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5 Easy Exercises for a Smaller Waist You Can Do at Home, Says Trainer

Trim your waistline with these 5 simple exercises.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

If you're hoping that regular exercise will help to shrink your waist, then you're in luck. Frankly, there are seemingly endless workouts you can tackle which will tighten your abs, strengthen your core, and trim your midsection. However, you might not have time to indulge in workouts that require a visit to the gym, and you might not like to exercise outside—especially when the weather is less than ideal. In that case, you'll surely be interested in midsection-targeting activities you can do without ever leaving your house. That's why Jenny Schmidt, certified pilates instructor, pre- and post-natal fitness coach, and retired ballerina, has filled Eat This, Not That! in on five easy exercises for a smaller waist that you can do right at home.

Start today, because the sooner you get motivated, the sooner you'll see results! Keep reading for these super-simple exercises for a smaller waist.

Standing Side Bend

woman performing side bend

Schmidt suggests beginning with a good side-body stretch. You'll bend and get your obliques moving to pull your body back to a standing position. She tells us, "Strengthening the obliques will help tone and define the waist."

To perform this move, position your feet underneath your hips, keeping your hands behind your head. Next, take a deep breath in while bending your upper body towards the right. The last move will be to breathe out while lifting back up to the starting position. Do this 16 times on the right side before you switch and complete 16 more on your left side.

Related: 3 Exercises for a Smaller Waist That Trainers Swear By

Side Bends with Arm Extension

woman doing side bend with arm extension

After doing Standing Side Bends, it's time for Side Bends with an arm extension. When it comes to why an arm extension is added into the mix, Schmidt explains that the weight from your arm reaching above will exaggerate the stretch. By doing so, you will challenge your obliques to work much harder.

Get into the correct position by placing both of your feet under your hips. However, this time, put your right hand in the back of your head, keeping your left arm to your side. From that position, breathe in while bending to the right. Next, extend your left arm above your head, and breathe out as you return. Once you've completed 16 side bends with an arm extension on your right side, do the same amount on your left side.

Related: The 5 Best Exercises To Lose Belly Fat and Slow Aging, Says Fitness Expert

Kneeling Bend

woman doing kneeling oblique exercises for a smaller waist

When performing the Kneeling Bend, Schmidt explains, "Balancing in this position requires more core work and stabilization of the pelvis. This will help trigger the waist to pull in and the obliques to activate as you continue your side bending series."

To get the most out of this exercise, Schmidt suggests placing both of your hands behind your head while you kneel on your right knee and extend your left leg out to the side. As you inhale, bend to your left leg. Then, breathe out as you lift up and move back. Following that, bend to your left leg once more, lifting your right arm above your head. Return, and continue to alternate. This exercise should be performed 16 times on one side, then be sure to switch sides before you do it again.


woman doing criss-cross exercises for a smaller waist

Schmidt also suggests adding a Criss-Cross exercise to your workout routine, adding, "This exercise is a fantastic challenge for the entire core, especially the obliques! Keeping stable through the hips in the rotation and drawing the belly in will tone through the waist."

What does this exercise involve? To start, lie on your back with "tabletop legs," which means keeping your shins elevated and parallel to the floor. While your hands will again be behind your head, you'll also want to keep both elbows in an open position. Schmidt says to then extend your right leg to a 45-degree angle. Then, bring your right elbow across to your left knee, and bring your belly inward as you breathe out. Finally, be sure to breathe in through your tabletop position, then rotate to the opposite side. Next, breathe out as you cross your elbow to your knee. Switch and alternate for 1 minute.

Tummy Time Tap

woman performing exercise on stomach

The last of these exercises for a smaller waist is the Tummy Time Tap. "Strengthening the back extensors is crucial for well-rounded core work," Schmidt tells Eat This, Not That!, while noting that side bending will make your obliques much stronger. Schmidt adds, "This exercise will help improve your posture which will trigger the core to activate and help tone the waist."

To get into a Tummy Time Tap position, Schmidt says to lie on your stomach, and place your hands behind your head. Next, keep your upper body an inch above the floor. Finally, add an extra level of intensity and effectiveness to this exercise by reaching your right hand over to your right leg. At the same time, bend at your waist. Switch and alternate for 1 minute.

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more about Desirée
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