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Trimming Down Those Saddlebags

Pockets of extra fat hanging in abundance at outer thighs, just like the bags that hang off a horse’s saddle or dangle off the sides of a motorcycle, are referred to as saddle bag. If you’ve got saddlebags, it’s a sign that your body has very active fat storage enzymes in your thighs. Extra calories tend to get stored in the body, in your case they are headed towards your thighs.

One of the reason besides genetics and unhealthy lifestyle is distorted hormonal balance or estrogen dominance, that is responsible for the presence of saddlebags. Stress triggers estrogen dominance through a couple of mechanisms. When we are stressed, we convert more raw materials to cortisol, your stress hormone, and less to making progesterone (this is known as the Progesterone Steal. If you’ve ever been under a lot of stress and missed a period or it was late, you’ve experienced this). Having less progesterone around to balance out estrogen leads to estrogen dominating a woman’s hormonal landscape and among other things starts to pack on the padding around the hips.

The only way to permanent relief from saddle bag is commitment to a healthful eating plan combined with cardio with strength training that targets the glutes. There are  cardio fat burning exercises include running, cycling,swimming, rowing and aerobics. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends activity up to 45-60 minutes per day to facilitate weight loss and prevent weight regain.

Try incorporating these Saddlebag trimmers in your daily routine.

  1. Standing Side Leg Raises: Stand with your feet placed hips-distance apart, feet forward, with arms hanging down by your sides. Lift your right knee up to about waist high so your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Inhale and slowly bring your right knee toward your left side. Exhale and open your bent leg straight out to your side as if swinging a gate open. Hold this position for a moment and return the leg to the starting position. Repeat the sequence for 10 to 15 repetitions, then switch legs.
  2. Pony Kick: Get down on your elbows and knees. Keeping your back flat, slowly raise your left thigh to about 45 degrees, with your knee bent and pointing your heel up to the ceiling. Hold for five seconds. Lower leg and repeat five times or more — before repeating ­exercise and same number of repetitions with your right leg.
  3. Squat: Stand straight, keeping your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and lower your body toward the floor into a squatting position. Hold for three seconds, then slowly stand back up. Repeat the move, beginning with five reps at a time. As your strength and balance improve, add more reps to work up to 12 squats at a time.

  1. Side lunge and rotate: Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward. Then lunge out to one side, flexing the lunge leg and keeping the other leg straight. The aim is to lunge down as far as possible whilst keeping the upper body tall and upright. Once you have reached the lowest point, perform a trunk rotation movement from left to right. After the rotation push back using the lunge leg only to the start position. Again, lunge as wide and low as you can while maintaining a neutral low back position. The aim of this exercise is to increase the active range of motion in the groin area while maintaining trunk stability and performing trunk rotation.
  1. Step-Up:  Get behind the workout bench or stack. Grab a set of single arm dumbbells (you can start with 3-5 pounds up to 10 or 15 pounds for the more advanced) and with your arms down at your sides step up onto the bench/stack with your right foot, then your left foot. Step down with your right foot then left foot. Repeat this 10 to 12 times. Then, reverse your lead foot and repeat again 10 to 12 times. Your goal is to do 3-4 sets with each lead foot.
  2. Bridge: Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor placed hips-width apart. With feet pointing straight ahead, lift your hips off the ground by deeply contracting your buttocks. Lower to about an inch above the ground and repeat the lift. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions. Open your legs wider to engage the outer thighs. Turn your feet slightly out and repeat the bridge sequence for 10 to 15 repetitions. After the last repetition, hold the bridge in the lifted and tucked position and squeeze your glutes for 10 more deep quick pulses.
  3. Side Lunges: Start with your feet together. Take a big step out to the right side with your right leg and sink your hips down and back as you lower sideways into the lunge. Using your thigh muscles, press back up to the starting position. Complete 10-12 repetitions and then perform the exercise to the other side.
  4. Face Down Leg Lifts :- If you are weak or have back pain, you can begin with this buttock tightening exercise. Lie face down with your forehead resting on your hands. Keeping your stomach pulled in and hips pressing, exhale. As you inhale, lift one straight leg up only as high as comfortable. Do 10 lifts and repeat on other side. For detailed instructions and demonstration click here.

If you commit to this workout, you are sure to watch your thigh turn lean and sexy.

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