Want a slimmer waist?
There is talk in the fitness world of this thing called “spot training” The concept of spot reduction (i.e., using exercise to lose fat in a specific area or body part) is a myth, but with a smart plan and hard work, you can unveil sleek abs and obliques.
PUT THE FORK DOWN AND BACK AWAY FROM THE PLATE!
A smaller waist starts in the kitchen. All weight goals are met or destroyed in the kitchen. A smart nutritional approach that reduces overall calories, includes high quality, nutrient-rich foods to induce weight loss is necessary to strip away the fat that hides your abs and obliques, and your whole body for that matter. However, a handful of exercises can jump-start the fat-loss process.
1. High-Intensity Interval Training
To reveal a slimmer midsection, you have to lose body fat all over. Luckily, the verdict is clear on how to lose fat fast: high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
This short-and-not-so-sweet alternative to traditional cardio alternates short, intense bursts of exercise with longer, lighter bouts to get more work done in less time. HIIT has been shown to burn more fat specifically, belly fat—than an equal amount of steady-state cardio.
By cranking up the intensity, HIIT creates a fat-burning furnace called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) that leaves you burning calories for hours even after you’ve stopped working out.
Don’t get caught up in the amount of time working out, it’s more about the quality of the workout and efficiency of the work.
2. Side Planks
Few exercises target your entire midsection like side planks. More specifically, you’ll hammer your obliques, which, in combination with low body fat, will give your waistline a slimmer look.
Unlike crunches and sit-ups, which can leave your lower back sore and cranky, side planks can actually improve lower-back health by creating a more neutral pelvic and rib cage position.
3. Dead Bugs
The next exercise has nothing to do with fat loss or building muscle. In fact, dead bugs strengthen the right muscles to reduce anterior pelvic tilt (APT), improving posture and creating a smaller-looking midsection.
APT is an exaggerated forward rotation of the pelvis that can make your lower belly appear bloated, even if you’re very lean. Dead bugs create a posterior pelvic tilt by strengthening the rectus abdominis and external obliques, effectively “shrinking” your belly.
Another sneaky way to make your waist look smaller is to make the muscles of your back and shoulders bigger. Nothing builds a strong back like pull-ups.
By targeting your lats and rhomboids, you’ll create a sleek V-shape that will give the effect of a smaller waist. Plus, crushing a set of strict pull-ups is one of the most impressive things you can do in the gym.
Can’t do a body-weight pull-up yet? No worries. Use an elastic band to give you a leg up until you get strong enough to do one on your own.
5. Hip Thrusts/Bridges
If a bigger back makes your waist look small, a set of lean shaped thighs and glutes will make it look even smaller. Hip bridges target all the muscles of the lower body. One of my favorite exercise to perform.
These guys burn but it is worth it. You will also help correct the previously mentioned APT by strengthening your glutes and hamstrings. Make sure to keep your core super tight and squeeze your butt hard during the whole movement for the full effect.