Best exercises for a smaller waist

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There are some specific exercises you can do that target and trim up your waistline. These exercises can also help with a stronger core & more toned abs. Commit to an exercise routine. If you really want to trim your waist, you will need to commit to a regular and rigorous exercise routine. Great results will only come with hard work and dedication, so make sure you are prepared to put in the necessary effort before you begin. On the other hand, if you begin exercising too rigorously from the get-go, you may become disheartened and disillusioned, and therefore much more inclined to give up.
  • To overcome this, try making an exercise plan where you start at a reasonable level, before gradually building yourself up to longer more intense exercise routines. Keep a log of what you're doing each time in a record book or diary and check your progress against this.
  • Eventually you'll find yourself exercising regularly without feeling worn out or disinterested in it and your waist, along with your overall health and fitness, will have benefited a great deal.
Do plenty of cardio. Weight loss is essential when it comes to losing inches from your waist. Unfortunately, there is no way to target weight loss in a specific area of your body, so overall weight loss is the only option. Cardiovascular exercise is the best form of exercise for burning calories, so it is essential to any weight loss routine.
  • Running, skipping and cycling are all excellent cardio options, which usually don't even require a gym membership. Cheap, yet extremely effective, there's no excuse not to incorporate a little cardio into your workout.
  • Trainers advocate tracking your heart rate during cardio. For example the best way to shed fat is by walking on the trail or outside and keeping your heart rate at low-medium level. Have that after a session of endurance training and you are on the way to shed this fat.
  • You should aim to do 30 minutes of cardio exercise, four to five times a week, for best results.
Make sure you work out the correct core muscles. Many core strength-building exercises focus on the oblique muscles, which run along the side of your stomach. Although working these muscles will give you a toned and flat stomach, it will also build up the muscle, making your waist appear wider than before. This is definitely not what you want when aiming for a tiny waist. To work your core and trim your waist you should focus on your transverse and rectus abdominals.
  • Your transverse abdominals work as your body's natural corset and so with enough work in this area you can achieve a smaller waist. Pilates does a lot of work that focuses on the transverse abdominals and therefore can be a very effective method.
  • Remember to breathe when exercising core muscles. While it may seem obvious, many people forget in the concentration on getting the muscle action correct and then you leave your body tense and fragile. Instead, remember to breathe in and out, on the way up, on the way down, etc. If you can't work this out in a rhythm that works for you, consider joining yoga or Pilates for help.
Do specific waist-shaping exercises. Even though you can't target weight loss on your waist, you can certainly perform certain exercises which tone and slim the muscles around the mid-section.
  • Do the 'hundred' exercise. This is done by lying on your back and lifting your legs up to a 90 degree angle and your shoulder blades off the floor. Begin by pumping your arms straight out to the side, and repeat for 100 pumps. Breath in through the nose for five pumps and out through the mouth for five pumps.
  • Suck in your stomach. Try to keep your stomach sucked in throughout the day, while sitting at your desk, in the car or at the grocery store. This works the stomach muscles, while simultaneously making you look slimmer. Over time, you won't even notice you're doing it!
  • Do sit ups. Try sit ups using a sturdy object such as a medium-sized yoga ball or the arm of a sofa. The best way to do sit ups is with your hands crossed against your chest. Putting your hands in front of you puts less strain on your neck and makes it easier for you (resulting in less of an ab workout). Work up to doing five sets of sit ups, with 30 repetitions in each set.
  • Do twist crunches. This requires you to lie on your back and bend your knees up while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Bring your fingers up to touch your ears and slowly contract your abdominal muscles, lifting your torso off the ground. When you're at the point of feeling you can't lift your body any further, contract your side muscles and turn gently to the left. Return your torso flat to the floor. Repeat on the right side. Build up to a set of 10 repetitions.[5]
  • Do the bridge. Get into the position for doing a push up. Rest on your elbows and keep your eyes to the floor at all times. Pull your stomach muscles in tight, imagining them touching your backbone. As you do this, your bottom should be down and your back straight. Aim to hold this position for about a minute.[6]
  • Do the horizontal plank. Lie down on a comfortable mat, on your right side. Rest on your right arm and extend your legs outward, placing your right foot on top of your left foot. In this position, slowly lift your pelvis up from the floor. Continue to bear weight on your right forearm and feet. Aim to hold this lift for around 10-15 seconds. Repeat 5 times for each side.[7]
Build your chest and shoulders. Emphasizing upper curves can make the waist seem to shrink, so you should incorporate some shoulder and chest building exercises into your workout routine in order to give the illusion of a smaller waist. Some specific exercises include:
  • Bench dips. This exercise works the arms and shoulders and is performed using an exercise step or kitchen chair. To do a bench dip, sit up straight on the edge of the bench or chair, extending your legs in front of you. Firmly grip the edge of the bench or chair and slowly slide your body off the bench, lowering yourself towards the floor. Keep your back straight, and keep lowering until your arms from a 90 degree angle. Push your body back to the original starting position and repeat.
  • Push-ups. This classic exercise works the chest muscles. It can be done by propping your body up on your toes (for a more advanced version) or by balancing on your knees (for an easier version). To do it, place your hands palms-down on the floor, approximately shoulder width apart and raise yourself up, using just the strength in your arms, until both arms are fully extended. Slowly lower your body down again until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Raise yourself back up into the extended arm position and repeat.

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  • Kanika Townsend
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