I'm a PT – the fat burning mistakes everyone makes and how to banish 'saddlebags' FAST | The Sun

IF you feel like extra fat sits around your thighs, a leading personal trainer has got a workout for you.

Often called “saddlebags”, fat on the outer thighs are normal, especially in women who hold fat around the legs, bum and hips.

But sometimes women may feel their lower half looks disproportionate to the rest of them.

Rachael Attard, a celebrity personal trainer on the Gold Coast of Australia, said a saddlebag workout is “one of the most requested” that she gets.

She also revealed some of the biggest fat burning mistakes, including for the thigh area.


On her Instagram, Rachael demonstrated five exercises.

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Each one, she said, should be done for 30 seconds on each leg.

“Complete 2-3 rounds in total,” she told her 91,000 Instagram followers.

“For extra challenge you can add ankle weights, like I did here, but you can also do this workout without any equipment.”

  1. Rachael starts with fire hydrants. Get onto all fours then raise your leg to the side from the hip and bring it back again. 
  2. The second move is a fire hydrant but with a leg extension out towards the side.
  3. Next is a leg raise with a twist. From all fours, raise the leg to the ceiling, then bring the knee toward the elbow. Repeat without putting the leg down.
  4. The fourth move is a leg raise to the diagonal.
  5. Last is a leg raise, but this time Rachael brings her leg through to a lunge.

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Fat burning mistakes

An PT will tell you it’s not possible to target fat loss.

However, you can always try and tone the muscle in the area, building strength and a shape to the leg.

But Rachael said she often meets women who want to slim down their legs, rather than make them more muscley.

She wrote on her blog: “More and more women are coming to me explaining that they feel like their thighs got too bulky for their own liking.

“Your body type plays a massive role in how you tend to build muscle and lose weight and some body types are more likely to bulk up. You need to know your body type so you can learn how to train and eat accordingly.

“Do more low to moderate-intensity cardio such as fasted walking. This type of cardio is the key to getting slim legs.

“Power walking is the best exercise for slimming down your legs and still burns a surprising number of calories, so don’t feel disheartened if all you can do is walk.

“If you want to reduce muscle and body fat, you should stay in a slight calorie deficit and eat a low carb diet.

“Your body will use fat and protein (muscle) for energy, rather than carbohydrates. This will help you decrease your muscle size much quicker.”

Rachael said to avoid sprints and exercises that target the quads, like lunges and squats. 

For general fat loss, Rachael said to avoid doing high intensity workouts all the time.

She wrote: “When you work out, most people think that you need to give the workout all the energy you have and to work out as hard as you can. 

“After all, this is what makes you burn the most calories!

“However, the fat burning zone theory says that you shouldn’t push your body all the way to 100. 

“Instead, you’ll burn the most fat when you working at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.”

In this zone, you would be sweating moderately, finding it hard to breathe and have fatigued muscles – but won’t be exhausted.

It includes exercises like long power walks, jogging, cycling or swimming.

Rachael explained that at this intensity, the body turns to fat stores for energy more than carbs (from food).

But when you’re pushing yourself to the max, it has to turn to the most available source – carbs – and depending on the workout length, won’t switch to fat.

Rachael said other reasons you may be struggling to lose weight include not taking calorie counting seriously.

She said: “A lot of girls I talk to aren’t sure how much they should be eating so they end up eating either too much or too little. 

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“I’m not saying you should obsessively count your calories but keeping track of your daily calorie intake for a week or two will give you an idea of how much you should actually eat.”

Rachael warned of “cheat days” in which you binge on bad foods all in one go, and said to eat with an 80:20 rule (80 per cent healthy, 20 per cent treats) all week, instead.

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