What do you get when you add some good exercises to waist training? It’s like adding a cherry on top of your cake. We wanted to share these exercises with you to add to your daily routine to achieve that sexy hourglass figure! Let’s deep dive into our 50 best exercises.
Exercise #1: Spiderman Plank
Start by going into a forearm plank position. Then place your elbows underneath your shoulders, feet about hip-width apart. Do it right by engaging your core and ensure that you’re positioned in a straight line from head to heels. Bend your right knee, bringing it as close as you can to your right elbow. Put it down and do the same for your other knee. Continue alternating sides until you complete your reps.
Benefits: Tones the waist and upper arms.
Exercise #2: Sphinx To Forearm Plank
Begin in a forearm plank position. Push your hands up on both sides at the same time, down to your forearms. Continue to practice until you're down with the motion.
Benefits: Exercises the core as well as stretches back muscles.
Exercise #3: Reach Around The Clock Plank
This exercise is a combination of easy and hard. To do this, do a full plank. Reach one hand to the front, then to the side, then to the back. Repeat the process for your other arm.
Benefits: Targets the core and arms. Extra movements provide a more challenging workout.
Exercise #4: Army Crawl Side Plank
This type of exercise may be one of the most challenging plank variations, but the results are fantastic! Your abs will definitely thank you.
To do this exercise, you need to stay low in a strong forearm plank. Crawl forward about 2 meters, then do the side plank and raise your hand. Go back to the full forearm plank, crawl backward, and then to the side plank again to your other side and raise your hand. Continue this exercise until you complete your reps.
Benefits: Targets the core and arms as well as side obliques.
Exercise #5: TRX Plank To Pike
If you think the Army Crawl Side Plank is hard, you should try this. It brings another definition of tough altogether!
Prepare your TRX straps at mid-calf length. Put your feet straight up to the straps and from this position, come up onto your hands while maintaining the plank position, then back down to your elbows.
Benefits: Provides a gymnastic-like element to exercise and focuses on the lower abs.
Exercise #6: Push-Up
This exercise is also considered a full-body workout. To do this, go down to the floor and into full plank position. Slowly lower your body, and when your chest almost reaches the bottom, push yourself back up. Take a rest in between if you feel the burn in your shoulder and arms. Do this until you complete your reps.
Benefits: Targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps and works your core, back, and legs.
Exercise #7: Side Plank With Leg Raise
Lie on your right side with your thighs together. Extend your left leg out straight in line with your torso. Your upper body should be propped up by your forearm. Press your shoulders down away from your neck. Do the same for your other leg and continue until your reps are complete.
Benefits: Gives your obliques more defined sides, and as a bonus, covers the leg muscles as well.
Exercise #8: Forward Snake
Keep your palms flat on the ground near your chest and intertwine your feet. Then, use your core to lift your upper body off the ground, getting your head, shoulders, and chest as high as they can go and pulling your shoulder blades together and downward.
Benefits: Covers the obliques and side muscles.
Exercise #9: Starfish
Similar to the side plank with leg raise exercise, position yourself on your right side. This time, your right knee should be at a 90-degree angle. Balance on your arm, extend your leg out straight, and fold it as you take it down, going to a sitting position. Do the same for the other side and continue until you complete your reps.
Benefits: Targets your abs, hips, and sides.
Exercise #10: Giant Clam With Bosu Ball
Begin by doing a side elbow plank with your right arm on the Bosu ball. Bend your knee to make a half-standing pose. Your other leg down to your foot should be straight. Start with a leg raise while your arm reaches for it. Continue doing this until your reps are complete.
Add this exercise to your Bosu ball challenge!
Benefits: Improves stability and balance.
Exercise #11: Rotating Renegade Row
This exercise has many movements and targets a lot of areas. To perform it, go down to a push-up position while gripping your dumbbells. Lift your dumbbell to your armpit, then pull it down. Bring your dumbbell to your ribs while resisting to rotate your body. Make sure only to move your arm and shoulder. Bring it to your chest and then to the floor. Do the same for the other arm.
Benefits: Tones your back, chest, core, and arms.
