You can carve out a smaller waist with exercise. Work your abs consistently and with an intensity challenges you. Train your abs three times a week for the best results, with a day of rest between sessions, Kurt Brungardt advises in the book “Essential Abs: An Intense Six-Week Program.”
The wood chop is a challenging and effective abdominal exercise, the Healthline website says. Use two weight stacks with rope attachments at the top of each stack. Stand between the stacks, with legs shoulder-width apart. You should be closer to the stack on the right, with your right arm parallel to the stack. Use both hands to grab the rope. Keep your arms overhead and extended, and use the muscles at your waistline to pull down on the cable diagonally. Pull across the body to your left foot, as if chopping wood. Perform 15 repetitions, then repeat on the other side.
Seated Medicine Ball Trunk Rotations
Whittle your waist with seated medicine ball trunk rotations, the American Council on Exercise suggests. Sit with your feet together and knees bent, keeping your heels on the floor. Hold a medicine ball close to your body. Keep your chest raised and your torso perpendicular to the floor. Contract your abdominal muscles. Exhale as you slowly turn your torso and the ball to one side. Do not lean backward. Pause, inhale, then exhale again as you turn to the other side. Keep the ball close to your body as you continue to turn side to side. Use a heavier ball when this exercise becomes easy. To make the exercise more advanced, change your starting position so you lean back throughout the exercise.
Stability Ball Pikes
Stability ball pikes work your upper and lower abdominal muscles and your obliques, according to ACE. Lie atop a stability ball, with your hands and feet on the floor. Do not arch your lower back or hike your hips up. Tighten your abs and “walk” yourself forward slowly with your hands as you lift your legs off the floor. Keep going until your toes rest atop the ball. Keep your torso rigid and aligned parallel to your legs. When your reach your end position, your arms will be fully extended, and your hands will be directly under your shoulders. Exhale, and pull your feet toward your chest so you bend at the hips. You will roll the ball forward as you move your hips upward. Keep going until your hips are directly above your shoulders. Your arms, legs and torso will be fully extended, and your head will be between your arms. Your toes stay on the top of the ball. Pause, then slowly lower back toward the floor to the starting position.
The bicycle maneuver is one of the most effective abdominal exercises science has to offer, according to “The Biggest Loser Fitness Program,” by Maggie Greenwood-Robinson, Jillian Michaels and Kim Lyons. Lie on a mat or carpeted area, with no arch in your back. Bend your knees so your shins are parallel to the ground and your thighs are at a 90-degree angle to the ground. Lift your shoulders as you bring your right knee to your left armpit, and straighten your left leg. Use a bicycle-type motion as you bring your left knee to your right armpit and straighten your right leg. Keep your back flat along the floor throughout the exercise. Continue alternating.
Add aerobic exercise to your strength-training workout. Aerobic exercise will help you burn waistline fat, which will whittle your waist and expose your muscles underneath. “Rock-hard abs won’t impress anybody if they’re buried under a layer of blubber,” Brungardt says. Walking, swimming, biking, an elliptical workout or any other type of aerobic exercise will work. Choose interval training, which includes bouts of high-intensity exercise followed by recovery periods, to speed weight loss.
About this Author
Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with 20 years’ experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Tarr Kent holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Washington State University.