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10 Home Exercises for a Slimmer Waist According to Personal Trainers

Transform your waist with 10 powerhouse exercises for a slimmer you! Embrace the challenge and sculpt a trimmer midsection at home.

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Written By Wan Na Chun, Registered Dietitian and American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer

Many of us dream of having a sculpted, slimmer waistline. Aside from aesthetic reasons, having a small waist comes with health perks like improved posture and reduced back issues.

The good news? You can take steps right at home to cinch your waist with an array of effective waist-trimming exercises that can help both men and women trim inches around their midsection.

10 Simple At Home Exercises For A Slimmer Waist According To Personal Trainers

Here are the 10 best exercises for a smaller waist according to exercise professionals, along with modifications for easy and more difficult variations:

Standing Oblique Crunches

Stand with feet wider than hip-width, knees slightly bent. Clasp hands behind head. Keeping feet still, bend sideways at waist, bringing elbow towards outside of knee. Return to the center and repeat on the opposite side.

How to Do:Standing Oblique Crunches (Video Credit: Leap Fitness YouTube Channel)

  • Easier: Reduce range of motion for smaller side bends.
  • Harder: Use a resistance band around the thighs. Hold a small hand weight for added intensity.

Bicycle Crunches

Lie on your back, hands behind your head. Bring your elbow to the opposite knee while extending the other leg.

How to Do: Bicycle Crunches (Video Credit: Leap Fitness YouTube Channel)

  • Easy Variation: Reduce the range of motion.
  • Difficult Variation: Increase the speed of the movement.

V-Up

Lie on your back, arms extended. Simultaneously lift your legs and torso, trying to touch your toes.

How to Do: V-UP (Video Credit: Leap Fitness YouTube Channel)

  • Easy Variation: Bend your knees and perform a partial V-up.
  • Difficult Variation: Hold a weight or medicine ball as you perform the movement.

High Plank

Place hands shoulder-width apart, wrists under shoulders. Keeping the body in a straight line from head to heels, tighten core by drawing belly button to spine. Engage leg and glute muscles. Hold for as long as able without breaking form.

How to Do:Straight-Arm & High Plank (Video Credit: Leap Fitness YouTube Channel)

  • Easier: Drop knees to the floor while keeping the upper body straight.
  • Harder: Add shoulder tap – take one hand off the floor at a time to tap the opposite shoulder.

Mountain Climbers

Start in a plank position. Alternately bring your knees towards your chest.

How to Do: Mountain Climbers (Video Credit: Leap Fitness YouTube Channel)

  • Easy Variation: Perform the movement at a slower pace.
  • Difficult Variation: Increase the speed and bring your knees closer to your elbows.

Scissors

Lie faceup with legs raised directly above hips, feet pointed. Keeping abs engaged, slowly lower one leg towards the floor while simultaneously raising the other leg. Alternate between right and left.

How to Do:Scissors (Video Credit: Leap Fitness YouTube Channel)

  • Easier: Place hands underneath lower back for support. Lift and lower legs more shallowly.
  • Harder: Hold legs higher so they remain straight throughout the move. Increase speed.

Heel Touches

Lie on your back, knees bent. Reach for your heels by lifting your shoulders off the ground.

How to Do:Heel Touches (Video Credit: Leap Fitness YouTube Channel)

  • Easy Variation: Reduce the range of motion.
  • Difficult Variation: Hold a weight on your chest as you perform the movement.

Sit Up

Lie face up with knees bent, feet flat. Cross arms over chest or place hands behind ears. Keeping feet anchored, use core strength to curl the torso up, reaching elbows towards knees. Slowly lower back down.

How to Do:Sit Up (Video Credit: Leap Fitness YouTube Channel)

  • Easier: Sit with knees bent, feet on floor. Use arms to assist movement.
  • Harder: Straighten legs and perform movement.

High Knees

Stand and bring your knees towards your chest alternately.