Exercise #12: Knee Tucks
Start by getting into the knee during the push-up position. Drag your knee until it’s just below your belly button, but make sure not to pull it in all the way. Engage your abs and your core to see optimum results.
If you plan to do this at home, you can improvise by doing this on a platform. Use a small cloth as your slider. It will help you do the same movements.
Exercise #13: Leg Raise
Lie down and put your hands behind the lower back or slightly underneath near the glutes. This way you’ll give support to the lower back. Raise your leg to form your body into a letter L position. Keep your knees slightly bent and slowly bring the leg down. The lower your legs are to the floor, the more resistance they will cause in the lower abs. Raise your leg again and continue doing the process until the reps are complete.
Benefits: Primarily targets the lower abs.
Exercise #14: Medicine Ball Mountain Climber
First, get your hands on the medicine ball. Lift yourself into a plank position. Make sure you feel stable because you’re going to start moving your legs. Bring one knee in and alternate with your left and right knee. Engage your core to see great results.
If you don’t have a medicine ball, use anything you can grip to help you elevate.
Benefits: This is a great exercise for your pelvic floor muscles and core.
Exercise #15: Sit And Reach
Go down into a sitting position with your knees bent. Turn to your side and slightly lie down while reaching up. Alternate this movement on the other side until your reps are complete.
Benefits: Helps in getting the curves on the waist as well as to flatten the stomach.
Exercise #16: Crab Reach
Start with your feet on the floor hip-width apart and your hands behind your shoulders. Rotate backward, externally rotated. Then, activate your buttock muscles, lifting yourself slightly off the floor. Your body should resemble an M. With your shoulder blades driving down, bring your hand in front of your nose, trying to make a square with your arm.
Benefits: Strengthens and tones the obliques to get the curves on the waist.
Exercise #17: Extenders
This is another variation of standing abs but works excellently with your obliques. To do this exercise, start in a staggered stance. Raise both arms to the left, your body slightly bent. Your right foot should be a little pointed while your arms reach up. Then, bring both arms to your chest and lift your right knee to crunch in with your abs. Do repetitions for this side and do the same for the other side after.
Benefits: Helps in getting the curves on the waist as well as to flatten the stomach.
Exercise #18: Standing Bicycle Crunch
This kind of crunch will work your entire core.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, touch your knee to your opposite elbow. Squeeze your abdominals with each run, raising your knee as high as you can. Exhale when you lift your knee and inhale when you lower it. Engage your core and abs. Continue the alternating movement until repetitions are complete. This is very much a traditional pilates exercise.
Benefits: This is a great workout for your obliques and rotational muscles.
Exercise #19: Plie Oblique Crunch
Start by positioning your lower body into a sumo squat. Go on tiptoe on your right foot, bringing your weight down onto your left. Your left arm should slightly reach to the floor while your right arm reaches up. Your right foot must be in a tiptoe position while doing this. Inhale as you put your hand up and exhale as you return. Do the same on the other side while your left foot is on plie this time. Continue repetitions for each side until complete. Overall, this is a great strength training exercise.
Benefits: Does not require tools to achieve but still very useful on its own.
Exercise #20: Standing Rotation Twist
Stand in position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Move your hands straight up to get into a comfortable position. Now, bring your right arms to the right and your left arms to the left. Twist your upper body to the left while your hips stay facing forward. Look over to your left. Twist your upper body again going in the opposite direction while your hips are stationary. Do this continuously until repetitions are complete.
Benefits: Builds strength in the waist.
Exercise #21: Hanging Knee Raise
This exercise is also known as the leg lift and best done at the gym for equipment. However, if you have a pull-up bar at home, you can do this without any other gym equipment necessary.
The first step is to grip the bar in a stable position. It can be shoulder-width or a little broader or narrower, depending on your preference. What’s important is that you get a firm grip and that you don’t pull yourself upward too much or be entirely loose, as this can cause swinging. Bring your legs up to about 90 degrees, then slowly back down. Do this for multiple reps.
Benefits: Focuses on the lower waist.
