The 6 best strength exercises to tighten the waist

A slim, slim waist is a coveted aspect of the classic hourglass figure. If your goal is to achieve a cinched waist and accentuate your curves in all the right places, we’ve got some expert-approved moves to help you do just that. Tyler Readthe founder of and a personal trainer who has been involved in the health and fitness world for the past 15 years, offers six of the best strength exercises to “tighten” your waist.

To carve a cinched waist, you need to melt fat while consuming fewer calories than you burn, says Read. He adds: “Also, more muscle mass in your hips gives your waist a smaller appearance in comparison. Building muscle will increase your resting metabolic rate, which makes it easier to maintain the calorie deficit needed to burn fat. The compound you exercise alone burn calories, which [also] helps with the deficit. Finally, core-specific exercises add more definition to the area by targeting core-specific muscles.” When combined, these factors make strength training an excellent and incredibly productive approach to achieving a slim waist compared to cardio.

The strength exercises below provide a killer combination of the following: lower body muscle sculpting from compound lower body movements, a tight and toned waist from building muscle in the core, and ultimately, an overall calorie burn. . Read on to learn about Read’s six strength exercises to tighten your waist. And when you’re done, be sure to check out 7 Exercises That Target and Tone Your Belly at Every Single Angle.

woman doing forearm plank in gym

To prepare for planks, position yourself on a training mat with your hands shoulder-width apart and reaching towards your balls of feet. Lower onto your forearms so your elbows are directly under your shoulders. Activate your core, squeeze your glutes and keep a straight body as you hold this position. Make sure your back doesn’t sag!

woman doing russian twists with medicine ball

For Russian twists, you’ll start by sitting on a training mat with both knees bent and feet elevated. Lean back slightly so that your upper body is at a 45-degree angle with the floor. Keep your arms in front of you or your hands together. (You can also incorporate additional weight such as a medicine ball or weight plate.) Engage your abs as you alternate rotation to your left side, then back to center, then right side, and back to center.

RELATED: The easiest 10-minute standing abs workout to do with dumbbells

fitness woman doing planks during her workouts at home

Side planks begin with you placing your left forearm on the ground to act as support. Make sure your palm is facing down. Stack your feet. Activate your core to push your hips off the floor. Your body should draw a straight line from head to toe. Stay in this position before repeating the same movement on the opposite side.

woman doing forward walk or lunge

Lunges have many variations from reverse lunges to side lunges, but let’s go with the forward lunge. To start, plant your feet shoulder-width apart and take a big step forward with one leg. Bend your knees as you come down into a lunge, all while keeping your upper body straight. Make sure your front knee doesn’t go beyond your toes. Then, press your front heel to come back up. Bring your back leg forward to repeat the same movement on the other side.

RELATED: The Daily 5-Minute Workout for Women to Melt Hanging Belly Fat

woman doing bodyweight squats

To perform bodyweight squats, plant your feet shoulder-width apart. (You can also opt for a narrow stance by placing your feet hip-width apart.) Extend your arms in front of you or keep them at your sides. Then, bend both knees and push your hips back as if you’re sitting in an invisible chair. Come down into a squat until your thighs reach a position parallel to the floor or lower. Then, press both feet together to stand up.

woman doing deadlifts with dumbbells in gym

Last but not least on Read’s list of the best waist-tightening strength exercises is the deadlift. Plant your feet shoulder-width apart and, using an overhand grip, hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Maintain a tight core and push your hips back as the dumbbells lower along your thighs and toward the ground. Push off both feet to return to the starting position.

Alexa Melardo

Alexa is the Deputy Mind + Body Director of Eat This, Not That!, who oversees the M+B channel and provides readers with interesting fitness, wellness and self-care topics. Read more about Alexa

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