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5 Best Strength Exercises for a Slimmer Waist

Strength training is key to sculpting a slender waistline and achieving a full-body tone.

Sculpting a slim and slender waistline is a goal many individuals strive to achieve—and not just to gear up for beach season! Excess fat around your middle can weigh you down (quite literally) and cause health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, UT Southwestern Medical Center explains. By adding strength training to your routine, you'll burn extra calories, melt stubborn body fat, and keep the weight off. We spoke with Tyler Read, the founder of and a personal trainer who's been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years, who breaks down five of the best strength exercises for a slimmer waist and total-body fat-blasting.

Read tells us, "Strength training is vital for long-term fat loss, which is a must for a slimmer waist. The added muscle your body will gain from heavy lifting contributes to increased daily energy expenditure, making weight loss more sustainable and easier in the long run. Additionally, the muscle gives your body more tone and definition for a better appearance after you do burn off your fat, instead of having tons of excess skin."

If you're looking for the best strength exercises for a slimmer waist and a full-body tone, we have you covered with the below. Keep reading to learn more, and next, don't miss 7 Simple Daily Exercises To Shrink Hanging Belly Fat.


fit woman doing barbell back squats at the gym

You can perform bodyweight squats, although Read suggests working with a heavy barbell (if you're safely able to) for glute and quad muscle growth. According to MasterClass, performing barbell squats will help you increase your supply of lower-body muscle mass, making it a key part of your strength training regimen.

To set up for the barbell squat, you'll face the barbell and then step under it, positioning your hands on each side of the bar. Rest the barbell on your upper-back muscles before unracking it and taking a step back. Place your feet outside hip-width, and bend both knees a bit. Press your shoulders out, and activate your core. Next, bend your hips and both knees to initiate the descent. Come down until your thighs reach a parallel position to the floor. Then, press through both feet in order to come back up.


woman doing dumbbell deadlifts at gym

"These are a must for maximal glute and overall strength development," Read explains.

To set up for the dumbbell deadlift, have a dumbbell in both hands with your palms facing your body. Keep your core tight and your spine neutral to establish tension between the weights, your body, and the ground, PureGym explains. Then, hinge your hips back as you initiate the descent of the dumbbells toward the floor. Once you reach the bottom of the motion, press through your feet to rise back up.

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strong fitness woman doing pull-ups strength-building exercises

In order to perform pull-ups, you'll begin by standing below the pull-up bar. Using an overhand grip, grab onto the bar with both hands, placing them outside shoulder-width, Sweat App explains. Take a deep breath in, then breathe out, and hang onto the bar with your arms completely extended. Bend both elbows and press your shoulders back as you pull yourself up to the bar. Once you reach the top, use control to return to the starting position.


woman doing barbell row demonstration to get rid of underarm fat

To set up for a barbell row, you'll plant your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Squat to take hold of the bar, placing your hands wider than your shoulder span and pointing your elbows out a bit, WebMD explains. Maintain a straight back as you lift the barbell when standing up. Then, squeeze your core and hinge your hips back. Initiate the rowing motion by bringing both elbows back as you "row" the bar up to your chest. Use control to lower the barbell before performing the next rep.

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Bench Presses

woman doing barbell bench press at gym, exercises for a slimmer waist

Last but not least, we'll wrap up with the bench press. According to PureGym, you'll start by lying down flat on a workout bench so that both eyes are aligned with the bar or behind it. Grab onto the bar, placing your hands just outside shoulder-width. Press your shoulder blades back, and push your feet into the floor so that your lower back is arched. Next, unrack the bar, and hold it over your body. Using control, lower the barbell toward the middle of your chest, making sure your elbows don't flare out as you do. Then, press the bar back up.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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