A slender waist can help you get that hourglass shape, and feel confident and sexy in your new bikini or dress. Although spot reducing your midsection isn't possible, you can burn fat all over and do weight-training exercises to lose inches on your waist. If you're really serious about losing a muffin top or bulging belly, add a calorie-reduced diet to your weight-loss plan to accomplish it faster. By cutting 250 to 500 calories per day, you can lose an extra 1/2 to 1 pound on top of what you shed with exercise. Don't forget to check with your doctor before you get started slimming down.
To lose inches around your waist, you have to get rid of the fat that's adding extra padding to your midsection. Get up off the couch and move your body to the tune of 300 minutes of heart-pumping exercise per week. Split this time up in whatever manner makes sense with your schedule. Go for a brisk walk, do yoga or run around after the kids for one hour to burn 250 calories and lose 1/2 pound each week. If you want to double your weight loss from cardio exercise without doubling the time you spend exercising, go jogging, biking or swimming instead.
No-Equipment Waist Exercises
Exercise equipment isn't necessary to whittle your waist. You can get a more slender-looking middle by toning the muscles of your abdomen and obliques, the muscles along the sides of your waist. Perform front and side planks to sculpt your waist and work your way toward an hourglass figure. If you cannot perform a front plank by balancing on your forearms and the balls of your feet, start by positioning yourself on your knees and hands with your arms fully extended. As you get stronger, move toward the regular version. To perform side planks, position yourself on one forearm and the side of your lower foot, while facing the wall. Hold all plank positions for 20 seconds.
Dumbbell Waist Exercises
Your waist will get smaller as your muscles become more toned with strength-training exercises for your midsection. In addition to body-weight exercises, you can also perform exercises with dumbbells for added resistance and muscle-toning benefits. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent to do waist-whittling dumbbell swings. Hold a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell with both hands, positioning it by your right hip. Lift the dumbbell from your right hip toward your left shoulder in one fluid movement, maintaining control of your movement with your arm muscles while steadying your body with the muscles of your core. Lower to the starting position. Repeat 12 to 24 times on each side.
Stretch your oblique muscles with side bends, which can be performed with or without dumbbells. If you're using dumbbells, hold one in each hand while standing with your feet hip-width apart. Keep both arms by your sides as you bend your torso toward the right. Bend and lift 12 to 24 times on each side to stretch, slim down and lengthen the obliques.
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Common-Sense Strategies to Long-Term Weight Loss
- Georgia State University: Physical Activity
- American Council on Exercise: Ab Exercises
- Shape Magazine: Shrink Your Muffin Top!
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.