There’s a good chance you’re doing an ab exercise that actually makes your waist thicker–and is THAT what you want, a thicker waistline?

This exercise builds the sides of your waist if you do it as described in this post.

Exercises for the waist should trim the waist, not thicken it.

As a personal trainer several years ago, I had my clients doing certain exercises to trim their middles, but there was one exercise that I absolutely avoided with my clients.

In fact, I never even told them about it, because this particular exercise may actually makes the waist bigger. I see people at the gym doing this workout all the time, and they are clueless.

It’s called the weighted side bend.

• You stand, arms hanging straight at sides, one hand holding a weight.

• Then bend laterally to one side so that the weight moves further down the side of your leg, and your other hand moves higher up your leg.

• Then straighten.

• Side bends can be done all at once on one side, or alternating sides.

• A lot of times, people use heavy weights with these, thinking that the heavy weight will burn the fat in their waist.

They couldn’t be more wrong! By doing weighted side bends, a person runs the risk of getting a thicker waist.

The thickness will be from the new muscle that’s required to handle weighted side bends.

Who wants to look thicker on the sides?

Think about that for a moment: Your side-waist muscles are lifting weights. Just what might happen?

Perhaps you’ve read or have been told that lifting light weights will only firm and tone, and will not add bulk. This is very true for non-bulking programs.

But the muscles in the side of the waist are small, and for some people, it might not take a whole lot of weight to add muscle growth there — muscle growth that becomes visible in the form of a bigger waist.

I say ditch the weighted side bends.

In fact, don’t do any side bends at all if you want a thinner waist.

• To burn fat in the waistline, hop on a treadmill and do very brief, but very fast sprints.

• Then jog several minutes at 3 mph.

• Then do another 20-30 second sprint — try 10 mph, then 11, then 12, alternating with the jog for several minutes.

• But don’t just start out at your fastest. Work up to your fastest by 1 mph, beginning at 7 mph.

This is called high intensity interval training and is one of the best ways to slash fat in the waist—the very last part of your body you want to get thicker!

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.