If you want to work out to create more of an hourglass shape, it's all about the obliques — the muscles that run along the sides of the hips and stomach. Trainer Larry Twohig of personal-training facility Culture explains that you can cinch in your waist by keeping those muscles flat and lean. Here are three moves to draw in the waistline.
Move 1: Start with a side plank, keeping one elbow down for stability. Keep the feet stacked one on top of the other, the head in line with the body, and the hips up so that the body is in one long line. As you side-plank, you should feel your arms, shoulders, and the side of your obliques tense. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat for three to four rounds.
For an easier alternative, keep the knees down on the mat.
Move 2: The plank exercise naturally works out the obliques and the trunk of the body. But you can make it target the obliques even more with the plank row. Start in a plank position with five-pound dumbbells, brace the midsection, and bring your dumbbell back with a bent elbow. You want to pull the dumbbell more towards the hip than the stomach, and you should feel the sides of your stomach drawing in. Be careful not to twist your midsection. Do ten rounds of these for three sets.
Move 3: Try the Russian twist. Start in a half-sit-up position, keeping your heart up and holding a weighted exercise ball. Keep your feet up with a little bend in the elbow. Rotate your trunk as you twist from right to left, but don't let the exercise ball touch the ground. Do 15 to 20 reps of this for three sets.