7 Best Exercises for a Tapered Waist
If you're after a beach body figure, sculpting a slim, tapered waist is an absolute must. The key to achieving this look is a combination of burning fat and building muscle in your upper and lower body. Since your hip bones themselves do not widen with exercises, building muscle in the glutes and upper body gives the overall appearance of a tapered waist. Burning off excess body fat ensures your hard-earned muscle shows through and keeps any love handles from ruining the appearance of your waist taper. The following workout includes some of our favorite exercises for a tapered waist that you'll want to start doing today.
The below moves will help build up your glutes and legs, tone up your core, and widen the muscles in your torso to build an overall shredded physique and tapered waist appearance. We highly recommend combining this workout with a high-protein diet that puts you in a caloric deficit for fat loss, as well as ensuring you follow healthy lifestyle habits like drinking water and getting enough sleep.
Perform eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise with 60 to 90 seconds of rest between sets. Repeat the workout twice per week. Keep reading for the seven best exercises for tapered waist, and next, don't miss The 5-Minute Strength Workout To Lose Belly Fat & Gain Abs.
The barbell squat is a compound exercise that helps develop your quads and glutes for a muscular lower body. This move also contributes to fat loss and strengthens your core, supporting the tapered waist appearance.
To perform a barbell squat, position a barbell at shoulder level on a squat rack. If available, set the safety pins just above waist level. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and duck under the bar to position it across your upper back. Grasp the barbell with your hands wider than shoulder-width, and lift it off the rack by standing up straight. Take a few steps back to clear the rack, and engage your core while maintaining a neutral spine. Lower your body by bending your knees and hips, keeping your chest up and your weight on your heels. When your thighs are parallel to the ground or slightly below, push through your feet to return to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Barbell Hip Thrusts
Barbell hip thrusts are the most direct way to target your glutes for some serious posterior development in the right places, playing a crucial role in achieving a tapered waist.
To perform a barbell hip thrust, sit on the ground with your back against a bench and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Position a padded barbell across your hips, holding it with both hands. Engage your core, and visualize drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis. Drive your hips upward by pressing through your heels, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement. Lower your hips back to the ground, maintaining tension in your core and glutes. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Pull-ups build serious lat and back muscles, widening your upper body in a muscular fashion, which can contribute to a tapered waist while also boosting your calorie burn.
To perform a pull-up, grasp a pull-up bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hang onto the bar with your arms fully extended and your feet off the ground. Engage your core, and visualize bringing your elbows toward your hips as you retract your shoulder blades. Pull your body upward by bending your elbows and shoulders, keeping your chest up, and avoiding shrugging throughout the range of motion. When your chest hits the bar, lower your body back down to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Dumbbell Overhead Press
Dumbbell overhead presses add muscle to your shoulders, widening your upper body from the front and helping highlight your tapered waist. Dumbbell overhead presses can be preferable to barbell overhead presses because they are easier on your shoulders, but either exercise is effective.
To perform a dumbbell overhead press, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. Engage your core, and maintain a neutral spine. Press the dumbbells upward by extending your elbows and shoulders until your arms are fully extended overhead. Pause at the top of the movement, then lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, avoiding shrugging throughout the range of motion. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Russian twists are great for targeting the abdominals obliques, which are essential for a shredded core and tapered waist.
To perform a Russian twist, sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lean back slightly, and lift your feet off the ground, creating a V-shape with your torso and thighs. Hold a weight or a medicine ball with both hands, and engage your core. Rotate your torso to the right, tapping the weight on the ground next to your right hip. Rotate your torso to the left, tapping the weight on the ground next to your left hip. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Plank with Leg Lifts
Planks with leg lifts are a challenging plank variation that specifically targets the core, glutes, and lower back, helping to create a tapered waist.
To perform a plank with leg lifts, begin in a forearm plank position with your elbows under your shoulders and your body in a straight line. Engage your core, and maintain a braced neutral spine. Lift your right leg off the ground, keeping it straight, and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement for about one second. Lower your right leg back to the ground, and repeat with the left leg. Repeat for the target repetitions.
The last of our exercises for a tapered waist is the bicycle crunch. Bicycle crunches are an efficient crunch variation to add transverse abdominis and oblique activation while also hitting your rectus abdominal muscles for a complete ab exercise.
To perform bicycle crunches, lie on your back with your hands behind your head and your knees bent. Lift your head, shoulders, and feet off the ground, engaging your core. Extend your right leg while bringing your right elbow to your left knee. Alternate the motion, extending your left leg while bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Repeat for the target repetitions on both sides.