An 18-inch waist may seem like a pipedream, but whittling down the middle should be on everyone’s to-do list.

Research has shown that a large waist is associated with large amounts of visceral fat around the abdominal organs. This can lead to inflammation, high cholesterol, insulin resistance and other problems linked with poor health.

Getting a slim waist isn’t easy. It all depends on the exercise you do. Long and slow cardio sessions won’t work; crunches till your middle feels numb aren’t the way out. You need to not only isolate the abs but also target muscles that run up your side, the obliques, and the deep corset muscles of the abdomen, the transversus abdominis. Try these moves regularly to shave the inches off your waist.

  1. skippingJumping rope: This exercise isn’t just child’s play. Jumping rope raises your metabolic rate considerably and forces you to tighten your core at the same
    time. Double whammy for the waist!
  2. Burpees: Everybody loves to hate them, but burpees are super effective when it comes to trimming the waist. Begin in a standing position. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground and kick your feet back, while keeping your arms extended. Return your feet to the squat position and jump up into standing position.
  3. Bicycle crunches: This provides you with the benefits of cardio while targeting your abs. The lower body/upper body action allows you to focus on the entire abdominal wall. Try alternating with a knee raise and torso twist.
    Bicycle crunches
  4. Side planks: Gain your hourglass shape by engaging the lateral muscles of the core, mainly the internal and external obliques. Side planks help you strengthen and streamline your obliques but don’t create that heavily muscled look.
  5. Hip thrust: All waist-shaping routines for women include the hip thrust. Along with glute bridge movements, it targets the glutes and muscles of your lower back. vertical hip liftsDo it regularly to improve your curves and make your waist appear smaller.
  6. Vertical hip lifts: These moves can activate your transversus abdominis muscles. Create an L-shape by lying flat on your back and elevating your legs till your feet are directly above your hips. From this position, lift your hips off the floor by pushing them towards the ceiling. Ensure that the legs remain straight.
  7. Swiss ball rollout: This reworking of the plank involves using a Swiss ball. Place your hands on the ball, hold the plank position and lightly roll the ball forward. Hold the position for 3 seconds and then roll back to your starting position. The see-saw back-and-forth works out your abs, obliques and lower back muscles.

Swiss ball rollout

These may be small steps to losing weight, but they go a long way when it comes to reclaiming a trim waist. Start today!

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