The hourglass figure—odds are, you’re well-acquainted with it. You can’t go out without seeing it plastered on billboards, you can’t stay in without seeing it in magazines or on the TV.
Of course, the celebrities we associate with this body type have a few important advantages over the rest of us; namely, access to top-tier personal trainers, cosmetic procedures, and outright photo editing to help them achieve the appearance of a perfect figure.
That said, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to achieve strong curves naturally. For a more flattering figure done right, check out these tips to help get that hourglass form you always wanted.
1. Toning the Lower Body
Once you start to work out in earnest, you’ll eventually start to notice the loss of a few inches in the hips and thighs. And if your goal is that pronounced cinched waist, this the last thing that you want.
To compensate for the loss of fat, you want to build and tone these areas.
Squats are the best all-around lower body exercise. They work your thighs, glutes, hips, and even the core, so you’ll definitely get the most bang for your buck from them.
After squats, lunges are a close second. They target the thighs and glutes specifically while relying on the hips and core for stability. So they’re another great all-arounder.
Lastly, hip side lifts, also called fire hydrants, are another great exercise. They target the hips and glutes most of all while using the core for stability.
2. Working the Core
The core is probably the area you most think about in terms of building an hourglass figure.
The main objective here is fat loss. And since it’s not feasible to try and localize fat loss to a specific area, that means cutting down your BMI overall.
One good, low-stress option is yoga. According to one study, women who started practicing yoga saw a loss of 1.5 inches around the waist in 12 weeks. And that was without subscribing to any special diets.
Planks are another excellent choice, as they activate the muscles of the inner core, which is thought to help improve the waistline more than situps and crunches.
3. Toning the Shoulders and Bust
Lastly, you want to top off your hourglass by refining your chest and shoulders.
Since the goal is to tone without necessarily bulking up, simple at-home exercises should do the trick.
Old-fashioned pushups are a great choice. And if your upper body strength is a little lacking, you can start out with wall presses and work your way up to pushups.
4. Fueling Your Workout
A solid strong curves workout is only one side of the equation. This strategy relies not only on slimming the waist, but also on building key muscle groups to help create a flattering visual contrast.
And if we’re talking about building muscle, a traditional carb-and-calorie-cutting diet won’t do the trick.
In general, you want to cultivate a diet rich in nutritious whole foods served in moderate portion sizes. Avoid processed foods and sugars, as they’re usually full of additives and empty calories. Instead, opt for lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil.
Aside from your core foodstuffs, supplements can help you to set yourself up for success. Certain vitamins, fat burners, and of course proteins can all help you to achieve the figure you want, making it worth investigating the best supplements for working out.
Build Strong Curves Before You Know It
Did you ever hear the saying “a watched pot never boils”? It’s a good mantra to keep in mind, particularly during your first few weeks.
While strong curves are an attainable goal, they won’t happen overnight. So cultivating patience will be as vital as any exercise. But if you keep making the right decisions consistently, you’ll start to see your strong curve results before you know it.
Once you reach your goal, it’s a matter of maintaining the work that you’ve done.
To help set yourself up for continued success, be sure to keep up with all of our latest health and fitness guides and tips.