If you've been checking social media at all this past year, you've probably seen a few celebs sporting waist training corsets. The "science" behind these waist training corsets is that the latex material increases sweat in all the right places and the strict compression prevents over consumption.
To some degree, this is true. But if you want lasting results created from actual muscle sculpting, you're going to need to take a different approach. Luckily, I have an equally ancient, yet thoroughly modern plan for earning an hourglass figure: diet and exercise. Combine smart eating with targeted core exercises that focus on the obliques to tone a tight tummy — no binding necessary.
The most common ab exercises like standard crunches focus on the rectus abdominis, the six-pack muscles. This is all wrong! We're aiming to draw in the tiniest part of the waist from 360 degrees, so rather than focusing on just toning the front line of the body with frontal flexion, we're going to focus on tightening the inner and outer oblique muscles that wrap around the waistline creating a natural corseting effect.Perform 30 of each exercise, 15 on each side when called for. Repeat two-three times for an ab cinching workout under 20 minutes.
1. Twisted Inchworm Push-up
Begin standing at the top of your mat, facing the side of mat right foot in front of left. Turn at the waist taking the chest over front leg, roll down one vertebra at a time until the hands reach the mat. You may need to take a soft bend in the knees if hamstrings are tight.
With control, walk your hands out until your body is in revolving side plank. Bend at the elbows to perform a push-up, press up and walk your hands back to your feet. Roll up carefully. Repeat 15 reps on each side.
2. Sweaty Angel
Begin lying on your back with your arms extended in a t-shape, your legs long and your feet hip width distance apart. Engage the core, as you lift your right arm and left leg. Rotate your torso toward the lifted leg as you float your chest and head off the ground. Twist deeply through the core as you reach opposite arm and leg together, while lengthening through the leg. Slowly roll back down through the spin to start position. Complete 15 times on each side.
3. Yogi Bicycle
Begin on your back, legs extended straight up over hips and arms extended straight up over shoulders. Clasp your hands together in a steeple grip and engage your core to float your head and shoulders off the ground. This is your starting position.
Crunch up and reach your hands forward and to the outside of your right leg while you lower your left leg to a hover above the ground. Return to start and alternate legs. Complete 15 times on each side.
4. Side Plank Crunch
Begin in a modified side plank with hand under shoulder and bottom knee resting on the ground below your hip. Extend your top leg out straight and place your top hand behind the base of your head. Brace your core, push through your top foot and hover your bottom knee.
Crunch your abs to bring your top elbow and bottom knee to meet. Return to your start position, but keep your knee hovering. Perform 15 reps and switch sides.
Begin seated and roll back to place forearms flat on ground behind your back with palms down and hands toward your low back. Elbows are under shoulders. Brace your core, push down into the ground to draw shoulders down back, then draw one leg at a time to the sky. Squeeze them together tightly.
With control lower your legs to the right as far is you can without compromising your form. Return to center and lower left. Repeat move, alternating sides for 20 reps.
6. Ankle Touch
Begin on your back with your arms by your sides, knees bent and feet planted on the ground. Lift your head knock and shoulders off the ground, hovering arms by your side. This is your start position.
With control reach toward the right ankle, touch the heel, then reach a little farther to the arch of foot for a double toe tap. Return to center and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 20 times alternating sides.
7. Flip Dog Knee Pull
Begin in plank position, hands shoulder distance apart, feet hip distance and core braced. Hover the right foot off the ground, draw the right leg forward, bringing the knee to the right elbow. Hold for a moment. Then, open the leg into a passé with knee reaching to the side of the body. Continue to rotate the knee up and over your body until you can drop your foot to the ground.
Complete your flip dog by balancing on your left hand as you extend your right arm overhead and open your chest up to the sky. With control rotate the cheat back to floor, returning both hands and feet to ground in a plank position. Alternate legs for 15 reps on each side.
Photos by Kathryn Page