How to Get an Hourglass Figure
The best road to an hourglass figure is exercise! There are specific strength training moves you can do that will help you define your shoulders, tighten up your core, and boost the look of your backside to create that coveted hourglass shape. In the short-term, you can customize your wardrobe to highlight your curves. For example, garments with a cinched waist can emphasize your shape, along with high-waisted jeans. For long-term changes, eat right and get moving with some of these body-sculpting exercises that you can easily do at home!
Defining Your Shoulders
Use 5 pounds (2.3 kg) weights to sculpt shoulders with arm raises.Lateral arm raises can define your shoulders and give your upper body a toned look that helps create the hourglass silhouette. Grab a 5 pounds (2.3 kg) dumbbell in each hand and hold your arms at your sides. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise your arms to form a “T” shape, then slowly lower them back down to your sides.
- To build muscle, do 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
- To simply tone the muscles, complete 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.
- Keep your cored tightened during the reps.
Enhance your shoulders and chest with alternating dumbbell presses.Grab two 5 pounds (2.3 kg) dumbbells and lay on your back on a weight bench. Bend your knees and put the soles of your feet flat on the ground, one on each side of the bench. Raise both arms up to shoulder level, so that your elbows are bent and the weights are near your ears. Extend 1 arm to press the dumbbell straight up toward the ceiling. As you lower that arm back down, simultaneously lift the opposite arm straight up.
- Doing 1 arm press with each arm equals 1 rep. To build muscle, do 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps.
- To tone your shoulder and chest muscles, do 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Work your rear deltoids with a seated dumbbell raise.Sit down near the edge of a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Bend from your hips, keeping your spine straight and neutral, until your chest is almost resting on your knees. Hold 5 pounds (2.3 kg) weights in each hand with your palms facing each other, just in front of your shins. Keeping your arms straight, slowly raise the dumbbells to the sides, opening your arms and keeping your back straight. Slowly lower to the starting position.
- If you want to build up your deltoids, do 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps. For a more toned result, complete 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Tightening Your Core
Do upper ab pulse crunches to work your core muscles.Lie flat on your back, keeping your knees bent. Place your feet flat on the ground hip width apart. Relax your arms at your sides. Lift your chest and shoulders off the ground into a regular crunch position. Reach your arms between your knees and pulse. Lower yourself back to starting position. Reach forward and lift yourself higher with each pulse.
- Do 3 sets of 10-20 reps, mixed in with other ab exercises.
- If you’re only doing this one exercise, try 3 sets of 20 pulses.
Engage and tone your core with “windshield wipers.” Sit on a mat and stretch your legs straight out in front of you. Lean your upper body back and place your forearms flat on the ground for stability. Turn your fingertips to face your butt. Engage your core as you lift both legs straight up into the air, keeping toes pointed at the ceiling. Keep your hip bones on the mat and slowly move both legs about 12 inches (30 cm) to the left. Return them to the center, then move them 12 inches (30 cm) to the right. Return to center for 1 rep.
- Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Trim your waistline with a side plank and hip dips.Lie on one side, propping yourself up on an elbow. Lift your body into a side plank, reaching your top arm towards the ceiling while stacking your feet on top of each other and keeping your hips and core aligned. Slowly lower your hips until the bottom hip almost touches the ground, then lift up back up for 1 rep.
- Do 10-12 reps on each side.
Boosting Your Backside
Get on all fours to do donkey kicks to work your glutes.Get on all fours, making sure your back is straight in the tabletop position. Lift your left knee off the ground, then slowly extend the leg behind you so it’s suspended in mid-air. Hold the leg in place for 1 second. Slowly bring it back to starting position.
- Repeat 15 to 20 times, then switch legs.
- Perform 3 sets without weights. Progress to using ankle weights or a resistance band. If you use a resistance band, loop one end around your foot and hold the other end in your hand.
Work your glutes with bridges.Lie flat on your back on a mat. Bend your knees and put the soles of your feet flat on the ground about hip width apart. Keep your arms at your sides, palms down. Raise your hips off the floor and try to create a straight line from your ribs to your knees. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Use your core to slowly lower your hips to starting position.
- Do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.
Do prone hip extensions to work your glutes and hamstrings.Lie facedown on a bench or padded stool. Your tummy should be flat on the bench, with your legs hanging off the edge of the bench. Steady yourself with your feet. Then, engage your core and use your glutes and hamstrings to lift up both legs simultaneously to hip height. Hold the position for 5 seconds. Lower your legs back down slowly to starting position.
- Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions. Add ankle weights if this becomes easy.
