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APR 10, 2024

Hourglass Figure Exercises: Sculpt Your Body with These Workouts


Shape your dream hourglass figure with our targeted exercises! Dive into workouts designed to sculpt and enhance your body's natural curves.

Read time: 7 minutes

Over the years, decades, centuries even, different figures have been fashionable. Whether that’s lean body types, muscular, skinny, or curvy, it seems what’s trendy changes as quickly as the weather. But, that said, what’s most important is being healthy and harnessing that self-confidence. So let’s focus on targeted toning exercises that sculpt your waistline and give your body the shapely curves you’re after.

Achieving an hourglass figure is all about incorporating exercises that balance upper body, core, and lower body muscles. For example, lateral arm raises, Russian twists, and hip thrusts can target your upper arms, shoulders, core, and glutes.

Genetics and Expectations

We mentioned earlier that different body types have gone in and out of fashion, and it’s important to remember that genetics will also play a huge part in your hourglass success story. That said, it’s entirely possible to enhance existing curves while promoting overall strength and toning.

And let’s stick with strength for a second, as it’s an essential component of getting that hourglass figure. See, core-strengthening exercises  not only contribute to a more defined waistline, they improve posture and provide critical support for overall body function. Meaning it’s possible to achieve a desired physique by engaging in targeted workouts emphasizing muscle balance and sculpting.

Sculpting Exercises for Hips and Waist

When it comes to shaping those curves, specific exercises can help target the areas you want to define. So let's cover the specifics with some tried and tested workouts to help you sculpt your hips and waist for that classic hourglass look.

Lateral Arm Raises

Lateral arm raises primarily work the shoulder muscles, specifically the deltoids.

Steps:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in towards your body, arms by your sides.
  2. Exhale as you lift your arms out to the sides, keeping a slight bend in your elbows and your back straight. Raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor.
  3. Hold at the top of the movement, then inhale as you slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.

Perform 8-12 repetitions for 2-3 sets.

Russian Twists

Russian twists target the abdominal muscles, with a focus on the obliques.

Steps:

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet lifted slightly off the ground, and lean back at a slight angle. Hold your hands together or hold a weight in front of your chest.
  2. Twist your torso to the right, bringing your hands or the weight towards the floor beside your hip.
  3. Return to the center and then twist to the left. This completes one repetition.

Perform 10-15 repetitions on each side for 2-3 sets.

Side Planks

Side planks focus on strengthening the oblique muscles as well as the entire core.

Steps:

  1. Lie on your side with your legs straight. Prop your body up on your forearm, ensuring that your elbow is directly below your shoulder.
  2. Lift your hips off the ground, forming a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Keep your other hand on your hip or extend it towards the ceiling.
  3. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds or as long as you can maintain good form.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side.

Perform 2-3 sets on each side.

Hip Thrusts

Hip thrusts are excellent for strengthening the glutes and hamstrings.  

Steps:

  1. Sit on the ground with a bench directly behind you. Lean against the bench so that your shoulder blades are near the top of it. Place a barbell or weight across your hips.
  2. Plant your feet flat on the ground about hip-width apart, and ensure your knees are bent.
  3. Drive through your heels to lift your hips towards the ceiling, pushing the barbell upwards. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees at the top of the movement.
  4. Pause at the top for a moment, then slowly lower your hips back to the starting position.

Perform 8-12 repetitions for 2-3 sets.

These exercises emphasize engaging and toning your abdominal and oblique muscles, creating a more defined waistline. To see significant results over time, it's essential to incorporate them consistently into your workout routine.

While performing these exercises it’s crucial to maintain proper form and posture throughout each movement to maximize their effectiveness. Taking it slow and focusing on controlled movements will yield better results than rushing through the exercises.

Cardio and Strength Training Combinations

Now we’ve covered strength, let’s look at adding cardio. See, the combination of cardiovascular (cardio) exercise and strength training has proven amazingly effective in promoting overall fitness and achieving specific body-sculpting goals. This is because you’re not just burning calories, you’re also building lean muscle for that desirable hourglass figure.

