Exercises For A Tighter Waist
The humble plank is one of those classic exercises that I like to include in almost all of my classes.
Not only is it a great exercise to strengthen your core, it’s also a good one for utilising muscles like your glutes, shoulders, back and arms. Plus, adding in challenges to your plank will help work into those other muscles further, develop more core strength and endurance and is great if you want to tighten up that waistline.
Here are a few of my favourite planks variations you can do at home.
Probably the most common plank. Make sure your elbows are directly underneath your shoulders, push firmly out of the elbows to ensure your shoulder blades don’t collapse in towards the centre of your spine. Draw your belly button to your spine, squeeze your butt cheeks together and hold for 60 secs. Repeat 3 times.
Want more? Hover one leg off the ground for 30 seconds, then hover the other leg for the last 30 seconds.
The side plank is a great one for also strengthening your obliques, side of the waist. Here, again make sure your elbow is directly underneath your shoulder. Keep your shoulder down and away from your ear – don’t let your shoulder collapse. Keep your core tight, as if you’re tightening a belt around your waist. And focus particular attention on activating your underneath waist up and away from the mat or floor. Ensure your hips are stacked and parallel to the wall in front of you. Avoid rotation through the pelvis and upper body. Hold for 30 – 60 seconds each side. Repeat 3 times.
Want more? Lower your hips down towards the ground then squeeze your underneath obliques to lift the hips up towards the ceiling. Hip lifts for 30 seconds, then hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Straight Arm Plank
In addition to the isometric contraction through the abdominal muscles, the straight arm plank is a good one for the added challenge for the arms and shoulders. Ensure your wrists are directly underneath the shoulders and push up firmly out of your palms. Ensure your shoulder girdle is stable and shoulder blades don’t collapse into the centre of your spine. Focus on drawing your belly button to your spine and squeeze your glutes. Hold for 60 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Want More? Take your right knee in towards your right elbow then back to the starting position. Take the left knee towards your left elbow then return. Repeat for 30 seconds, then hold plank for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
One of the best things about the humble plank is that you can literally do this anywhere, anytime. Whether you’re at home, at the park, gym or studio – it’s always a good day to plank! Enjoy lovelies.