I’m going to assume your abs routine is on point. At the very least, you should be training your abs three times a week. I generally aim for 5 to 10 minutes per abs routine. This varies from person to person so don’t get married to that advice quite yet.
There are some tricks-of-the-trade for staying lean like balancing salt and water, eating smaller portions to not stretch out your gut, adding more cardio to your weekly regimen, and simply eating less pasta, breads, or sweets.
The following stomach exercises were used by old school bodybuilders to achieve the mythical midsection: the V-taper. The goal is to keep your upper body muscle nice and thick while maintaining a slender waist.
The old school bodybuilders were notorious for having slender waists. The tapered midsection gave the V-shaped appearance not even a modern day physique competitor can replicate; an aesthetic that is all but lost these days. I am a staunch disciple of the old school and I am here to share with you these two stomach exercises that will keep your waist trim while you beef up the rest of your body:
Stomach Exercises For Thinner Waist
Stomach Exercise #1: The ‘Stomach Vacuum’
The stomach vacuum is a technique used to pull in the gut and bring the abdominal muscles as close as possible to the abdominal cavity. The stomach vacuum exercises your diaphragm and your abdominals, giving you the utmost control of your midsection. Chances are you’ve done this before as a kid unaware of its amazing effects.
The Workout: Begin on all fours, like you are crawling. Try the vacuum in this position first. As you get better, move to a kneeling position. When you feel ready, do it standing!
First let out all the air from you lungs. Then suck in your stomach as tight as you can. Imagine your belly button touching your vertebrae. There should be a concave appearance to your stomach as shown in the picture. Try to hold this for as long as possible. Aim for 30 seconds when you begin, then progressively hold longer. You will notice that you run out of breath. That is okay! As you get better, you’ll be able to control your breathing while holding a vacuum.
VIDEO: How To Stomach Vacuum
Stomach Exercise #2: Torso Twists
The torso twist keeps your obliques tight. You do not want thick obliques. When I see guys heavy training their obliques I want to scream! You don’t need to go crazy on your obliques, that will MAKE YOUR WAIST THICKER! Instead, for this stomach exercise, take a straight, light bar, like from a broom or mop, and place it across your shoulders as shown above. Try actively twisting with the lowest part of your waist, just above your hips.
The Workout: In between your abs routine or at the very beginning of a normal workout, do 2 to 3 sets of 100. Stand up straight! Stretch the torso tall. Do not slouch.
Matthew is a personal trainer and nutritionist from Pasadena, California. For more great tips and training ideas for arm exercises, check him out at Pasadena Muscle Company.