To achieve a slim waist body fat reduction will be your primary aim. However, that’s not to say that a few sneaky exercises to tighten the waist won’t help.
It pretty commonly accepted that the plank is the best exercise for working the transverse abdominals (TA). The TA is a belt like muscle which surrounds the organs and is one of our main ‘core’ muscles. To tighten the waist from the inside, it’s the TA that needs to be targeted as well as the obliques. As with any exercise for the core ensure that your lower back is protected from start to finish. If you are unable to control your core to the point where your lower back feels strong and secure consider dropping to your knees or using a different exercise. Plank variations are quite advanced exercises for this reason.
I usually encourage my clients to rest on their elbows rather than a high plank on their hands. I feel this tends to engage the core rather than burn out the shoulders. However there is an element of personal preference here so feel free to try whichever version suits you best. Make sure that you are secure in your normal plank position before adding a variation. You don’t need to be able to hold the plank for that long to add these changes but you certainly must be able to perform a good plank without any stress in the lower back.
Here are my top 4:
Get ready to feel those obliques burn. From a plank position, preferably your elbows. You simply allow your hips to drop from side to alternating left and right. You should feel tension and a slight burn down the sided of your waist, particularly in the upper section of your torso. Allow your heels to move from side to side and they will have to move so simply reset yourself when you need to.
From the plank position on elbows and knees, find a strong position and then allow your body to rock forward and back. This is a small movement so you only need to move a few inches.
Feet elevated plank
This is very advanced but will engage that TA like no other once you can manage it. It involves starting in a high plank position and balancing your feet on a step, bench or, more maximum effect, a fitness/stability ball. This involves huge engagement of the TA and all the stabilisers of the core.
Stir the pot
This time your elbows are on the fitness ball with your feet out behind you. From there you try to rotate the ball in a small tight circle using your elbows and core. Be sure to keep the chest well up off the ball and tuck the elbows in close to the chest for stability.
Enjoy the burn!!!
For more advice on core work, book in for your free consultation at Rogue Fitness here.