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Quick and Simple Exercises for a Slimmer Waist and Tighter Abs

Incorporate these 5 strength-training moves into your routine and your core will seriously feel the burn.

When it comes to getting a slimmer waist and tighter abs, you need to be focusing on two fundamental basics: targeted strength training moves (done regularly) and eating a healthy, lower-calorie diet for the sake of your body fat. With your exercises, you want to focus on compound movements that use your core as a stabilizer, such as squats and deadlifts. However, it's important that you also incorporate into your routine some moves that target your abs directly.

Now, when most people train their core, they typically only use moves like crunches, side bends, or—heaven forbid—situps, either with their bodyweight or using heavier weights. Unfortunately, this is exactly the wrong way to train your abs if you're looking for that tight stomach and slimmer profile.

If you do too many weighted movements, it can cause too much hypertrophy, defined as an increase in the size of your muscle tissue cells, which will make them look "bulkier" rather than slimmer. Instead, you want to incorporate some great movements that aren't so much about making your abs "lift more weight" as they are about testing the stability function of your core.

If you're ready to tighten up those abs and trim down, here are 5 terrific exercises that will help you do just that. Start doing these at least two to three times per week and—diet permitting—you'll start seeing results fast. And for more great exercise tips you can use, see here for The 30-Second Trick for Losing More Weight While Walking.

Hollow Body Hold

1 Hollow Body Hold

Start the movement by laying flat on your back with your legs and arms fully extended. Flatten your lower back into the ground, then raise your feet 6 inches off the ground and your arms above your head. Keep your core tight and maintain tension there (instead of your lower back) the entire time. If you need to make the exercise a bit less challenging, raise your feet up higher. Hold for sets of at least 20-30 seconds.


V Twist abs exercise

Get into position by laying flat on your back with your knees bent 90 degrees. Keeping your core tight, curl up and reach to one side while extending your legs out at the same time. Crunch hard at the top, return to starting position, then crunch up on the other. Aim for at least 10-15 reps each side. And for more exercise routines to try, don't miss the 3 Workouts Proven to Change Your Body Shape.


V Ups abs exercise

Start by laying flat on your back with your arms over your head and your feet fully extended. Press your lower back into the ground and begin the movement by raising your legs straight up and reaching your hands towards your feet. Crunch hard at the top, then lower yourself under control back to starting position. Aim for sets of 10-15 reps.

Ab Wheel Rollout

ab wheel rollout abs exercise

Get into a kneeling position with your hands holding the ab wheel. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, extend your body forward towards the ground, leading with your arms and hips. Go down as far as you can while maintaining tension in your abs, then return back to starting position. Aim for sets of 8-15 reps.

Stability Ball Stir-The-Pot

stability ball stir-the-pot abs exercise

Begin by placing your forearms on a stability ball and extending your feet out with a wide base in a plank position. Keeping your core tight and your glutes squeezed, begin swirling the ball in a counterclockwise motion, then clockwise, and finally forward and back. As you're moving the ball with your forearms, be sure that your torso stays completely straight while maintaining tension in your abs. Aim for 8-10 reps for each direction. And for more on the benefits of exercising more, don't miss What Going for a 1-Mile Run Does to Your Body, Says Science.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim