Exercises to reduce your waistline

According to the Weight-control Information Network, a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in America, a growing waistline poses a weighty risk to your health. The NIDDK cautions, "Women with a waist measurement of more than 89 cm (35 inches), or men with a waist measurement of more than 102 cm (40 inches), may have a higher disease risk than people with smaller waist measurements because of where their fat lies." Exercising your abdominal region not only helps reduce your waistline but can also help reduce your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.

Seated waist twist

The waist twist is an easy, low-impact exercise for beginners that simply requires a sturdy, wooden chair. Sit slightly forward so that your back does not touch the rear of your chair. Press your palms together, arms bent, at chest level. Your elbows should extend out to the sides. With your feet planted firmly on the floor, your back erect and tummy contracted, twist to the right. Inhale as you return to the starting position, and then repeat on the left side. As with any exercise, exhale while contracting your muscles and inhale during the release. Do 10 repetitions. When executed three times a week, you should expect to see results in six to eight weeks.

Bicycle oblique

To help take inches off your waist, recommends performing a bicycle oblique exercise each morning. Strengthening your obliques, located along the sides of your abdomen, will help shrink love handles and trim your waist. In fact, Jorge Cruise, author of "8 Minutes in the Morning to a Flat Belly" credits strong obliques as the key to a thinner waistline.

Begin by lying flat on your back with your hands behind your head. Bring your knees up to a tabletop-like position. Lift your head, neck and shoulder blades off the floor. Bring your right knee in toward your chest as you extend your left leg straight out. Switch leg positions in a bicycle-pedalling type of movement. Do 30 repetitions. When performed on a daily basis, results should be expected in four to six weeks.

Fitness ball leg roll

The fitness ball leg roll is another, yet more advanced, exercise that works on the obliques. Lie on your back with your arms out to the sides like an airplane, palms against the floor. Hold a fitness ball between your ankles with your legs extended straight up to the ceiling. While keeping both shoulder blades against the floor, exhale as you slowly twist your legs over to the right. Inhale as you return to the starting position. Exhale as you lower your legs to the left. Repeat the exercise 10 times. When executed daily, you should see results in less than four weeks.

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About the Author

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey's "Cape May County Herald" for more than a decade and currently covers the family and pet beat for CBS Philadelphia. Her health, fitness, beauty and travel articles have appeared in various online publications. DeFeo studied visual communications at SUNY Farmingdale.