Exercises to Reduce Your Waist Size

Updated May 29, 2019
Young woman measuring her waist

Spot reduction isn't possible; unfortunately, you don't get to choose from where on your body you lose fat. Luckily, there are some dietary changes and exercises you can do to reduce fat overall and strengthen your core, leading to a leaner waist and perhaps even some definition.

Waist-Focused Exercise

The waist area consists of numerous muscles; focus on strengthening these muscles to help shrink your waist. These muscles include the:

  • Rectus abdominis, which is located in the anterior of the body; this is the muscle most people attribute "six-pack abs" to.
  • Internal and external obliques, which reside to the side of the rectus abdominis and are located in the area frequently referred to as the "love handles."
  • Transversus abdominis, which is located deep within the abdominals, but when strengthened can benefit the waist area.

Core Training

Core training will not only help give you a leaner, more defined waist, but will also make your body more stable overall, granting you better balance and reducing your risk of injury (especially back injuries, which are common to most adults). Core exercises should be done regularly in conjunction with cardiovascular exercise and dietary changes if your goal is to reduce your body fat.

Targeted Abs

The "abs" aren't solely the waist, but stronger abdominal muscles overall will help you achieve a leaner waist. For best results, do ab exercises with the intention of strengthening these muscles instead of achieving a specific look to your waist. Build your abdominal strength, and the rest will come.

Enter the Gym

Strength training - even if it is just with body weight - is one of the best ways to get a slimmer waist. Gym equipment like the captain's chair or stability ball can help accelerate your progress as you work toward reduced body fat and a slimmer waist.

Mind Body Exercise

Workouts that require stability and balance, such as yoga and Pilates, rely on your core muscles for movements and are therefore an excellent addition to your workout schedule. These formats are great for overall wellness and fitness - not just for your waist.

Cardio Exercises

To lose body fat, you must burn more calories than you ingest. Cardio can scorch calories and help you trim up quicker - and will benefit your heart and overall health.

Popular Exercises to Reduce Waist

Some exercises are designed specifically to target the muscles associated with the waist. Do these in conjunction with cardio and dietary changes and add hand weights once you feel stable enough for more challenge.

Side Bends

  1. Start by standing straight on a flat surface with your knees slightly bent and your feet apart.
  2. Next, slowly lower your torso a few inches to the left side then back again to the right side.
  3. Try to keep your upper body and legs in line by not bending forward or backward. Repeat 15 times on each side.

Torso Twists

  1. Stand straight on a flat surface with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Next, twist your torso gently to the left side and then to the right while limiting the movement from your hips.
  3. While you are gently twisting your torso should remain upright. Be sure you are not bending at all. In addition, be careful not to twist too far, as you pull a muscle if you over rotate. Repeat 15 times on each side.

Waist Crossovers

  1. Stand on a hard, flat surface with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Bend each elbow at a 90-degree angle beside your head (you should resemble a football goal).
  3. Next, contract your abdominal muscles and slowly pull your left knee up toward your right elbow as far as you can.
  4. Pause at the top and then slowly lower your left leg to the floor.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side, bringing your right knee toward your left elbow.
  6. Continue alternating sides until you have completed 15 reps on each side.

More Ways to Reduce Your Waist

To help expedite body fat reduction, maintain a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables and fresh fruits as well as unsaturated fats and proteins. You may want to keep a food journal to record your meals and calorie intake. In addition, spend extra time partaking in cardio activities that promote weight loss, such as brisk walking, bike riding, swimming and interval training. Cut out sugar and empty calories as much as you can, as these can lead to belly bloat. By doing so your success rate will be much greater than if you concentrated on just one aspect of waist reduction.

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Exercises to Reduce Your Waist Size