Fitness does wonders to people. For some, it’s just a way of keeping healthy and promoting longevity. For others, it is all about achieving an attractive hourglass shape. It’s a beautiful feeling to know whatever you decide to wear will definitely fit well and look great.
The hourglass shape isn’t just about a narrow waist like many believe so. It is an overall body sculpting routine that strengthens the core, thighs, hips, shoulders, abdomen, arms, and calves. The trick is to get the curves in all the right places to maximize peer attention and self-confidence.
Whether you’re just starting off on this journey or you are trying to alter your existing exercise routine to achieve the hourglass figure sooner, these five exercises can help you. If you have an exercise mat and some make-do weights, you can even start at home.
In addition to walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and any other activity you are involved in, add three sets of 15 repetitions of each exercise. Ideally, you should begin to see some transformations after the second week. However, this entirely depends on your body, and for some people, it may take longer to get visible results. Remember, persistence is the key!
So here it goes.
Planks can be your biggest nightmare if you’re not used to them. However, planks can singly tackle most of your problem areas and give you that hourglass body.
Support your upper body on your elbows and arms and your lower body on your toes. It is a semi-pushup situation except that you’re required to hold this position for as long as you can. Keep your back straight and look ahead to not get distracted.
Side planks are a variation that takes your routine a step forward. Turn on a side so that your body is now supported on one arm. Both your ankles will be directed to the floor. Stretch your free arm upwards. Now move the middle part of your body farthest from the ground and release. 3 sets and 15 reps each. Make sure your body is in a straight line from shoulders to hips and ankles.
If you’re getting too comfortable with side planks, try this: raise your free leg (not anchored at the ankle) every time you lift your body. You’ll begin to feel each and every muscle in your body and the correlation between each of them.
The good old squats work like magic for the abs, thighs, and hips. With your arms stretched out in front of you, lower your body to a sitting position such that your legs are bent at a right angle. Keep your back stretched and straight. Do not let your shoulders sag and perform 3 sets of 15 reps each.
To add a little spice, alternate your squats with sidekicks. Every time you rise from a squat, raise your leg towards a side as far as you can, mimicking a martial arts kick. Squat between each sidekick. So one rep looks like “squat – left sidekick – squat again – right sidekick.” This exercise works on the core, thighs, and legs.
Another variation involves squatting on one foot while the other is supported on a chair/stool behind you. Squat as low as possible without losing your balance. Keep your arms outstretched on either side to help in balancing your body weight. If you want to make these squats a little harder, hold weights in your hands and let them hang by your side. You can only think about this when you’re capable of balancing without weights.
3. Windshield Wiper Movements
The movement is what gives this exercise its name. Lie flat on your back on a mat. Now keep your hands palm-down on either side and raise your legs up to sixty degrees from the ground. Make sure your legs don’t bend at the knee. Now, like the windshield wiper, let your legs fall from side to side, slightly brushing the floor between each extreme movement. As easy or fun as it sounds, you’ll feel the impact of this exercise on your abs immediately. 3 sets of 15 reps each will do the trick. To make this exercise a little challenging, you can try attaching weights at your ankle.
4. Hip Thrust
Lie flat on your back with your knees raised, feet flat on the ground, spaced shoulder-width apart. Now place a reasonable weight on your lap and hold it in place using your hands. Take a deep breath and use your hips to thrust upwards. You can add more weight or use a resistance band to add difficulty to this routine. This exercise works great for shaping the glutes.
You’ll need a Swiss ball for this exercise. Lie flat on your back, your hands on either side, palm facing downward. Support your calves on the Swiss ball by raising your legs at the knee. Now here’s the hard part: lift your hips while rolling the ball inward such that your feet are flat on the ball. In this position, most of your body weight will be supported on the shoulders, arms, and neck. Hold this position for two to three second and roll out to relax. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps each. This exercise tones your upper body, arms, and core.
You can wear waist trainers while working out to maintain your posture make the most of these fantastic exercises.
Exercising Alone is not enough!
To attain the hourglass figure, merely exercising is not enough. You need to keep an eye on your diet. After all, you are what you eat!
Try to cut back on the carbs (though not too much), eliminate sugars (especially processed ones), and include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Replace your cooking oil with extra virgin olive oil – it is believed to have fat-cutting properties. Make sure your water intake is as per recommended guidelines (or more if you’re exercising regularly).
If you like snacking or if you’re prone to snacking throughout the day, replace your junk with healthier alternatives. For instance, every time you find yourself reaching for a snack, pick fruit instead. Also, add smoothies and shakes in your routine – these bring together essential nutrients and a delicious burst of energy.Achieving the hourglass figure is entirely possible if you’re following the recommendations stated here. Wish you all the best on your journey to stardom!