There is a way to work out your midsection in order to create a flatter stomach and smaller waist. When doing ab exercises, you have to train the muscles to scoop in on exertion rather than allow them to protrude out. Strengthening the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis in this way will give you that hourglass waistline without having to wear a waist trainer or corset. Avoid weighted ab exercises to reduce bulk. Body weight only exercises combined with good breath work can be highly effective in tightening up your waistline. Here are 5 ab exercises that will cinch your waist and flatten your stomach–no waist trainer needed!
1. The Scoop– Start seated with your legs bent and feet on the floor. Place your hands on the ground by your hips with your fingers facing forward. Inhale, squeeze your glutes and press through your heels to lift your hips up as high as you can. Make sure to keep your shoulders over your wrists and your abs pulled in towards your spine. As you lower your hips back down, flex the feet so only your heels are on the ground. Straighten your legs and exhale as you scoop your abs in so deep that you pull your hips back without touching the ground. Do 3 sets of 10.
2. Twisted Crunches– Lie down on the ground with your arms straight by your sides and your legs straight in parallel. Scoop your abs in and lift your head neck and shoulders up while reaching your arms forward as they hover the ground. Keep your lower back on the floor as you lift your legs off the ground also. From this position, exhale as you crunch up, bringing your knees to one side of your chest and sitting up onto your tailbone. Inhale, extend the legs back out as you lower your body down until your shoulder blades touch the mat. Come right back up as you exhale and crunch your knees into the other side of your chest. Inhale to lower. That is one rep. Do 2 sets of 20 reps.
3. Teaser Combo– Lie on your side with your body in a straight line. Prop yourself up onto the supporting forearm and reach the top arm straight over your head to lengthen the entire top side of your body. Keep the abs pulled in as you push off the supporting forearm onto the hand and roll onto your tailbone. You will simultaneously raise your legs up and sweep your top arm forward to reach for your toes. Hold this position as you lower one leg down to the ground and then back up and repeat with the other leg. Reverse the motion to lower the body back down to your side. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps on each side.
4. Plank with Leg Variation– Get into a plank position on your forearms. Make sure to pull the abs into your lower back, never letting your lower back sag. Inhale to lift one leg up and exhale to pull the knee in towards your shoulder. Inhale, extend the leg back out and exhale as you move it a few inches away from your body, inhale to bring it back in. One breath to each movement. Do this 3 times before lowering the foot back to the ground and switching sides. That is one rep. Do 5 reps.
5. Snake Twist– Sit on one hip with your legs staggered, top foot in front over the bottom foot. Place the supporting hand on the ground slightly farther than your shoulder. The top arm is resting on the top leg. Inhale press your body up off the ground into a high side plank and bring the top arm over your head. Anchor your feet on the mat. Exhale, use your abs to twist your torso, and reach the top arm underneath the supporting shoulder as far as you can. Inhale to return to your high side plank position and exhale to lower your hips back down. Do 10 reps on each side.
Continue to eat a healthy diet and do cardio at least 3 times a week to reduce bloating and weight gain around the stomach. This will allow for all of your hard work to show. Don’t be surprised if people ask you if you’ve been wearing a waist trainer!
Related: Sculpting Flat Lower Abs Workout
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Video: Crystal Chin; music: “Let It Burn” by ZZ Ward