The torso, also referred to as the trunk, consists of the abdominal muscles, back muscles and pectoral muscles. It is the midsection of the body, which is often a problem area for many people. Men and post-menopausal women are prone to gain fat in the abdomen. To slim down the torso, you have to slim down all over the body because you cannot spot reduce one area of the body. A healthy diet and targeted exercises can help tone and slim your midsection.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Take on healthy eating habits because healthy foods are lower in calories and fat. Focus mainly on plant-based foods, including whole-grains and a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Eat meats that come from lean sources, such as chicken, fish and turkey. Cut back on sugar, simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and white rice, and saturated fats, such as butter. Avoid solid fat from full-fat dairy products and consume nonfat or low-fat dairy products instead.
Watch your portion size because eating too much can sabotage your diet. Eat half of restaurant meals because most portion sizes in restaurants are oversized. Keep in mind that a single serving of vegetables or fruit should equal the size of your fist; a single serving of meat should be the size of your palm and a potato should be the size of a computer mouse.
Take a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Water keeps your digestive system healthy, and it fills you up so you are less likely to reach for snacks and overeat.
Start exercising. Raise your heart rate by swimming, speed walking or biking. Aim to complete 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on five days of the week. Work out at a moderate intensity where you can hold a conversation while exercising. Once this is comfortable, increase your intensity so you cannot converse while exercising. Go jogging, running or ride a bike on hills. Exercise at this intensity for approximately 20 minutes on four days of the week.
Perform resistant-training exercises on two days of the week. Visit a gym if you desire to exercise with weightlifting machines or free weights, or if you want assistance from a physical fitness trainer. Use your body weight, resistance bands, workout DVDs or dumbbells when exercising at home. Avoid focusing solely on your torso; target all body parts. Muscle tissue burns fat because it demands more energy from your body to sustain itself.
Target your core muscles with the plank exercise. Start in a push-up position with your arms shoulder-width apart, underneath your shoulders, and your legs stretched out behind you. Contract your abdomen and stiffen your entire body to form a diagonal line. Avoid dropping your midsection toward the floor or raising your buttocks in the air. Hold the plank for one minute before releasing the tension. Repeat the plank three times. Perform the exercise on your knees and elbows as an easier alternative.
Perform the side-plank exercise to work the sides of your waistline. Come down in a push-up position similar to the plank exercise. Turn your body to the right so you balance on your left hand and on the side of your left foot. Form a diagonal line with your body. Raise your right hand up toward the ceiling. Hold this position up to one minute before switching sides. Perform the side-plank three times on each side. Start the exercise on your knees and elbows until you are strong enough to do the full side-plank.
Perform the bridge exercise to strengthen your back muscles because having a slim, toned torso requires a strong back for balance and stability. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms next to your body on the floor. Push your hips up toward the ceiling as high as you can while resting your body weight on your shoulder blades and feet. Your body should form a diagonal line from your knees to your neck. Hold the bridge for 20 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat the exercise three times.
Tips and warnings
- Consult your doctor before committing to a diet or exercise routine.
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- MayoClinic; Weight Loss; 6 Strategies for Success
- WebMD; Healthy Eating and Diet; Portion Control and Weight Loss
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- Centers For Disease Control And Prevention; Physical Activity for Everyone; How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?; March 2011
- Body Results; Plank Variations; C.W. Schurman; May 2011
- Healthline; Action Plan for Arthritis; Bridge for Back Stabilization; A. Lynn Millar