Why An Hourglass Figure?
Living in the 21 century you have probably heard of an hourglass figure at least once. The hourglass figure is named after the body shape which reminds that of an ancestor of modern clocks. This body type seems to be one of the most appreciated in women due to the so-called “ideal body standards”. The measurements of an hourglass figure are 36-24-36 or 90-60-90, depending on which metric system you use, and refer to your bust, waist, and hips accordingly. However, it doesn’t mean that if those measurements are higher or lower, you don’t fit into that body type. The main point of an hourglass figure is proportions, so take the matter into your own hands and sculpt that perfect body yourself.
Importance Of A Waistline
Scientists have proved that your waist size not only affects your appearance but can also reveal a lot about your health. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends that a female waistline should be no more than 35 inches (89cm), otherwise it may harmful for your body. Such measurements may be a sign of a growing amount of visceral fat which is stored inside of your abdominal cavity, meaning that it is time for you to review your current lifestyle (4, 2). However, don’t worry, the right diet and set of exercise can be your lifesaver.
Exercises For A Slim Waist And An Hourglass Figure
In the light of the foregoing, why don’t you combine what’s good for your health with what’s good for your figure and try to “work out” your way towards the slimmer waist. Besides walking, swimming and cardio there are exercises that aim specifically at those spots that in your opinion need to be corrected (3). Here are some exercises that involve not only your waist but also hips and chest, for you to reach the goal of an hourglass figure:
Bridge is one of the most popular glute exercises that also works your core and hamstrings. It can be performed anywhere and by anyone. It doesn’t require any special equipment, but if you wish to increase the difficulty of this exercise, you can use weights. To perform a bridge, do the following: lay down with your back on the ground and your knees bent. Raise your hips off the floor until they are in a line with your knees and shoulders. Hold for 5 seconds and return to the initial point (1). Repeat for the required number of times. Avoid sagging your hips or raising them too high.
Read More: Resistance Training For Weight Loss: How To Boost Your Weight Loss Goals Through Strength Training
2. Side Plank
This variation of a basic plank exercise focuses on your obliques, adding to that hourglass figure and improving your balance and stability. It also tones your arms and back. To perform a side plank, follow these simple instructions: lying on your side, put your legs together and bend your arm on the floor at a 90°-angle. Your other arm can be resting on your side. Lift your hips and knees keeping your body in a straight line. Hold for as long as possible then return to the initial position. Make sure to engage your core and don’t let your hips sag.
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3. Heel Touchers
This calisthenics exercise is a real challenge for your obliques and abs. To perform heel touchers properly, do the following: lying on your back bend your knees. Slightly lift your shoulders and touch your right heel with your right hand. Repeat the same action on your left side, touching your left heel with your left hand. Continue switching sides for 2 minutes. When performing this exercise, fixate your eyes on the ceiling, and keep your chin off your chest. Maintain a neutral position of your head and make sure to engage your core throughout the whole exercise.
4. Chest Press
Chest press targets your chest muscles, deltoids, and triceps. They can help you build both strength and endurance. For this one you will need a dumbbell. Lie on a mat, with your knees bent, and holding a dumbbell in each hand, press your arms upward, palms facing your legs. Slowly bend your arms and lower them to the side, parallel with your shoulders, until your elbows nearly touch the ground. Push your arms back up reversing the previous movement. Keep pushing the dumbbells following the given trajectory. Make sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together when performing the exercise. This will keep the move safer and allow you to press more weight.
5. Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers will set your obliques and core on fire! To perform a windshield wiper, lie down, spread your arms, as if forming a letter “T” with your body. Lift your legs up, keeping them inseparable. Tilt your legs sideways, as if they are a windshield wiper, while keeping your arms, shoulders, and hips firmly on the ground.
An hourglass figure is not an unreachable dream. With listed above exercises and a bit of effort you will be able to show off those breathtaking curves on your social media, or rock this summer with your new bikini look. Accompany your workout routine with a healthy diet that provides you with all vital nutrients, such as lean proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, and create a caloric deficit if you need to slim down in a safe and sustainable way. Stay away from saturated and trans fats, refined carbs, and sugary drinks, and consult a health specialist before starting a new workout or nutritional plan. However, remember that all shapes and bodies are beautiful and there is no need to push yourself too hard for something that is done for someone else to see. So, do this for yourself, for your own health, and to extent of your needs and don’t focus on the cliché standards.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Bridge exercise (n.d., mayoclinic.org)
- How Your Waist Affects Your Health (2019, webmd.com)
- Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health (2019, mayoclinic.org)
- What’s a healthy waist measurement? (2017, webmd.com)