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Exercises to Define the Waist
Tone the muscles of your abdominals for a defined waist with waist-targeting core exercises. The muscles of your waist include the rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis of the stomach and the erector spinae muscles of the lower back. The transverse abdominis muscles lies too deep below the other ab muscles to be seen on the surface for visible muscle definition, but you should target the others for a defined waist.
Moving Side Plank from the Elbow
The moving side plank from the elbow exercise targets the oblique muscles on the sides of the waist. The exercise is called a moving plank because it is not held isometrically like most plank exercises are. This plank exercise uses your obliques to move up and down off the floor. Lie on your left side with your left elbow on the floor and below your shoulder to begin. The right hand is on your hips. Stack your legs with both legs straight. Then, lift your hips toward the ceiling until your body makes an unbroken line from feet to head. Keep your shoulders pulled back and look forward to maintain straight posture. Bring your hips back to the ground to finish one side plank on your left side. Lie on your right side and repeat.
The cross-body crunch targets the rectus abdominis muscle. The obliques aid in this exercise as well when your torso is rotated. The cross-body crunch is performed lying on your back with your knees bent. The feet start off on the floor. Your arms lie at your sides. Then, to work one side of your side place your right hand behind your head and raise your neck and shoulders. Twist to the left and bring your left knee toward your chest. The left knee and right elbow do not touch but it is helpful to think of bringing your shoulder to your opposite knee. Return your body to the floor. Either continue to do as many reps as you wish on that side and then switch to other side, or alternate sides on each repetition.
Weighted 45-degree Hyperextension
Lie on the thigh pad and hook your ankles under the padded leg brace. Position your body on the pad so that your quads are touching the pad and your stomach does not rest on the pads. If the thigh pad is touching your stomach then the range-of-motion of the exercise will be limited. Hold a weight behind your neck with your elbows bent. Then, bend forward at the waist and lower your upper body toward the floor. The distance you can comfortably lower your body will depend on your lower back and hamstring flexibility. Use your erector spinae muscles to raise your body back up as far as you can.
- woman stomach image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from Fotolia.com