5 exercises for a smaller waist, leaner core

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    Get a smaller waist and leaner core by doing basic exercises consistently

    Wondering how to have a smaller waist? A tiny waistline is not as difficult to get as you think! (Shutterstock)

    Women are always on the hunt for smaller waist exercises, and the good news is they do exist! Want a tiny waistline? You gotta work for it.

    While the abdomen can be the most difficult area to tone and reduce, there is no need to feel discouraged about trimming those excess inches around the waistline.

    A smaller waist could be just a few exercises away–as long as you know which ones to try!

    SEE ALSO: Five exercises to get rid of the Muffin Top

    5 exercises for a smaller waist

    Reverse abdominal breathing

    A few years ago there was an infomercial on television claiming to have a breathing technique that would melt off belly fat. All you needed to do was send X amount of money to the company and they’d let you in on the secret. While untold number of people probably fell for the ploy, there really is a breathing method which can help melt away those pounds.

    Smaller waist exercises help you get a stronger core which is also good for your back

    The plank looks simple, but it is one of the most effective exercises for a smaller waist out there. (Shutterstock)

    Reverse breathing, developed as a means of martial arts meditation, is an effective way to strengthen the core muscles and trim belly fat. This technique is more about clearing and focusing the mind–but because of the way it drops belly fat, it makes the top of the list for smaller waist exercises.

    “Reverse abdominal breathing, traditionally called Taoist breathing, reverses the natural in-and-out movements of the abdomen that one finds in natural breathing. In reverse breathing, the abdomen contracts inward during inhalation and relaxes outward during exhalation,” writes Dennis Lewis in his book, The Tao of Natural Breathing.

    SEE ALSO: Best exercises for beautiful arms and shoulders

    To perform this exercise, sit with your back straight and breathe in through the mouth while compressing your abdominal muscles–the opposite of what your body wants to do naturally.

    You then breathe out through your nose while forcing your abdominal muscles to expand.

    Ideally, this is performed in a meditative stance for 5 minutes, though for exercise purposes it can be done at any time of the day and as many times as you want.

    Don’t believe it? Try it once (with proper form). Don’t do anything much. Wake up the next morning with your ab muscles sore!

    The Plank

    If you want a stronger core and a smaller waist, one of the best exercises out there is the plank.

    There are many different variations of this exercise; side planks, planks with push-ups, planks from the elbows, and planks with straight arms. No matter which one you opt to do, however, you are putting your abdominal muscles through a tough workout.

    Performing a plank is easy, though holding one for more than 3 seconds can be extremely difficult if your core is not conditioned.

    To do a basic plank, start on the floor, flat on your stomach. You then want to elevate yourself onto your elbows and the tips of your toes; your back should be straight. Sticking your butt up in the air negates the purpose of the exercise.  If planking at the elbows is too difficult, you can straighten your arms so you are elevated into a push-up position.

    SEE ALSO: Exercises for a better sex life

    Hold the plank for as long as you can, gradually increasing the time each day. Holding a position helps burn surface fat, one reason exercises like Pilates and yoga are so effective at toning the body.

    The Pelvic Scoop

    Crunches are old news; when it comes to smaller waist exercises it’s time to modify those abdominal workouts.

    Fitness magazine suggests individuals looking for a smaller waist try what’s called the pelvic scoop. This exercise employs the standard crunch but takes it a few steps further.

    To perform the exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh (or vice versa) and lift the foot on the floor onto your heel. Next, with your hands on the floor at your sides, tilt your pelvis up as far as you can without arching the back. Hold for a moment and then lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat this exercise ten times and then rest for a minute. Repeat 3 times.

    The Scissor Kick

    The scissor kick is traditionally a Pilates exercise designed to benefit the inner thighs; however, it also requires strong core muscles if you wish to perform it with any proficiency.

    Scissor kicks will help you get a smaller waist by working your abdominal muscles at the same time you are working your legs; truly a multidimensional exercise.

    To perform the scissor kick, rest on your back on the floor. You can use your hands for support beneath your lower back or you may use a small exercise ball. Either way, elevate your legs approximately 6 inches in the air and kicks you legs, toes pointed, in a scissor motion.

    SEE ALSO: How to grow your legs: Challenging exercises for your leg muscles

    It is important when performing this exercise that you do not let your back take the brunt of the abuse. Your abdomen should be holding your body in position, not your spine.

    The Single Bridge

    Last but not least on the list of smaller waist exercises is the single bridge.

    Like many other core exercises, this may seem like it’s working another part of the body–the leg–but it is requiring a lot of effort from the abdominal muscles as well.

    To perform a single bridge, lie on your back with you knees bent. Lift one leg straight into the air and elevated you pelvis off the ground.

    While in this position, raise both arms up in line with your shoulders and then circle the foot in the air for 8 rotations in one direction. Repeat to the other direction and then change legs.

     For a smaller waist, practice these core exercises

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