Exercise #22: Bicycle Crunch
Lie down on your back, one knee coming up a little up as the other leg extends. Place both hands behind your head. Reach your right elbow to your left knee while the other one extends. Make sure that your hips are slightly rotating. Do not just bend your neck but lift your whole upper body to reach your elbow and knee. Alternating sides with this movement until your reps are complete.
Benefits: Works your abs and obliques.
Exercise #23: Dumbbell Side Bend
Get your dumbbell regardless of the weight for as long as you can handle it. Start with your stance. Bring your hand to your external oblique. Stretch to the left, then come up and contract to the right. Inhale as you stretch down and exhale as you tense to your external oblique on the right. Switch sides when you complete your reps and perform the same process.
Benefits: Targets the internal and external obliques to define the waist.
Exercise #24: Heel Touch
This kind of exercise will work your oblique muscles. Start by lying down with your knee slightly bent at 90 degrees. Get your back flat onto the ground. Then, bring your upper torso up in a crunch position. Next, put your hands down on your side. Then reach down further, either touching your heel or past the side of your foot. Make sure to stay in an elevated position while doing this. Do not lift your head to look at your knees. Instead, look up toward the roof. Continuously do alternating movements until your reps are complete.
Benefits: Tightens the waist muscles.
Exercise #25: Oblique V Crunch
Begin this exercise by lying down on your side. The bottom of your left arm should be facing the floor, your fingers spread to put your weight on that side. Take your right arm behind your head for support. Keep your neck nice and straight, putting no pressure on it. Take an inhale first and as you exhale, press through your left palm and lift your legs to come into a V position. Make sure to crunch your obliques to get the best results.
Benefits: Engages the obliques and strengthens the back.
Exercise #26: Russian Twist
Start with your feet flat on the floor at a ninety-degree angle and then tilt backward. Lift your legs off the floor at about forty-five degrees. Look straight ahead so you won’t feel dizzy, then twist your torso, not your head, to the left, and then to the right. Be sure to keep your neck neutral. Do this for a minute to feel the burn to your abdominal area.
You can either do this with your own body weight or a dumbbell.
Benefits: Not only improves the waistline but your balance and stability as well.
Exercise #27: Plank Hip Dip
Come down to your forearm plank position. Press your toes back to engage your legs and lift from your core muscles. You can keep your hands flat or make a little fist with your palms. Scoop out those lower abs and flip the legs to the left, then to the right. Continue going from side to side for a minute.
Benefits: This is a more intense ab workout to help define the waist.
Exercise #28: Triangle Crunch
Go down to the floor with your mat. You can use a towel for your knees to avoid hurting them. Do a side plank with your left knee bent on the floor while your left palm provides support to your upper body. Put your right arm behind your head to help you provide that force and balance your body. Then, bend your right knee and bring it in to meet your right elbow. Focus on the abs to fire the obliques and crunch them. Complete your reps, then do the same for the other side.
Benefits: Sculpts the waist.
Exercise #29: Side Crunch
This workout is similar to the regular crunch, but the difference is you’re turning in either direction. So, lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Then, lift your upper body a little, turn, and hit going to your side. Go back again and do the same for the other side. Inhale when you crunch to engage your core and exhale when you go back down.
Benefits: Tones your abs and obliques.
Exercise #30: Side Plank With Hip Lifts
Lie down on your side with your legs straight and your elbow under your shoulder. Your other arm will be up during this movement. Start lifting your hips up and then down but without them touching the floor. Repeat the same process on the other side when reps are complete.
Benefits: Tightens and shrinks the waistline.
Exercise #31: Side Plank And Oblique Twist
Begin in a side-plank position together with your right lower arm on the ground and your left hand holding a dumbbell. You can use a bottle of water if you don’t have a dumbbell. Engage your core and keep the dumbbell as near your body as you can. Stretch your arm straight overhead. Then, lower the dumbbell back down and slightly twist your hip. Do repetitions of this for as long as you can and repeat the process on the other side.
Benefits: Tones your obliques and shoulders.
