If you’re doing traditional ab exercises for a 6-pack but you’re looking to get that irresistible hourglass figure, then you might wanna listen up! A lot of ab workouts do the opposite: they make you blocky and widen your waist. Here are some exercises to cinch in that midsection and tone your belly in just 5 minutes a day!
1. Vacuum Exercise.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms by your sides. Now take a deep breath and exhale through your mouth, trying to press your stomach down to your spine. Hold it for about 5 seconds and then relax back into the initial position.
If you have asthma, heart problems, or any digestive issues, skip this exercise and start your workout with the next one. If everything’s alright on that front, though, then get into position, and let’s do 5 reps. Ready? And go: 1, hold it, and 2, 3, great job, 4, one more, and 5…
Well done! It’s better to do this exercise every morning on an empty stomach. If you start to feel any discomfort at all, just stop and don’t include this one in your training routine. There are plenty of others you can do instead! Like…
2. Forward Bends.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. From there, bend forward and try to touch the floor with your palms. Freeze in this position for a second, slowly come back up, and bend your body backwards, putting your hands on your lower back.
After that, you can return to the starting position. Let’s do this 10 times, starting now: bend, that’s 1, now backwards, good, 2, 3, 4, keep going, 5, 6, 7, you’re doing great, 8, 9, and one more… Perfect! If you feel your lower back muscles stretching, it’s a good sign!
This means you’re doing everything right and the exercise is working. But if you feel pain in your lower back, this one’s definitely not for you. But enough chit-chat! Take a deep breath and let’s keep chugging along!
3. Russian Twists.
Sit down on the floor with your knees bent. Lean back a little, lift your legs off the ground, and cross them at the ankles. You can hold your arms out in front of you or grab some weighted object – like a dumbbell, medicine ball, or even just a bottle of water – and grip it above your stomach.
While balancing on your bottom, twist your torso to the left, stay in this position for 2 seconds, and twist your body to the right the same way. Let’s just do 10 for now, but you can always add reps as you get better at the exercise!
Ready? And 1, 2, there you go, 3, 4, keep those legs up, 5, 6, 7, engage your core, 8, 9, and 10. Way to go! Russian twists really engage your obliques, upper, and lower abs. You’ll feel the burn, and that’s a good sign! Alright, on to…
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head. Lift your shoulder blades off the floor, freeze for a second, engaging your ab muscles, and lower your shoulders back down.
The key here is to do this exercise fast, so let’s try it. Lie on your back and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. You did it! Crunches are irreplaceable for working your abdominal muscles and slimming down your waist. They can also help you burn tons of calories and actually improve your posture. Just make sure to keep your neck relaxed to avoid straining a muscle there.
Oh, you didn’t think I’d leave this one out, did you? Let’s get into a push-up position with our forearms on the floor. Make sure your elbows are in line with your shoulders. Keep that body straight, and try to hold a plank for the next 30 seconds. Eyes on the timer, and go!
Planking is perfect for strengthening your core and working out all four muscle groups in your stomach. And that’s exactly why it can easily give you a cinched-in waist and toned abs! Just don’t forget to engage your core and keep your body parallel to the floor. Come on, almost done! You’ll feel some burning in your shoulders and thighs too – plank really is a full-body workout in one exercise! …5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and done!
And that’s it for today! Do this workout every single day, and add reps as you build up your strength and stamina. Besides this short exercise routine, you’ll wanna make some other changes as well if you’re looking to get a flat toned belly in no time: Upgrade your diet.
Some other important tips:
First off, add more healthy fats to your menu. They can keep belly fat from building up and help you lose an impressive amount of weight. You can find healthy fats in nuts, seeds, salmon, herring, and even chocolate!
Next up, make sure you consume enough fiber-rich foods like apples, oats, carrots, citrus fruits, and green vegetables. They make you feel full for longer, so no more unhealthy snacks!
● Watch your sleep schedule.
Your sleeping habits do affect your metabolism, so you can either improve it and lose weight or disrupt it and gain. A study from the University of Leeds found that people who sleep for 6 hours a night have larger waistlines than those who get 8 hours of sleep. Apparently, when you sleep less, your brain sends certain impulses that make you crave more food during the day. So, be sure to get your 8 hours each and every night!
● Get active.
This doesn’t mean you have to go jogging every morning. Try to make small lifestyle changes at first – they will add up! Skip the elevator and take the stairs. Do jumping jacks during every commercial break when you’re watching TV. If you have to sit at work all day, take a 5-minute break every hour to walk around. Go for a walk during your lunchbreak. If you can’t leave your workplace that often, you can always let it all out on the weekends! Go hiking, ride a bike, or do yoga. Just get moving!
Surprisingly, your mental health is just as important for your figure as regular exercise is. Whenever you get stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which activates the fat accumulation process in your abdominal area. And just like that, you end up with a big belly!
So next time you start to feel anxious, do a couple of simple breathing exercises. For example, inhale, hold your breath, exhale, and hold your breath again, all for the same periods of time. This quick trick will instantly calm down your mind and relax your body. If breathing techniques aren’t for you, try listening to soothing music.
Take care of yourself both physically and emotionally, and you’ll look and feel good on the inside and out! Do you know any other tricks to achieve a slim, toned waist? Let me know if I left anything out down in the comments! Don’t forget to rate this article “5 Simple exercises for a slim waist and toned belly by Bright Side” share it with your friends!
Credit: Bright Side