5 Core and Back Exercises for the Appearance of a Cinched Waist

Woman measuring her body - weight loss concepts.jpegBuilding a cinched – or smaller – waist doesn’t have to involve crazy diet pills or corsets. While certain core and cardio exercises can help you take inches off your waist line, you can build the appearance of a smaller waist by building up your hip and back muscles.

By increasing the size of your shoulders, lats, and hips, while focusing on obliques for core exercises, you can begin to build an “hourglass” figure that makes your waist appear smaller.

Here are some basic core and back exercises you can do to safely build the appearance of a cinched-waist.

Pull ups

Pull ups are one of the fastest ways to build your Latisimus Dorsi (or lat) muscles. Building your lats can give your back the ‘triangle’ appearance that represents the top half of your hourglass. If you’re not able to do a pull up, that’s okay! These exercises can help you get there in stages. You can also use the assisted pull up machine to build your lats over time.

Shoulder Press

Use dumbbells to perform a shoulder press, or use the shoulder press machine to build strong, toned shoulders. Choose a weight that is challenging enough to complete 10 reps, but that you struggle to complete 11-12. Perform at least three sets before moving on to the next exercise.

Lat Pull Down Machine

Lat pull downs can complement your pull ups by specifically targeting your lat muscles. To get started, adjust the seat so that your knees are snug. Then, grabbing the bar at a wide angle, lean back slightly, and pull the bar to your chest. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to activate and target your back muscles – try not to rely so much on your arm strength. With a controlled movement, slowly release the bar up. Repeat for 10-12 reps at a challenging weight.

Side Plank Hip Lifts

Get a mat and lay on your side. With your legs fully extended. Hold your top half off the mat with your elbow. Use your other hand to support you for balance. Then, slowly lift your bottom hip off the mat. Try to imagine pulling your bottom elbow and hip together once they’re raised. Then slowly lower back to the floor. If this is too difficult, you can drop your knees to the ground. This muscle builds your oblique and hip muscles.

Russian Twists

Sit on the mat with your knees slightly bent. Place your feet flat on the mat. Then, lean back slightly, using your core muscles to hold you up. Then, slowly twist your torso from side to side, keeping your bum flat on the mat. To make this move more challenging, try lifting your feet off the mat, or leaning further back. Remember, this move is about creating maximum movement in your turn, not how fast you can twist. To really target your core, try holding a weighted medicine ball in your hands.

Looking for More?

Continue to target your core with our free workout blueprint. With step-by-step images and tips, you can be on your way to a flatter stomach in no time. Download the Core Workout to Blast Belly Fat Guide here.