Whittling your waist requires working your oblique muscles. Located along the sides of your torso, the obliques help to give women an hourglass shape that is often coveted when wearing a bikini or tight fitting dress. Beside looking good, the obliques enable you to bend and twist, and strengthen your lower back. Perform twisting exercises using a dumbbell for resistance for good-looking obliques that are toned and taut.
Standing Side Twist
Hold a single dumbbell perpendicular with both hands in front of your chest with extended arms. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing forward. Slightly bend your knees to avoid locking them out. Engage your abdominal muscles and push your shoulder blades down your back.
Rotate your torso to the right by 90 degrees; your chest, arms and hands should be pointing to the side. Maintain a forward stance with your lower body so that you are twisting at the waist.
Twist back through to the starting position and continue to rotate your chest to the left, again by 90 degrees. Continue rotating and alternating sides until you have completed eight to 12 full cycles.
Seated Side Twist
Sit on an exercise mat with your legs extended in front of you. Slightly bend your knees and rest your heels on the floor. Hold a single dumbbell in both of your hands, positioned in front of your chest. Keep your torso straight and perpendicular to the floor.
Rotate your torso to the right by 90 degrees. Keep your glutes and heels planted firmly on the mat. Hold the dumbbell at chest level rather than letting it drop to the side as you twist.
Twist back to the starting position and then repeat on the left side. Complete eight to 12 repetitions on both sides.
Seated Side Twist with Partner
Sit on an exercise mat back to back with an exercise partner, with your shoulder blades touching. Both of you should place your body in the same form; extend your legs in front of you, with a slight bend in the knee and your heels resting on the floor. One person holds a dumbbell in her hands, positioned in front of the chest. Engage your abdominal muscles.
Rotate your torso to your left while your partner rotates in the same manner to the right. Assuming you are holding the dumbbell, pass it to your partner.
Twist back through starting position and over to the right, as your partner twists to her left. Take the dumbbell back from your partner. Continue the pattern, for one to two minutes.
- Discontinue the exercise immediately if you feel pain in your lower back while rotating your body.
- Check with a physician before performing twisting exercises if you have had any back pain or problems.
Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.