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OCT 30, 2023

8 Best Exercises for a Smaller Waist

Achieving a smaller waist is a common fitness goal, and these exercises are ideal for helping you trim your midsection effectively.

Read time: 5 minutes

Achieving a smaller waist is a common fitness goal, and these exercises are ideal for helping you trim your midsection effectively.

In this guide, we'll explore the most effective exercises for a smaller waist. These targeted workouts for a smaller waist are designed to focus on core engagement and toning. Whether you're looking to reduce belly fat or sculpt your waistline, our expert exercises will help you achieve your goals. We'll provide step-by-step instructions and pro tips to ensure you get the most out of your workout routine.

1. Bicycle Crunches for a Smaller Waist

Bicycle crunches are a fantastic exercise for sculpting a smaller waist as they effectively target the oblique muscles.

  1. Lie on your back, lift your legs, and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle

  2. Place your hands behind your head

  3. Then, bring your right elbow and left knee together while simultaneously extending your right leg.

This exercise not only tightens your waist but also enhances abdominal strength and endurance. And by incorporating bicycle crunches into your fitness routine, your goal of a smaller waistline will be more achievable.

2. Hip Bridge with Abduction

The Hip Bridge with Abduction is a fantastic exercise for those aiming to attain a smaller waist and a toned midsection. This exercise primarily targets the glutes and oblique muscles. To perform it:

  1. Lie on the back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

  2. Raise your hips into a bridge position, squeezing your glutes.

  3. Gently lift your left leg while keeping your pelvis level.

This motion engages your oblique muscles, helping to create a well-defined waistline. The Hip Bridge with Abduction not only contributes to a smaller waist but also improves hip stability and overall core strength, making it a valuable addition to any fitness regimen. And of course, it can be improved with the use of a resistance band.

3. Dumbbell Side Bend

Dumbbell side bends are a highly effective exercise for achieving a smaller waist and enhancing core strength. This exercise involves holding a dumbbell in one hand while standing upright, then gently bending to the side, lowering the weight towards the knee.

It also targets the oblique muscles, helping to tone and tighten the waistline. And by incorporating dumbbell side bends into your workout routine, you can create a more sculpted midsection and improve lateral core stability.

4. Plié Squats

Plié squats are a highly effective exercise for individuals seeking a smaller waist and a sculpted midsection.

  1. This exercise involves taking a wide stance with your toes turned outward, engaging the inner thigh muscles.

  2. As you squat down, you target the oblique muscles and lower abdomen, working to trim and tone your waistline.

Plié squats are not only excellent for waist refinement but also contribute to strengthening the legs, glutes, and lower back.

5. Heel Touchers

Heel Touchers, a simple yet effective exercise, are perfect for toning the oblique muscles. To perform this exercise:

  1. Lie flat on the back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground

  2. Place your arms by your sides

  3. Now, as you lift your shoulders off the ground, reach for your heels with your hands, creating a twisting motion.

Once again, you’ve guessed it, you’re engaging the side abdominal muscles, helping to slim and define your waist.

6. Bear Crawls

Bear Crawls are an excellent full-body exercise that can indirectly contribute to a smaller waist by engaging and strengthening your core. To perform Bear Crawls:

  1. Start on all fours, and then lift your knees a few inches off the ground.

  2. Move forward by alternating your hands and feet.

  3. This dynamic movement requires stability and strength in the core muscles, including the obliques. Which is why it plays an important role in achieving a trimmer waist.

7. Russian Twists

Russian Twists are a challenging but highly effective exercise for achieving a smaller waist and a more sculpted midsection. To perform this exercise:

  1. Sit on the floor with feet flat and bent knees.

  2. Lean back slightly, balancing on your sit bones, and lift your feet off the ground.

  3. Holding a weight ball with both hands, twist your torso from side to side.

8. Side Crunch

Side Crunch is a dynamic movement that focuses on the side ab muscles responsible for lateral flexion and rotation of the trunk. This exercise can help carve out a more defined waistline when combined with proper nutrition and overall fitness, and it also aids in enhancing core strength and stability.

To perform this exercise, follow these steps.

  1. Begin by lying down on your right side, legs extended straight, and your left hand behind your head. Your right arm can be extended for balance or bent with the hand on the floor before you.

  2. Before you begin, take a deep breath and engage your core muscles as you exhale. Imagine drawing your navel towards your spine.

  3. As you inhale, lift both your left leg and left elbow towards each other, trying to meet in the middle. Focus on using your oblique muscles, not pulling with your neck or hand.

  4. Exhale and slowly lower your leg and upper body back to the starting position without letting them completely rest on the ground. Doing this will help maintain tension in those obliques.


Obtaining a smaller waist is no easy feat. But incorporating targeted exercises can significantly contribute to realizing that objective. Exercises such as Bicycle Crunches, Hip Bridge with Abduction, Dumbbell Side Bends, Plie Squats, Heel Touchers, Bear Crawls, and Russian Twists can help you trim and tone your midsection.

That being said, it’s important to note that while these exercises will tone and shape your physique, they are entirely focused on the muscles beneath the skin. And if you’re carrying a layer of fat due to poor eating, you won’t see your desired results. That’s why it’s crucial to pair these exercises with a low-carb diet plan.

Combined with a good diet and rounded fitness routine, these exercises can help you attain a strong and healthy figure you’re after, as well as boost your confidence. But remember: consistency is key, and consulting with a fitness professional is advisable for a tailored workout plan.

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Written by Matthew Stogdon

Matt has been writing for two decades, across print and digital media. He is also an accomplished filmmaker, with several accolades under his belt.


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