Exercise #32: Alternate Reach And Catch
Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet a little wider than your shoulders. Place your hands behind your ears. Slowly lift your shoulders and reach your right hand to the outside of your left knee. Return and repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Tones the waist.
Exercise #33: Side Crunch With Balance Ball
If this is your first time doing this, try doing it against the wall to make it easier, ensuring that you won’t move and giving you a little more support on your feet. Now, get your ball and lie down onto it with your hips. Move your hands to the top of your head. Get a nice extension to the right and then crunch to the left. Flex your obliques and engage your core to get the best results. Repeat the same process on the other side after you’ve completed your reps.
Benefits: Instability forces the waist muscles to maximize engagement during the exercise.
Exercise #34: Side Stretch
Begin with feet together and arms by your sides, then take your right hand and place it onto your hip. Extend the left hand above your head. Reach as high into the air as you can. You should be lengthening your spine at the end of this movement. Allow your body to bend slightly into the stretch. Return to your initial position and repeat the process. Complete reps for one minute and repeat the same on the other side.
Benefits: Stretches and crunches the obliques at the same time.
Exercise #35: Seated Twist Pose
This exercise is more of a yoga pose but is best added to your cooldown after your workout.
To do this exercise, find the most comfortable spot on your mat. Bend the right knee and tuck the heel in toward the hip. Your bent knee should almost point forward. Cross the left foot on top or over the right so that the heel is pressing down on the floor. Make sure that both sitting bones are pressing down into the mat. Sit up tall when you inhale, and on the exhale, twist your hip, taking the left hand behind you. Then, your right hand should hug your left thigh, or you can simply place your elbow above your knee. Pause for 30 seconds when you twist and then do the same on the other side.
Benefits: This is a tight waist yoga pose specifically for those who have large waists.
Exercise #36: High To Low Boat Pose
Begin by sitting down on your mat. Raise your leg and lean slightly back. Take your arms slightly off the ground to help create balance. Then, release by slightly laying your body down and raise it again to a high pose. Do this rep for 30 seconds.
Benefits: Targets the abdominals and improves your back muscles.
Exercise #37: Knee To Elbow Pose
Start this exercise by going into a full plank position. Bring your right leg to your left elbow. Slightly twist your hip and hold it for 10 seconds. Engage your core when doing this. Then bring it back. Now, do the same for your left leg to your right elbow.
Benefits: Targets your core muscles.
Exercise #38: Forearm Hip Plank
Go down to an elbow plank position. Twist your hip to the right and hold it for 10 seconds. Do the same for the other side and hold for another 10 seconds. Complete three sets of five repetitions for this exercise.
Benefits: This is a fat-burning yoga pose across the hips that involves supporting the body with the forearms.
Exercise #39: Down Dog Hip Roll
Begin by going to a push-up position. Move your legs in a little bit to make a slight arc angle. Bring your right leg to your right elbow and hold it for 10 seconds. Engage your core when doing this. Then bring it back. Now, do the same for your left leg to your left elbow.
Benefits: This is another hip flexor yoga pose that cuts fat and boosts flexibility of the waist muscles.
Exercise #40: Utkatasana Twist
This exercise is also known as the chair twist in yoga. Prepare yourself by getting into a stance pose, your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knee toward the back, forming a squat. While doing so, slowly twist your upper body to the right and make a prayer pose. Hold it for 10 seconds before turning to the other side.
Benefits: Good for your hips and weight reduction.
Exercise #41: Revolved Half-Moon Pose
Coming to a downward-facing dog position is the first step of this exercise. If you’re unsure how to do downward-facing dog, lift the tail bone from the full plank and press the heels down. Then look forward and kick your leg a step in. From here, straighten your right leg and press into the ball of your right foot. Engage the muscles in your legs. Lift your right arm. Slowly change your gaze and look at your right arm. If this is hard for you, stay looking down at the floor to avoid dizziness.
Benefits: Contains various stylistic transitions of the waist and other body parts.
