Exercises for a Small Waist

Excess body fat can gather around the waistline, motivating many people to start a fitness routine. Eliminating extra belly fat is a smart choice. According to the Mayo Clinic, strengthening and toning core muscles improves balance and stability and eases the strain of other physical movements. Reducing your waist measurement can also help cut the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues. A combination of core, strength and cardio exercises will burn fat and tone your body effectively.


Exercises that target abdominal muscles help strengthen the core and are a significant part of a fitness routine that will tone and trim your waist. The Mayo Clinic recommends moves such as the crunch that work several core muscles at once.

To do a crunch, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest or place your hands behind your head to minimize neck strain. As you look up at the ceiling, tighten your core muscles and pull up your torso from the abdomen. You’ll rise a few inches. Hold the move for a second or two, pause and lower back down. Repeat for several repetitions.

Side Plank

Strength training moves such as a side plank increase your total muscle mass. This is desirable because muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does. When combined with ab work and aerobic exercises, strengthening moves are very effective at toning muscles and shaving inches off your waist measurement.

For a side plank, lie on the left side of your body on a towel or mat. You’ll be trying to support your torso and legs with just your forearm and foot, so place your left elbow underneath your left shoulder, and bend your elbow at a 90-degree ankle. Your forearm should be flat on the ground. Stack your right foot above your left, and contract your core muscles as you press down on your forearm and left foot to lift your torso and legs off the ground. Breathe evenly, and keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Work to hold the move for several seconds before releasing.


The Chicago Tribune notes that spot exercises such as crunches won’t tone the abdominal area and reduce waist measurement by themselves. To be truly effective, they should be coupled with aerobic activities such as jogging. Jogging is an intense cardiovascular workout that engages the whole body and elevates the heart rate for prolonged periods of time. This helps burn calories quickly and increase the efficiency of abdominal and strength exercises.

About this Author

Carly Schuna is a Wisconsin-based professional writer, editor and copy editor/proofreader. She has worked with hundreds of pieces of fiction, nonfiction, children’s literature, feature stories, and corporate content. Her expertise on food, cooking, nutrition and fitness information comes from years of in-depth study on those and other health topics.