The 4 Best Toning Exercises If You Have an Hourglass Shape
As part of our body shape workout series, we're revealing the best fitness plans that will tone and slim your particular figure. Next up, hourglasses!
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Features: Curvy on the bottom and top, with a small waist
Trouble spots: Your upper and lower body are pretty symmetric, but you'll want to focus on the back.
Your plan: "With a bigger chest, you should spend twice as much time on your back muscles and posture to be able to stay aligned and strong," says Jessi Kneeland, personal trainer, coach, and founder of Remodel Fitness.
Try: Combine a two-to-one ratio of back to chest exercises for your upper body. For every one set of "pressing" exercise you do, add two sets of a "pulling" exercise. "Pressing moves will work your chest and shoulders and include push-ups, dumbbell overhead presses, and bench press. To work your back with pulling moves, try chin ups, seated pull downs, and rows," she explains.
Do three sets of 10 reps for each move below.
SINGLE LEG PUSHUP
Start in the standard pushup position: Begin on all fours, and place your hands on the floor slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders. Reach feet out to the back, so that they are slightly wider than hip-width apart, knees lifted off the ground. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Raise one foot off the floor. Lower your body toward the floor and then press back up, keeping your leg off the floor the entire time. "Squeeze the butt cheek and quad of the lifted leg so that it's locked very straight. You'll still be working it hard, even if it's just a few inches off the ground," she notes.
DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them just outside your shoulders with your palms facing each other. Press the weight over-head until your arms are completely straight. Pause, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
ALTERNATING DUMBBELL ROW
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend at your hips and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length from your shoulders. Then, pull the dumbbell in your right hand to the side of your torso by raising your upper arm with a bent elbow and squeezing your shoulder blade toward your spine. As you lower that dumbbell, row the dumbbell in your left hand to the side your torso. That’s one repetition.
Grab the chin-up bar with a shoulder-width, underhand grip and hang at arm's length. This is the a dead hang, the start position for the chin-ups. Pull your body up to the bar, pausing once the top of your chest touches the bar, then slowly lowering your body back to a dead hang. That's one rep. "Be sure to keep the shoulders back; don't round them forward as you pull. If you can't do reps with perfect form, try using looping a band around the bar and sliding one or both knees in the loop until you can," she says.