How to Do:High Knees (Video Credit: Leap Fitness YouTube Channel)

  • Easy Variation: Perform the movement at a slower pace.
  • Difficult Variation: Increase the speed and height of the knee raises.

Side Plank

Begin lying on the side, prop body up onto one forearm placed under shoulder. Stack feet on top of each other, lift hips up to align body diagonally. Hold position without letting hips drop. Switch sides.

How to Do:Side Plank (Video Credit: Leap Fitness YouTube Channel)

  • Easier: Bend bottom knee and keep foot on floor for support. Hold the top foot in front rather than stacked.
  • Harder: Raise top arm towards ceiling. Lift top leg higher. Hold longer duration.

These exercises target the abdominal muscles, obliques, and transverse abdominals, helping to tone and define your waist. Remember to maintain proper form and always consult a fitness professional if you have any concerns about performing these exercises.

Small-Waisted Workout Routine

According to Chris Pruitt, a certified personal trainer and CEO of Workout Healthy, performing a core workout routine 3-4 days per week along with a healthy diet can result in significant waist reduction in just 3 months.

When starting any workout routine, it’s always important to warm up first with some dynamic stretches and light cardiovascular movements to increase the heart rate.

Incorporating a variety of core exercises shown in this article along with other full body strength exercises will icxzncrease core strength and reduce body fat.

For an additional challenge, you can use at-home equipment like resistance bands, exercise balls and ab mats to not only torch belly fat but also tone and define your waistline curves. Whenever possible, use side-view mirrors to check your form as proper technique prevents injury.

Waist Size For Health

Waist size is an important indicator of health, as it is associated with the distribution of abdominal fat, which can have implications for overall health. Fat accumulated around the abdomen raises risks for diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

According to the National Heart, Lunch, and Blood Institute (NIH), women should aim for a waist measurement under 35 inches and under 40 inches for men. Having a lower waist size is essential to preventing heart disease and other chronic conditions.

Foods for Slimmer Waist

Eating a nutrient dense diet is crucial for overall fat loss and a trimmer figure. According to Pruitt, one of the most common mistakes that people make is solely focusing on waist exercises without proper nutrition. In order to achieve a slimmer waist, it is also important to fuel properly with the right foods. Here are nutrition tips to help you achieve a slimmer waist.

  • Cut back on refined carbohydrates, sugary treats, fried foods, and other processed items. These tend to be higher in calories but lack the nutrients your body craves.
  • Eat more fiber rich foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans to keep you feeling fuller for longer so you eat less overall. Fiber also promotes gut health and bloat reduction for a trimmer tummy.
  • Load up on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, lean protein sources like chicken, fish, eggs and tofu. Choosing healthier complex carbs gives you sustained energy.
  • Limit intake of alcohol, which can add a significant amount of empty calories and also impair exercise performance and recovery.

Additional Tips for a Slimmer Waist

In addition to these targeted core exercises, it’s important to also Pilates, yoga, barre exercises and cardio intervals on a treadmill or elliptical will get your heart rate pumping to melt stubborn belly fat. Here are a few additional tips to take inches off your waist:

  • Stress can lead to the secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone that favors fat storage, particularly in the abdominal region. Stress management techniques, such as relaxation programs, have been shown to have significant effects on weight loss, body composition, and the prevention of comorbidities.
  • Get adequate sleep – aim for 7-8 hours per night as proper rest regulates your appetite hormones and allows you to perform your workouts with energy.
  • Getting in regular walking and cardiovascular exercise can be an effective way to create a calorie deficit that slims your waistline. According to the NIH, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week is enough to have positive health benefits.

final-sec verdictSummary

With consistency and dedication, you can leverage simple at home exercises like planks, Russian twists and bicycles along with HIIT cardio to achieve a slim waistline. While results won’t happen overnight, by implementing the above at-home slim waist exercises and proper nutrition, you can expect to see results with time and consistency.

By Erin Pereira, PT, DPT

Erin Pereira, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist and athletic trainer at Athletico Physical Therapy in the western suburbs of Chicago.
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