Having “saddlebags” refers to the extra weight you might carry on the outside portion of your upper thighs and buttocks. Women may especially struggle with this type of weight because of their natural hormone balance. Exercising this area improves the definition and shape of the muscles located there, which can reduce the appearance of the saddlebags.
The lateral steps exercise works the outer portion of your thighs by utilizing resistance from rubber tubing. Place the tubing around your feet so that both of your feet are inside the circular tubing. Stand with your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Assume a semi-squatted position by bending your knees and hips. Take one big step to the right with your right foot. Utilize the muscles on the outer portion of your right leg to stretch the band so your foot can get in position. Once the big step has been taken, bring your left foot back to shoulder-width distance between your right foot. Take 10 big steps to the right, and then take 10 big steps to the left.
Fire hydrants are great for working your saddlebags and well as your glutes, or butt muscles. Shaping your butt is gives the illusion that the sides of your legs are smaller than what they really are. Kneel on the floor with your knees spaced shoulder-width apart and your hands on the ground, also shoulder-width part. Lift your right leg laterally up to the side, as high as you can, like a dog urinating on a fire hydrant. Return your right leg to the starting position. Perform 10 in a row on the right side and then switch and perform 10 on the left side.
Cable Leg Abduction
This exercise requires a cable tower set to its lowest setting and an ankle attachment. Attach the ankle attachment to the tower and then wrap the circular ankle cuff around your right foot. Stand sideways in relation to the cable tower with your left foot between the cable tower and your right foot. Move your right leg laterally and try to overcome the resistance of the cable tower. Lift your leg as high as you can and then slowly bring it back down beside your left foot. Perform at least 10 on your right side and then take off the ankle cuff and place it on your left foot. Turn the opposite direction so your right foot is between the cable tower and your left foot and repeat the leg-lifting motion with your left leg.
Although these exercises are a great way to create definition and increased musculature of the saddlebag area, you also need to perform cardiovascular exercise and improve your diet. Cardiovascular exercise along with nutritional improvement can help with fat loss, allowing some of the excess weight on the sides of your legs to diminish. This allows you to shape your outer thighs more quickly than with just these three exercises alone.