8 Simple & Easy Exercises for a Sexy Hourglass Figure
You can cinch your waist with a belt, bare your stomach in a crop top, or wear high-waisted jeans to accentuate your curves. But if you want to change your body without clothes, it will take a bit more work:
To tighten your core while you define your shoulders and give your butt a shapely boost, start with the moves below, designed by Lyzabeth Lopez, a Toronto-based fitness trainer with more than 20 certifications and the creator of the Hourglass Workout.
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Do up to three sets of 10 to 12 reps of each move before you move on to the next one, and repeat the entire routine at least two to three times per week to see changes. For this workout, you’ll need two dumbbells that weigh at least eight pounds apiece, as well as a Swiss ball. (Doing this workout at home? Try these household items that work just as well as dumbbells.) After you master your form, though, work your way up to 10- to 20-pound dumbbells to see results more quickly.
1. Stability Ball Shoulder Bridge: Lie on a mat on your back with your feet on top of a Swiss ball and your arms outstretched on the floor near your sides with your palms facing down. Press your palms into the floor and engage your core to lift your hips straight up off the ground. Without dropping your butt, use the muscles in your hamstrings and quads to slowly roll the ball in toward your butt until the soles of your feet are on top of the ball. With control, extend your legs to roll the ball back out to starting position. That’s one rep. Continue without dropping your hips.
Where you’ll feel it: Your core, hamstrings, quads, and butt.
2. Stability Ball Plank Tap-Downs: Get into a plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and the tops of your feet on top of a Swiss ball. Engage your core as you lift your right leg up off the ball and slowly touch your right toes to the floor on the right side of the ball. Place the top of the right foot back on the ball, and touch your left toes to the ground on the left side of the ball. Bring the top of your left foot back to the top of the ball to complete one rep.
Where you’ll feel it: Your abs, obliques, chest, and shoulders.
3. Back Leg Elevated Dead-Lift: Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with a chair a few feet behind you. Reach your right toes behind you and place them on the seat of the chair. From this position, bend from the waist and slowly slower the weights straight down until they’re at about shins-height. Next, engage your butt and hamstrings to bring the weights back up and bring your shoulders back up over your hips.
4. Alternating Curtsy Lunge With Bicep Curls: Grab a set of dumbbells and hold them along your sides with your palms facing your body. Start with both feet together and your toes facing forward. From this position, lift your right foot and take a large step diagonally behind you. Keeping your front knee behind your right toes, and your shoulders stacked over your hips, curl both weights up toward your shoulders as you simultaneously bend each knee to a 90-degree angle. Press into your front heel to come back up to stand with both feet together and facing forward and you release both weights along your sides. Complete a second bicep curl as you repeat the lunge on the opposite side, this time stepping backward with your right leg. Return to starting position to complete one rep.
Where you’ll feel it: Your hamstrings, quads, shoulders, and biceps.
5. Back Leg Elevated Lunge: Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with a chair a few feet behind you. Reach your right toes behind you and place them on the seat of the chair. Keeping your shoulders over your hips and your front knee behind your right toes, bend your front knee to bring your body down toward the ground until your front thigh is about parallel to the ground. From this position, press up through your front heel to come back to straighten your right leg. That’s one rep. Complete all your reps on the right leg, then switch standing legs and repeat the same number of reps.
6. Renegade Row: Grab a set of dumbbells and get into push-up position with one weight in each hand, your shoulders stacked over your wrists, and your body in a straight line between the top of your head and your heels. The dumbbells should be parallel to each other on the floor. Keeping your elbows close to your sides, bend your elbows to lower your entire body toward the floor without touching. (You can drop to your knees if you need to.) Engage your core as you press back up to starting position. Keeping your left elbow locked, lift the right-hand weight off the floor and engage your core and shoulders as you bend your right elbow and drive it straight up toward the ceiling. With control, release the weight back to starting position on the floor. Repeat with the left-hand weight to complete one rep. Focus on keeping your hips square to the ground the entire time.
Where you’ll feel it: Your shoulders, arms, core, and chest.
7. Stability Ball Weighted Pull-Over: Grab two dumbbells and lie face-up on a stability ball with the ball underneath your shoulders, neck, and head. Bend your knees to form a 90-degree angle, and place both feet on the ground about hips-width apart. Keeping your hips in line with your shoulders and knees and square to the ground, place one weight across your pelvic bone, and use both hands to grab one end of the other dumbbell. Bring the dumbbell in your hands straight up over your chest. With soft elbows, bring the dumbbell up over your head and lower it to the floor as far as you can without touching. Next, engage your shoulders, chest, and triceps to bring the weight back up over your chest. That’s one rep.
8. Windshield Wiper Abs: Sit on a mat with your legs outstretched and your forearms on the mat behind you with your fingertips facing your butt. Your shoulders should be stacked directly over your elbows. From this position, engage your core as you point your toes and lift both legs straight up into the air. Without letting your hip bones come up off the mat, bring both feet directly out to the right. Then bring them up back to center, and to the left. Bring both legs back to center to complete one rep.