The secret of a slim waist lies in the type of exercise that you do.
It is true that when you control your diet, you will lose some of those fats in your belly. However, you will achieve that slim waist only if you compliment your diet with the right kind of exercise.
Simply exercising on your stationary bike for hours is not enough. Long, slow cardio sessions are not the ideal work out for a slimmer waist. Doing crunches until you can’t stand up straight is also not enough to have a slim waist. Ab-focused exercises like the popular crunch isolate the abs but fail to hit the muscles that run up your side (the obliques) and the deep, ‘corset’ muscles of the abdomen (the transversus abdominis or TVA).
To have that perfect slim waist, you need not only the right mix of exercises that targets your core muscles while increasing your metabolism but the right diet.
When you strengthen the right muscles, the obliques and the TVA, you begin to build that slimmer, tighter looking waist.
Top Ten Most Effective Waist Slimming Exercises
10) Jump Rope Skipping
Who would have thought! Jumping rope is a great waist slimming exercise. Because it substantially raises your metabolic rate and forces you to tighten your core at the same time, it’s double-effective.
While doing this exercise, try more complex movements that involve more muscles like twisting your waist to the left and to the right as you jump. As you get comfortable with this exercise for several days, try doing a High Intensity Interval Training routine with your jumping rope:
- Jump rope as fast you can for 40 seconds.
- Have a 15 second break.
- Repeat 5 times, have a one minute break, and go for it again!
This will burn lots of calories during the workout and it will also have an after-burn effect on your body fats for several hours post-workout.
We recommend to get an adjustable, light jump rope such as this one to allow for fast jumps.
9) Ski Twists
(I’m sorry, I couldn’t find a girl doing these twists! If you do these, take a picture and send it to me! 🙂
Jumping jacks might be a bit boring for some, but they are they are great flab burners. Other than jumping jack, try to use ski twists. With the key twist exercise, you’re jumping as you would with jumping jacks, but this time you’re keeping your feet together and twisting at the hips rather than throwing the arms. Simply jump and twist to the left, then back to the center, then twist right and back to the center. This exercise works the rotary function of the body’s core while simultaneously burning calories. It’s a great variation for cardio lovers and a bit more interesting than the plain old jumping jack!
8) Hip Thrusts
No feminine waist shaping routine would be complete without some version of the hip thrust. Hip thrust together with glute bridge movements target the glutes and the muscles of your lower back. This exercise strengthens your muscle and shapes your glutes. It is a great way to improve your curves and make your waist appear smaller.
Burpess are possibly the best total body conditioning exercises you’ll ever do. They virtually work every muscle group in your body and if you throw a push up, this exercise will exhaust you even more, which is really great for your body. Do these as part of your metabolic circuit routine or during a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. Bodybuilders, elite athletes and physique competitors use these movements to supercharge their bodies and you can also chose to do so.
6) Bicycle Crunches
You get two workouts with bicycle crunches — a cardio hit and an ab burn. By alternating a knee raise and torso twist, you can generate momentum that gets your heart pumping at a faster rate. The lower body/upper body action means you’re hitting the entire abdominal wall. Bicycle crunches have been shown to fire the abs to a greater degree than virtually any other core exercise.
5) Cat Vomit
This exercise looks and sounds weird but it gives your TVA muscles a great workout. Sometimes extreme measures are needed to activate these muscles. To perform this correctly, kneel on all fours and exhale completely. This will forcefully contract your abs. From this position, raise your belly button towards your spine and hold that position for 10 seconds. Repeat this movement for several times. Be careful that you don’t run out of breath and try to maintain a neutral back and neck position.
4) Vertical Hip Lifts
Vertical hip lifts powerfully activate your TVA muscles. you need to perform this move correctly. It requires tremendous flexibility in the hips and hamstrings but it is definitely worth the effort. Create an L shape by lying flat on your back and elevate your legs until your feet are directly above your hips. From this position, lift your hips off the floor by pushing the feet towards the ceiling. Make sure this movement is done cleanly with no swaying or bending of the legs.
3) Side Planks
Side planks engage the lateral muscles of the core, most notably the internal and external obliques. This is very different from heavy weightlifting which can overdevelop the obliques, thus losing of the feminine hourglass shape. With side planks, all you do is strengthen and streamline your obliques without creating a ‘blocky’ muscled look.
Planks is possibly the best and most popular core exercise aside from crunches. Despite their popularity, many exercisers perform planks incorrectly. To really engage the core, make sure that you squeeze your glutes (butt muscles) and keep your body straight while doing this exercise. Contract your glutes to create a posterior tilt of the hips which will activate your abdominal muscles to a greater degree. Do your best not to sag your hip because if you start sagging your hips, this means that you are not going to get the core activation you’re after.
1) Swiss Ball Rollouts
Take a plank and make it even better. There are many variations of swiss ball (see our article: Exercise Balls – the Ultimate Guide) roll out but the basic exercise begins with your hands on the swiss ball (elbows are fine too). Hold the plank position then slightly roll the ball forward. Hold the position for 3 seconds and then roll back to your starting position. The see-saw back and forth movement that you do with control and stability is a fantastic core exercise because it puts a great deal of stress on the abs, obliques and lower back muscles.
Top Five Exercises That You Should Avoid
The 10 exercises above are your friends; they will help you achieve a sexy slim waist. There are however, some exercises you should avoid. These exercises will either waste your time or actually make your waist thicker.
5) Sit Ups
These are primarily hip exercises and are now somewhat considered a relic from a forgotten era of fitness training. Sit ups are notorious for causing back pain and do not really hits the midsection.
The reason behind avoiding crunches is similar to Sit Ups. Many people avoid Crunches because they get lower back pain. However, you can overcome this by using Swiss balls and stability balls. The crunch is an over-hyped exercise that provides sub-par abdominal activation. If you must crunch, the Bicycle Crunch will give you a better result. Weighted Crunches are also a much more effective option.
3) Heavy Squats
You might want to do some form of squatting exercise, but what you would want to avoid is heavy powerlifting-style squats. This is because heavy powerlifting-style squats can throw size on your hips and waist. It will be better if you replace the big squat movements with exercises like Goblet Squats with a challenging kettlebell weight or Split Squats. this will place more emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes.
2) Side bends
Side bends really give the obliques a solid workout. However, because they involve using the abs and obliques to move a weight, they can add muscle down your sides. This will kill your hourglass shape and you should therefore avoid this exercise. Side Planks are a much better options for toning your obliques without bloating them.
1) Russian Twists
Besides being a bad exercise for ab training, they can be harmful. They involve both spinal flexion and rotation, which puts the spine in a compromised position. There isn’t one reason why you should be doing Russian Twists but if someone has recommended that to you, politely ignore the advice.
Go Forth and Be Slimmer!
There are more and possibly even better waist slimming exercises out there, but the top 10 listed exercises here will do the trick. Use the top 6 for targeting the core and use exercises 7 to 10 for cardio and general fitness.
Combining effective fat loss cardio exercises with proven core tightening movements will definitely be great in shedding belly flab while creating that tight waist you want.
More? Read our article on how to loose lower belly fat next…