Here are five exercises to make your waist look thinner without crunches, other ab exercises, sucking in your gut or standing a certain way.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a smaller looking waist ALL the time instead of just when you position your body a certain way, uncomfortably suck in your tummy or wear certain clothes?
Sticking to these five exercises will give you a thinner looking waist all the time, rain or shine, without having to monitor how you’re standing, sitting or posing for photos.
These five exercises will help you achieve a V-taper body – one in which the shoulders are wider than the hips.
Broader shoulders will create the illusion of a thinner waist.
Wide Grip Lat Pull-Down
The wide grip recruits the latissimus dorsus muscle more than does a medium or narrow grip.
When this naturally large muscle is trained, it helps shape the back to help achieve that V-taper look.
The bar should go down as far as neck to chest level, while keeping your forearms vertical.
If you’re able to press the bar down further by moving your forearms towards a parallel position, this means the resistance is way too light.
This tacked-on forearm move is a common mistake and pointless. The weight should allow you to do eight reps with good form but too heavy to do more than 12.
Bent-Over Dumbbell Row
This is a favorite among many women. But in order for this to contribute to a V-taper, you need to use heavier weight than you think is necessary.
This means good form and using a dumbbell so heavy that you can only do eight to 12 repetitions (with good form!) but can’t complete a 13th rep.
Side Dumbbell Raise
This move targets the deltoid muscle. “Capped” deltoids will increase the width of your shoulders, making your waist look slimmer.
Now some women just don’t like the idea of broader shoulders. But if you want a smaller looking waist, you’ll need to embrace that capped shoulder look, which is actually quite attractive! Who wants soft, weak looking shoulders?
Simply raise the dumbbells to the side with slightly bent arms, then lower with control.
Again, eight to 12 reps with good controlled form (no jerking motions, swinging of your back or going up on your toes).
At the bottom of the movement, bring the weights together in front of yourself for further tension to the shoulders rather than landing them at your sides.
This can be done with a free barbell, dumbbells or kettlebells. The trick is to maintain isolation of your deltoid muscles as you push up the weight.
Too commonly, people will jerk their entire body to complete a rep. Do not bend your legs or mini-jump to push up the weights.
You should be able to complete eight to 12 reps while standing still. This is crucial for isolating the shoulders.
Your Favorite Shoulder Machine
The last exercise that will help make your waistline slimmer looking is a sit-down machine. There are many kinds at gyms. Find the one you like the best and do the 8-12 rep max.
Rest Times & Sets
Take a minute to 90 seconds in between sets, and do three sets per exercise.
For best results at reshaping your body, you should include other classic strength training exercises such as a chest barbell and dumbbell press and the deadlift.
Leg work is also important, because firmer, more sculpted legs will contribute to a thinner looking waist – not just because of the overall shapelier trained look, but because of the fat-burning that will help take width off your waist.
A healthful, portion-controlled diet is also key, but even if you keep slipping up with your diet, even a thick V-taper build will make your middle look smaller.
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.