Waist Exercises for Women

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A slim waistline is perhaps something all women want. Your clothes fit better. You look healthier. A trim waistline is also better for you. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, that extra fat around your mid-section puts you at greater risk of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. It behooves you, therefore, to take the time for exercise. In addition, waist exercises help strengthen your core for better balance and coordination. Strong abdominal muscles and a trim waist can reduce back pain.

Sit-Up on Exercise Ball

The sit-up is an effective exercise for building strong abs. According to the American Council on Exercise, the sit-up will work the major muscles of the abdominal area including the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus and your obliques. When you do sit-ups on an exercise ball, you are increasing the range that you move, making it a more effective way to do this exercise. The important thing to remember when doing sit-ups is to avoid neck strain. Do not pull your head forward. The entire movement should come from your abdominal muscles.

Saxon Side Bend

The Saxon side bend targets your oblique muscles, according to David Zinczenko, author of "The Abs Diet." To do this exercise, you will need a pair of dumbbells. You don't need a lot of weight. Five pounds should be sufficient for a beginner. Take the dumbbells in your hands and raise your arms up with your arms slightly bent. Your feet should be hip-distance apart. Then, slowly bend to your right. Return to center and then bend to the left for one complete repetition. The movement should be small. Don't strain yourself by moving too far to each side.

Flutter Kick

The flutter kick is an intermediate exercise that will engage your lower abdominal muscles. The movement is deceptively simple yet effective. Lie on your back on your exercise mat, with your arms at your sides. Then, raise your feet about 6 to 10 inches off the floor. Slowly, scissor kick one leg over the other. One repetition equals the left foot over the right and then the right foot over the left. In the beginning, you may find that keeping your legs raised is difficult. You can lower your legs between repetitions until you get stronger.

Modified Plank

Like the flutter kick, this exercise may appear easy at first. The modified plank or bridge targets your deep transverse abdominis muscles, making it a good exercise for working your waist. Begin on all fours on your exercise mat. Then, bend forward as you bend your elbows so your forearms are bearing your weight. Extend your legs, balancing the rest of your weight on the balls of your feet. Be careful not to arch your back. Pull your abs in as you maintain the pose. Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat. Your goal is 60 seconds.