Skip to content

5 Best Strength Exercises for a Toned, Firm Waistline After 30

Slash your belly fat with the best total-body moves there are!
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

In your 30s, life gets real, and you quickly pile on a lot of "grown-up" responsibilities. Not many of us have time to work out for two hours, six days a week. (And if you do, congratulations on your gold medal at the Olympics!) That's why, in order to get a lean and strong midsection, the best exercises are total-body movements that blast your core simultaneously. That way, instead of only isolating your abs, you'll target your abs while doing heavy exercises so you get the best "bang for your buck" for fat loss. Below, gear up to read about the most efficient strength exercises for a firm waistline after 30.

Not only does sculpting a strong, toned midsection look great at the beach, but it also plays a key role in your daily movement. For instance, bending down to pick up a heavy package or a filled laundry basket, taking a shower, and playing sports you love like tennis, golfing, and swimming all depend on strong core muscles. Plus, strengthening your midsection also promotes better posture and helps you avoid lower back pain.

Of the many strength exercises out there, we're here today with five of the absolute best that totally hammer your core at the same time. As you do these throughout the week and get stronger at them, you will definitely see your waistline get leaner and firmer! Keep reading to learn more about the five best strength exercises for a firm waistline. And when you're finished, be sure to check out the 7 Exercises That Hit & Tone Your Belly at Every Single Angle.

1. Goblet Squats

dumbbell goblet squat illustration

This is one of the best moves to strengthen your lower body and core simultaneously. By holding the weight in front of you, your abs have to work overtime to keep you upright and stabilize the weight as you descend.

Grab the end of one dumbbell in both hands, and hold it by your chest with your elbows underneath. Stand shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly out. Start the movement by sitting backward and spreading your knees apart. Descend below parallel while keeping your lower back flat. At the bottom, drive through your heels, and keep your knees apart.

2. TRX Pushups

Pushups are already a great upper-body exercise that hits your abs. But using suspension trainers (like a TRX) takes everything to the next level—it creates a ton of instability in your upper body so your core has to work even harder than doing pushups on the ground.

Face away from the anchor point with TRX handles in each hand. Get in a pushup position with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keep your lower back flat, and don't let your hips sag. Lower yourself, and keep your elbows close to your body as you descend.

The 5 Best Core Rotation Exercises for Shredded Abs

3. Half-Kneeling Cable Row

Doing exercises on one knee—called "half-kneeling"—is an incredible way to target your midsection. This position takes your lower body out of the equation so your abs and obliques have to create more stability and balance. It also prevents you from using poor technique or relying on your lower back.

In the half-kneeling position, make sure everything is square to the cable machine and that your feet are narrow. Do NOT let your lower ribs flare out. Do NOT press the toes of your back leg into the ground—instead, rest your laces on the ground. Squeeze your rear glute, and keep your pelvis underneath you. Row.

The 5-Minute Strength Workout To Lose Belly Fat & Gain Abs

4. Single-Arm Overhead Kettlebell Press

This is a doozy of an exercise. First, pressing weights overhead strengthens your core because your core needs to stabilize and tense your body to transfer power from the ground to your arms. Second, when you train one arm at a time, your midsection gets way more stimulation because it needs to keep you balanced and steady.

Hold a kettlebell in the rack position on the side with your knee on the ground; hold a kettlebell at your chest with the kettlebell on the outside of your arms and your hands underneath your chin. Keep your chest up, pull your shoulders back, and crush your armpits. Keep your wrists straight, tense your body, squeeze your back glute, and drive the kettlebell directly overhead.

5. Renegade Row

This list of the best strength exercises for a firm waistline after 30 wraps up with renegade rows. This could be the best combination exercise for a chiseled upper body and ripped abs. It's basically a pushup combined with a row for added calorie burn. Also, when you row, you only have three points of contact with the floor (instead of four) so all the muscles in your midsection will get blasted.

Set two kettlebells about shoulder-width apart. Get into a pushup position with your hands grabbing the handles and spread your feet very wide. Perform a pushup. After you finish the pushup, at the top, row one kettlebell, set it back down, and then row the other one. Keep your torso steady, and avoid twisting. That's one rep. Repeat all the steps.

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured in Esquire, GQ, and Men’s Health and the founder of GroomBuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. Join the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Read more about Anthony