Losing weight and trimming your waist requires a balance of cardio, strength training and a healthy diet. Spot reduction of just your waist is not a realistic goal, but a customized routine and healthy diet can trim excess fat from your entire body and build your core strength. Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, and strength training builds muscle. Performing an intensive workout for as little as four weeks can lead to weight loss and increased strength in your core muscles: the abdominal, oblique and lower back muscles.
Burning fat throughout your body is required to slim your middle. An intense cardio workout burns calories and sheds fat that will reveal the lean muscle that you gain underneath through targeted strength training. At the gym, alternate between an inclined treadmill and the stationary bike at a high resistance, spending an hour each time. According to the American Council on Exercise, a 130-pound woman can burn 472 calories cycling with resistance and 590 calories running at a moderate pace.
Strength training builds and tones muscle. As you shed excess fat, this muscle will be revealed. It is incorrect to think that strength training will lead to bulky muscles in women; a customized routine can result in lean muscle and other benefits, including better posture. Lean muscle will make you appear slimmer and, according to the Mayo Clinic, an added benefit of increased muscle mass is that it burns more calories than fat.
At the gym, develop a routine that targets your abdominal muscles, obliques and lower back with the crunch machine, total ab workout machine and lower back extension machine. The ab crunch machine is a straightforward crunch that is weighted. The total ab workout machine targets the obliques, the muscles along either side of your waist. The lower back extension machine strengthens your lower back. Do 12 reps, rest and repeat on each. Determine the weight by testing out a low weight and edge upward until it is challenging for the entire 12 reps.
Safety and Tips
As with any new exercise routine, be mindful of your body's natural signals and limitations. Consult your doctor if you are new to exercise, have large amounts of weight to lose, or have joint concerns. Losing weight from your waist or anywhere requires burning more calories than you take in via eating less, exercising more, or a combination of the two. A diet full of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables will fuel your workout and keep your caloric intake in a healthy range.
Grace Bordelon is a public relations professional, teacher and writer. She owns her own boutique public relations firm that specializes in the advertising, gaming and software industries. She also teaches at a major design school for fine artists, commercial artists and graphic designers. Bordelon holds a B.A. in international economics and an M.A. in English from Bard College.