Exercise #42: Navasana (Boat Pose)
Go down on your mat into a sitting position. Bend your knees at about 90 degrees and straighten your back. Don’t lose your posture while doing this exercise. Inhale and roll your shoulders back, and lean backward. As you exhale, lift your legs slowly off the mat. When you inhale, lift your legs up further. You can hold your legs or place them behind your thighs while doing this exercise to give support, or release your arms to the sides of your body. Hold your posture (not your breath) for about 10 seconds.
Benefits: Engages all the muscles of the waist for stability.
Exercise #43: Low To High Boat Pose
This exercise is similar to the high to low boat pose. The difference is that you’re doing it the other way around. Go down to your mat and begin by raising your leg, leaning back a little off the ground. Take your arms slightly off the ground to help create balance. Then, raise both your body and your leg high at the same time. Do this rep for 30 seconds.
Benefits: This is a low-impact, high-intensity workout for the waist.
Exercise #44: Willow
Start by going into a tree pose, then slightly bend your side to the right. Hold this position for 5 seconds and repeat five times. Do the same on the other side.
Benefits: Firms the sides of the abs.
Exercise #45: Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose)
To get into this posture, come to a downward-facing dog. Take a second first to pedal your feet. Then, take your gaze, draw it forward, and slowly transition into a plank. Next, twist your body to the right and lift your right arm. Stack your feet while on your side. Hold this pose for 10 seconds, then slowly go back to the plank position. Do the same process on the other side and repeat five times.
Benefits: Strengthens both sides of the waist.
Exercise #46: Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side-Angle Pose)
This exercise is a tricky pose, and if you feel like it’s a little challenging to do this, try to simply learn the posture. Now, get your mat and start with a bent leg lunge, back knee on the floor. Push your other leg to go back to a lunge pose and put your hands together to form a prayer stance. Slightly twist your body to the side of your leg that’s lunged forward and hold the pose for 10 seconds. Slowly turn back and bring your palms to the floor. Kick your leg backward and your other leg forward to switch positions. Now, do the same process for this side and hold again for another 10 seconds.
Benefits: Stretches your hamstrings.
Exercise #47: Ardha Purvottanasana (Reverse Tabletop Pose)
Start in staff pose with your legs extended. Place your hands slightly under your hips. Bend the knees and lay your feet flat on the mat, hip-width apart. Bend the elbows and swing the hips up toward the ceiling. Roll the shoulder blades down and back. Your hips, shoulders, and knees should all be in the same line. Gently bring your head to the back. Press your hips a little higher to prevent it from sinking. Hold this posture for 20 seconds.
Benefits: This is an active pose that makes the abs work harder to balance your body.
Exercise #48: Scissors
Lay down on your mat and place your hands under your butt. Put your leg straight out. Lift your shoulders (not your head) a little to look at your lower body. Bring your right leg up and the other down. Alternate them for 10 seconds and do three sets of this exercise. This makes for a wonderful cardio workout.
Benefits: Scissors help make the waist smaller and the hips looser.
Exercise #49: Mermaid
Turn to the side of your mat to start this exercise. Sit slightly on the back of your leg. Keep your knees and shins stacked as much as possible, but separate them enough so that your hips and shoulders are squared. Reach your arms out to form a T position. Gently lean over toward your left side. Be mindful of your body. This time, begin lowering your hand and forearm onto the mat. Straighten your arm up by your head and perform a side bend. Then come back up, wrap your right hand around your knee, and take a counter stretch to the other side. Do these alternating movements until your reps are complete.
Benefits: Cinches your waist.
Exercise #50: Reclining Knee Twist
Come down to the floor so that your back is flat. Your back should form a nice straight line on the floor from your hips to your head. Relax your hands down at your sides to form a T-shape. We’re going to keep our shoulder blades on the ground for this exercise. Stack your knees directly over your hips and press your lower hips down into the floor. Be sure to engage your abdominals during this exercise. Inhale to prepare and as you exhale, lower your knees down to the side of the mat. Then inhale again and bring your knees back up toward the center. As you exhale, bring them to the other side. Do this alternating repetition for a minute.
Benefits: Does not require any tool and is very easy to follow.
Trimming your waist can be a little bit challenging, but thanks to waist trainers, it becomes easier to achieve that classic hourglass-shaped figure!