Many women love the curvy look. If you are lacking in curves and desire that hourglass figure, there are things you can do. The first is to build your butt, or glutes, to add shape to the hips. Strengthening and toning the legs will also build muscles, adding to your curves. Shape is often about illusion, so if you are built narrow, exercise your upper body to develop muscle. Adding a little size to your back and shoulders will enhance the hourglass figure. Finally, strong and tight abdominals for a narrow waist will emphasize the curve of your hips.
The glute muscles specifically act on the hips, so by growing your booty, you are adding curves to your hips. The American Council on Exercise conducted a study that examined the best exercises for the glutes and found that step-ups and quadruped leg lifts activate them the best. Standing leg lifts target the gluteus medius, which lies on top of the gluteus maximus right under your hip bone, helping to lift and add curves.
Develop roundness of the quadriceps and hamstrings to streamline the hourglass figure by doing squats and lunges. These two exercises are the best for total lower-body development. Start with just body weight squats and walking lunges until you can complete three sets of 15 repetitions with good form. Slowly add weight in the form of dumbbells and barbells to challenge and grow the muscles, while still burning fat.
Emphasize the curve of your hips by minimizing your waist. Exercise the deep abdominal muscles of the transverse abdominus by doing stability ball crunches, stability ball knee tucks from a push-up position, and planks. This specific muscle acts as a girdle on the entire midsection, tightening your stomach from all angles and making it appear smaller. To make your curvy hips stand out, avoid oblique exercises like weighted side bends, which may add bulk to you sides. Instead, do twisting exercises such as bicycle crunches and seated medicine ball twists.
Build up your shoulders and upper back to taper your waistline, suggests ShapeFit.com. This creates the illusion of curves and balances out your upper and lower body. Target all muscles of your shoulders, which are the front, middle and rear deltoids, with dumbbell shoulder presses, lateral raises, frontal raises and reverse flys. Work your upper back with lat pulldowns and seated rows.
To maintain a healthy body weight, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise five days per week. However, more may be necessary for adequate weight loss. To accentuate the curves of the hips and glutes, do cardio that challenges the leg muscles such as stair climbing, incline walking on a treadmill and running sprints. Avoid steady state jogging as it can actually decrease muscle mass in the legs, resulting in less shape in the lower body.
- “Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning”; National Strength and Conditioning Association; Baechle, Thomas R. and Earle, Roger W; 2008
- American Council on Exercise: Glutes to the Max
- ShapeFit: Curvy Body Workouts -- Exercises That Add Curves to Your Physique
Riana Rohmann has been working for the Marine Corps doing physical training and writing fitness articles since 2008. She holds personal trainer and advanced health and fitness specialist certifications from the American Council on Exercise and a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology and exercise physiology from California State University-San Marcos.