  • Cardio exercises elevate the heart rate and strengthen the cardiovascular system, while strength training focuses on building and toning muscles, enhancing metabolic rate, and improving overall muscular endurance.

  • Try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which involves alternating short bursts of intense exercise with brief rest or low-intensity periods. This approach not only helps burn fat efficiently but also contributes to improving overall fitness levels.

  • Weighted squats are also incredibly effective for targeting the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps - key areas for achieving an hourglass figure. By adding weights to traditional squats, individuals can increase the intensity of the exercise, leading to greater muscle activation and growth.

Targeted Muscle Building for Balance

When it comes to the perfect hourglass figure, a well-rounded muscle-building approach ensures that you harness each distinct body area.

Balancing the Muscles

  • As we’ve said, one pivotal exercise for building roundness in your glutes is the Hip Thrust. This is because, by contracting and lifting your hips upwards, you directly target and strengthen your glute muscles. And, with gradual progression and additional weights, hip thrusts will continually challenge and tone those glutes.

  • On the other hand, Shoulder Presses also play a vital role in broadening the upper body, which complements the small waist characteristic of an hourglass silhouette. So, whether you use dumbbells or a barbell, consider consistent shoulder press exercises to promote strength and width in the shoulders - thereby creating a striking balance between your upper and lower body.

Targeted Muscle Building for Balance

Ok, what’s next? It’s time to bend. Flexibility is key to achieving balanced muscle development and overall body symmetry. Pilates and yoga are two effective methods for improving flexibility while strengthening your core - both of which are vital elements in creating an hourglass silhouette.

  • Pilates exercises emphasize controlled movements and precise breathing techniques, targeting the core muscles and promoting flexibility. Pilates's systematic approach enhances flexibility and aids in sculpting a more defined and harmonious physique.

  • On the other hand, yoga offers a holistic approach to improving flexibility, focusing on deep stretches and fluid movements. Specific yoga poses such as the cobra, upward dog, and triangle engage key muscle groups essential for achieving the coveted hourglass figure. Incorporating these poses into a routine can help enhance flexibility, promote muscle tone, and contribute to a more balanced physique.

Pilates

Yoga

Controlled movements

Deep stretches and fluid movements

Precise breathing techniques

Focused on specific poses like cobra, upward dog, and triangle

 

By deliberately engaging muscles in these exercises, you generate a flexibility that helps stabilize the body's core.

Adopting a Balanced Lifestyle for an Hourglass Figure

Sculpting your body into an hourglass shape isn't only about what you do in the gym but your entire lifestyle. Diet, rest, and hydration are just as crucial as the exercises you engage in.

  • A balanced diet with nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats is key to achieving and maintaining an hourglass figure. Nutrient-dense foods provide essential vitamins and minerals that support muscle growth and overall health. Staying hydrated is equally important because water plays a role in numerous bodily functions, including muscle recovery and digestion.

  • Besides maintaining a balanced diet, proper rest and recovery are crucial for achieving your desired body shape. Insufficient rest can impede muscle repair and growth, affecting your progress. During rest periods, our bodies rebuild muscle tissue stronger than before. Thus, it's essential to listen to your body's cues and ensure you get enough sleep each night.

  • Moreover, incorporating high-quality supplements can provide the required nutrients for muscle growth and recovery. Did you know, an intake of 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is generally recommended to support muscle growth and repair? It’s true and it can be easily achieved through whole foods combined with supplements like protein shakes.

  • Protein shakes can be a convenient way to provide necessary nutrients in an easily digestible form, contributing to muscle repair and growth. And who better to trust than us? Here at PROMiXX, we provide a range of high-quality protein shakers to help fitness enthusiasts achieve their goals.

In summary, achieving an hourglass figure is more than just working out - it requires a holistic approach that integrates nutritious eating habits, adequate rest, hydration, and the careful use of quality nutritional supplements. Once you have all of these elements playing their important roles you’ll be able to sculpt your desired physique in no time.

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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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