn saddlebag fat.

Ever notice that a woman with “buff” legs never has saddlebags? Ever notice that the legs of women who have saddlebags always have a soft appearance, rather than hard and athletic?

Saddlebags are not a muscle problem. It’s a fat problem. Therefore, doing exercises that “target” the muscles right in the saddlebag region won’t do you much good.

Instead, you must do exercises that cause your body to burn up the fat in the saddlebag area  —  burn that fat up and use it for fuel.

What exercises are the best, then, for burning up the most fat in your body, which would of course mean that the excess fat in the saddlebag area would get burned up:

1) Very intense weightlifting that targets the lower body (buttocks, quadriceps, hamstrings)

2) Very intense weightlifting routines that simultaneously hit the chest, shoulders and triceps

3) Very intense weightlifting routines that simultaneously hit the back and biceps, and

4) High intensity interval training

No. 1: The buttocks, quads and hams are the largest muscle groups in the body. Hitting these intensely will result in an after-burn effect:

Stored fat will get burned during the recovery process, which can last for many hours, even 24 hours (studies reporting this appear in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise).

It stands to reason that the greatest after-burn results from slamming the body’s biggest muscle groups.

Exercises that create an after-burn on a recurring basis, over time, will diminish saddlebags.

No. 1, 2 & 3: Intense routines that target multiple muscle groups at one time burn the most fat in the hours after the workout.

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These are called multi-joint, or compound, routines, and include exercises such as squats, dead-lifts, leg presses, bench presses, dumbbell presses, lat pull-downs and heavy dumbbell bent-over rows.

Hit a lot of muscles at once, and more fat will be burned during, and after, the exercises, which means more fat burned in the saddlebags.

No. 4: High intensity interval training creates an after-burn that, over time, will attack saddlebags.

One of the most potent forms of HIIT is doing sprints on a track or across a parking lot or field of grass. Many people can’t sprint, but can work up to this ability.

HIIT example: Run as FAST as you can for 30 to 60 seconds; walk for one to two minutes; and repeat six to eight more times.

Not one competitive sprinter alive (at least I don’t think so) has saddlebags. If one does, let me know.

Athletes who do a lot of sprinting as part of their sport (soccer, pole vaulting, long jump) rarely if ever have saddlebags.

You need not be a skilled athlete to get rid of saddlebags; just do HIIT, particularly in sprint form.

You cannot spot reduce saddlebags., master1305

Do intense strength training with compound exercises, and HIIT.

An example of intense exercise that will help dissolve fat in the saddlebag area is the barbell squat.

Load the bar heavy enough so that 20 repetitions are difficult.

Shutterstock/Stas Tolstnev

Now, do 20 reps, but thrust up with each up-motion, and immediately lower into a position of thighs parallel to the floor.

Explode with each upward part of the exercise, and never lock out the knees.

Take only a 45 second rest, then do it again, and if you can’t reach 20 on subsequent sets, that’s fine.

Do five sets. Your legs should feel hotter than hot coals. It’s this kind of exercise that will help get rid of saddlebags.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 



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