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5 Total-Body Exercises To Get a Smaller Waist at 40, Trainer Says

Put on your sneakers, and grab a pair of dumbbells.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Losing belly fat and having a trim waistline can be a tough journey, but it's one road you won't regret traveling! You need to incorporate a few good habits into your daily routine, and exercise is a big one. So we're here with five total-body exercises to get a smaller waist at 40.

Many changes occur in your body around this age that contribute to extra weight gain. You start to lose muscle mass, and your metabolism begins to slow down. Plus, if you don't sleep well, that can contribute to being overweight. According to research, adults who got less than five hours of sleep, when compared to a healthy seven to eight hours, experienced a 40% heightened risk of obesity. Hence, reducing pounds in this area of the body is a common fitness goal many individuals want to achieve.

In order to shrink your waistline, it's essential to eat healthy, get in your daily strides, and perform strength training. We recommend strength training to be the major player in your fitness routine since it will help to build and maintain muscle, burn more calories than cardio, and keep your metabolism high. By being consistent and getting stronger in your exercises, you'll notice that even your waist will look smaller, especially as upper body fat shrinks.

When deciding on exactly which strength training movements to perform, it's important—and most efficient—to choose exercises that target your entire body. Using multiple muscle groups will allow you to burn more fat and help you achieve that smaller waist we're talking about. Although these compound movements are challenging, they will give you the absolute best results.

Here are five total-body exercises you can do just using a pair of dumbbells. Perform three to four sets of each movement.

Dumbbell Lunge + Press

dumbbell lunge press exercises to get a smaller waist
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Begin this Lunge + Press by holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders. Keeping your chest tall and core tight, step back with one leg until your knee touches the ground. When you're at the bottom of the motion, press the weights up, then lower them back down before stepping back to the starting position. Perform all reps on one leg before switching sides. Complete three to four sets of six reps on each side.

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Dumbbell Plank Open Row

dumbbell plank open row to shrink a muffin top
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

The Dumbbell Plank Open Row begins with you getting into a standard pushup position. While holding a wide stance, grip a pair of dumbbells that are resting on the ground. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, row one dumbbell up to your hip, then rotate the weight up and extend it straight toward the ceiling. Lower the dumbbell back down in the same pattern, then return to the pushup position before performing another rep on the other side. Complete three to four sets of six to eight reps on each side.

Dumbbell Skier + Punch

trainer demonstrating dumbbell skier punch exercise to shrink belly fat faster
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

For the Dumbbell Skier + Punch, hold your dumbbells right by your sides. Pull the dumbbells back, and swing them up in front of you using your hips. Next, "punch" them forward, then pull them back to you. Straighten your arms down to your side, and repeat. Perform three to four sets of 15 reps.

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Dumbbell Lateral Lunge

dumbbell lateral lunge to shrink your belly
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start Dumbbell Lateral Lunges by holding a pair of dumbbells with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Keep your chest tall, and step out to the side while pushing your hips back. Let the trailing leg lengthen, stretching your inner thigh. Push yourself back to the starting position with the heel of the working leg before stepping out to the other side. Complete three to four sets of eight reps on each leg.

Dumbbell Pullover + Leg Lift

dumbbell pullover exercises to get a smaller waist
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

The last of these total-body exercises to get a smaller waist at 40 is the Dumbbell Pullover + Leg Lift. Begin by lying flat on your back, holding a single dumbbell in front of you with your legs fully extended. Keep your core tight, and lower your legs down to about an inch off the floor. Lift your legs back up to you, then pull the dumbbell behind your head until it touches the ground. Use your core and lats to bring it back to starting position before performing another leg lift. Complete three to four sets of eight to 10 reps.

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