There are more than a few things your body needs in order to melt fat, build strength, and achieve a slimmer waist. First off, working with added weight and resistance in your fitness routine—such as resistance bands, ab wheels, and medicine balls—is a seamless way to increase the burn. Plus, these are all tools you can work out with in the comfort of your own home. In addition, cardio is a crucial part of the puzzle when you're looking to burn fat, says Josh York, CPT, founder and CEO of GYMGUYZ. And lastly, you need to be aware of activating your core from all angles to ensure you're firing up all of your abdominal muscles. We chatted with the experts who break down the best daily exercises for women to get a lean waist in their 50s.
"A lean waistline does not come from exercise alone, but an awareness of body alignment and how to activate one's core. As we age, we often lose strength when it comes to pelvic and spinal stability, which directly relates to a sculpted waistline and core," explains Maria Pertile, master trainer for Club Pilates studios. "Crunches alone were believed in the past to strengthen and slim the waistline, however, we know now that moving the torso in a variety of directions and recruiting ALL the abdominal muscles is far more effective for developing a strong core."
The experts reveal the best daily exercises for women to get a lean waist in their 50s, so keep reading to learn more. And when you're finished, don't miss the 7 Strength Exercises for Women To Melt Hanging Belly Fat After 30.
Pertile walks us through the Pilates plank. She starts off by instructing you to picture your body as a plank or a board. No matter the angle, you need to keep your body "flat like a board." If you're a beginner, you can start off with wall planks. Once you gain the strength, move down to the floor. Place your forearms and knees on the ground, then walk your feet back until your legs are extended. Begin by doing 10-second holds, and when you feel more comfortable, you can work your way up to 30 seconds, then two to three minutes. And lastly, you can do plank holds from a high plank with your hands on the ground and your legs extended behind you.
"This is a full-body exercise! Think drawing the waist into the midline, activating the glutes and hamstrings, all the while maintaining a neutral spine. To have a neutral spine in a plank means that the spine has a natural curve without excessive tucking of the lower lumbar … your waist and pelvic girdle will LOVE you for this exercise," Pertile says.
Now, get ready for some spine twists. "The spine twist is an amazing exercise for whittling the waist," Pertile tells us. "Many of us in our daily lives lack mobility in all planes of motion and spinal health and core stability depend on these movements."
Begin this exercise by sitting tall with your legs extended in front of you. Keeping a tall spine, lengthen your arms out to your sides with your palms facing the floor. Breathe in as you sit up as tall as you're able to, then rotate to the left or right with your arms elongated like the letter "T." Breathe out three times to rotate even deeper into the movement. Breathe in to come back to the center, then twist to the other side. Complete this exercise six times on each side, then rest.
"What makes this exercise an 'ab whittler' is the focus on the drawing of the navel to the spine, or scooping of the core to flex the lower lumbar," Pertile explains.
To set up, begin seated on a workout mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lengthen your arms in front of you so that your palms face down, breathe in, and sit up tall. As you breathe out, round your spine and "scoop" your abs as you roll halfway back. Breathe in as you hold this position. Breathe out to roll back up to the start position. Perform this exercise for six to eight reps.
"To progress this exercise, try rolling back with a two-count breath pattern, inhale to roll back, and exhale to return to start," Pertile instructs. "This is a great way to focus on the waist and draw the core to the midline to support the spine and the pelvis."
"Flexing the spine laterally is an important functional movement in our daily lives. Think of how often we reach down to the side to pick something up or grab something to the side," Pertile tells us. "Lateral flexion as an exercise helps us to provide stability and strength to these movements and works on pelvic stability in such a way that it works to connect core muscles in a corset-like fashion."
To get started, lie down on your side on a workout mat. Your bottom arm should be extended with your palm facing the floor and your head resting on it. Your top arm should be extended as well and resting on your body. Breathe in, engage your core, and lift your upper and lower body off the floor. Your top hand should move toward your knee as you lift. Breathe in as you hold the top of the movement, then exhale to return to the floor. Complete six to eight reps.
Next up on our list of daily exercises for women to get a lean waist, York recommends mountain climbers. Start this exercise in a high plank with your legs out straight behind you and your hands below your shoulders. In a speedy fashion, bring your left knee up to your chest before returning it back behind you. Then, repeat the same movement on the other side as you bring your right knee up toward your chest. Continue to alternate sides.
The side lunge begins with you assuming a wide stance and clasping your hands at your heart's center. Your toes should point forward. Press your hips back as you lower your body to one side and lengthen the trailing leg. Push through the heel of your bent leg to return to the start position. Then, lower into a lunge on the other side.