The right combination of exercises can help you slim down your middle.
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A toned hourglass shape will help you look attractive and feel self-confident in just about anything you wear. If the only thing holding you back from this sexy physique is a thick middle and flabby belly, you can lose the weight and tone your midsection with effective exercises. Before starting your exercise program for better-looking abs, consult with your doctor.
Get Rid of Fat Around the Middle
It's not possible to lose weight only around your middle to achieve an hourglass figure. Spot-reduction is a myth, but you can reduce belly fat by losing weight all over. Include 150 to 300 minutes of aerobic exercise in your weekly workouts to help you get rid of the spare tire hiding your hourglass figure. Exercises such as jogging, swimming or working out on the elliptical for 30 to 60 minutes daily will burn about 250 to 500 calories per day, for a total loss of 1/2 to 1 pound per week.
To tone the abdominal muscles on the front of your stomach, you should perform ab exercises two to three times weekly. Do ab exercises exclusively or as part of a total-body strength training workout for 20 minutes each session. Stability ball knee tucks, bird-dogs and front planks are effective for getting toned abs. Perform planks by getting into pushup position, with your body in a straight line from head to toe. Hold yourself up off the floor for 30 to 60 seconds while positioned on your forearms or hands with arms straightened. Repeat twice more.
The oblique muscles -- located along your sides -- play an important role in obtaining an hourglass figure. Tone them for a cinched midsection by performing ab exercises such as the seated trunk rotation, curtsy squat and hay bailers. Hold a kettlebell with both hands, positioning it by your right side. Squat down slightly with feet about 24 inches apart. Bring the kettlebell up and across your body as if throwing it over your left shoulder. Return to the starting position. Perform 12 repetitions on each side.
Healthy Eating for an Hourglass Shape
Healthy eating also play a vital role in achieving and maintaining an hourglass shape. Trim 250 to 500 calories from your daily intake to lose 1/2 to 1 pound weekly. Eat five to six smaller meals that consist of lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lowfat dairy. Drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day to keep yourself hydrated and avoid belly bloat. Include flat-belly foods such as guacamole and peanut butter in your diet, while abstaining from foods that encourage belly fat, such as cheese and margarine.