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How to build an hourglass figure

 Irrespective of your body type, it is possible to tighten your waist and shape up your hips (Courtesy)

Unlike a few decades back when being skinny was every lady’s dream, nowadays curvy women are appreciated. Talk of those bodies where the bust and hips are almost the same and accompanied by a tiny waist - the perfect hourglass figure.

There is always something about those girls with tiny waists and are curvaceous and eve without admitting, at some point you have found yourself admiring them. Is the hourglass genetic or is it something that girls of all shapes can also attain? Good news is, despite being built differently and having varied frames and bone structures, and irrespective of your body type, it is possible to tighten your waist and shape up your hips.

However, remember that just because you don’t have the hourglass frame doesn’t mean that your body isn’t beautiful. It is important to embrace who you are and your body before getting down on improving on it.

Exercising for the perfect hourglass figure

To get that perfect hourglass figure, you need to flatten your waist while toning your hips and thighs.

Working your waist

While it is hard to spot-reduce fat in given areas of your body, there are some exercises and workouts that have been proven to be successful at targeting fat around your waist.

 Yoga poses like the Bow Pose can tighten and tone your deep core muscles 
  • Yoga

Yoga is one of the best options if you are considering whittling down your waist. According to a study of 60 women, 12 weeks of yoga practice resulted in an average loss of 1.5 inches around the waist without even going on a low-calorie diet.

Yoga poses such as Bow Pose, Reverse Warrior and Boat Pose can tighten and tone your deep core muscles.

 Planks can help trim your waistline 
  • Planks

Planks and other stability exercises have the ability to activate ones inner core according to a 2017 study. In turn, this helps trim your waistline and improve your athletic posture.

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training, also called high-intensity intermittent exercise is a form of interval cardiovascular exercise involving alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods until too exhausted to continue. HIIT can be effective in blasting belly fat and burning calories.

Since this cardio exercise requires one to do short bursts of intense exercise followed by a short rest period, for instance, you can consider doing a 1 minute of sprint followed by 30 seconds of walking repeated for 15 to 30 minutes.

Toning your hips

As you work on shrinking your midsection, the thought of also losing some inches from your hips and thighs can be worrying. Even as you continue losing weight, there are some exercises that can help you shape and tone the muscles in and around your hips:

 Squats tone hip muscles
  • Squats

Squats are great for building a stronger lower body. They can help tone the hip muscles as well as shaping the glutes and thighs.

 The fire hydrant exercise works on the hips and glutes 
  • Fire hydrants

Fire hydrant, also known as dirty dog exercise or hip side lifts, targets the hip area and glutes.

You can trying doing a couple sets of 10 repetitions on each side and then add more repetitions as they get easier to help you tone your thighs.

 Lunges help build muscles in the thighs and buttocks
  • Lunges

Lunges can also help build lean muscle mass in the thighs and buttocks. They work ones core and abdominals while giving the buttocks a lift.

You can consider doing 10 to 12 lunges on each leg at a time, adding more lunges as you build your fitness.

Diet and the hourglass figure

There isn’t any known magic diet that can change body shape. However, a healthy diet can help give you the vitamins, minerals and nourishment the body needs while you work on trimming some inches. Here are some tips to consider:

Get more protein: Protein is vital to weight loss and muscle gain. Proteins aid in weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer thus helping you to eat less. Protein also helps repair and strengthen muscles so you can build a curvier figure.

Try to avoid highly processed foods: These foods are often loaded with salt, added sugars and preservatives. Processed foods are calorie dense and offer little nutritional value. Instead, you can focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. These healthy choices are packed with vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to lose weight and firm-up.

Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is a priority especially since you will be taking part in a fitness routine. Staying hydrated keeps you from retaining water thus reducing chances of fluffiness in your abdomen. Also, as you lose weight, your body needs more water to flush out extra toxins.

Eat more healthy fats like those found in avocados and nuts: These fats may help balance your hormones while providing you with the fuel you need as you workout.

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