- If it is too difficult at first, do just one leg lift at a time.
Work your glutes and thighs with lateral lunges.Grab a 5 pounds (2.3 kg) dumbbell in each hand, and hold your arms at your sides. Lift your left knee so your foot is barely off the ground, then extend your left leg into a left lunge position. Lift both arms in front of you in an upright row as you hold the lunge position. Bring the left leg back into standing position. Repeat with the right leg. Return to standing position. This is 1 rep.
- If you’re just starting out, you can skip the dumbbells. Add them in as you get stronger to work your shoulders at the same time.
- Do 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions for each leg.
Use a stability ball to work your hamstrings.Lie flat on your back on a mat and stretch your arms out beside you, palms down. Prop your feet up on a stability ball. Use your hamstrings and glutes to push your hips off the ground and toward the ceiling. Use your hamstrings to slowly roll the ball toward your butt until the soles of your feet are on top of the ball. Slowly extend out until you’re back to starting position.
- This equals 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Creating Curves with Clothes
Wear clothes that accentuate your waist.Even if you don't have the traditional hourglass measurements, you can create the illusion of curves by wearing the right clothes and accentuating your waist whenever possible. For example, dresses that nip in at the waist and flare out from the hips create natural looking curves.
- Wear fitted trench coats or jackets with adjustable waist belts.
- Add belts of all shapes and sizes to any outfit to draw attention to your waist.
- Go for jackets or tops with padded shoulders to create a curvier silhouette.
- Vertical stripes cinched at the waist with a belt can also create the look of a curvier figure.
Opt for high-waisted slim cut jeans and avoid low-rise skinny jeans.High-waisted jeans are shaped to frame the hips and cinch at the waist, which emphasizes your shape. Go for boot cut or flared styles rather than skinny jeans, as these will balance out the effect of the high-waist.
- Avoid low-rise pants or jeans, since they sit low on the hips and de-emphasize curves.
Wear push-up and padded bras made of quality materials.Hourglass figures are renowned for their fuller busts! Underwire bras can help lift the breasts, and a well-made padded bra can give the appearance of a larger bust size without looking fake. Look for bras made of high quality materials to get the best fit and most natural look.
- If possible, go to a lingerie store where you can be measured and fitted for the right size bra. Tell the store clerk what you’re looking for to enhance your look, and they can help you pick out something effective.
Wear a corset to cinch in your waist and create a more dramatic look.A corset is a special garment that is placed around the waist and cinched up the back to squeeze your waist in and create a curvier look. It can also improve your posture, which contributes to a shapely appearance. You can wear a corset under your clothes, or just for fun in the bedroom.
- Corset training may help you train your body to look a certain way, but this is a pretty dramatic approach to attaining an hourglass silhouette. It’s also not a good substitute for diet and exercise!
- To give corset training a try, wear a corset for 3 to 6 hours every day. You can wear the corset during most of your daily activities, though wearing it during exercise is not recommended.
QuestionHow do I get rid of love handles?
Personal TrainerPersonal TrainerExpert AnswerLove handles are excess fat around the middle. Consume a reduced calorie diet. Start by keeping a food diary to know where those love-handle calories are coming from.Thanks!
QuestionWhy can't I get any significant changes in my body if I work out regularly and don't eat junk food?
Personal TrainerPersonal TrainerExpert AnswerStart a food diary and list every single calorie you consume. Chances are, you are consuming too many calories. You may also not be using enough resistance with your workouts to build muscle. Consider a few sessions with a Personal Trainer who can help you identify how to get the most change from your workout.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do or use to look smaller for my special event?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could choose something to wear that flatters your body and makes you look slim. Also, there are slimming undergarments available, depending on what part of yur body you are trying to deaccentuatute.Thanks!
QuestionI'm only 12, so if I use a belt corset without my parents knowing is it dangerous at such young age?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes it can be. There is no need to worry about having an hourglass figure at your age. Just be healthy and stay active. You'll naturally get there in a few years.Thanks!
QuestionI'm almost 14 and I think that I have almost stopped growing. Would it be dangerous to use a belt as a waist trainer?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWaist training at a young age can be very dangerous. Even if you have finished your growth spurt at age 14, your bones are still shaping up. It can cause bones to grow in the wrong position, and many other problems. If you want to get a slimmer waist find more harmless ways of doing it until you are older.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if working out and eating carbs is not an option to cut out?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThen you can embrace your body and be yourself. You don't need to have an hourglass shape to be beautiful.Thanks!
QuestionIs it okay to play Just Dance before bed?Top AnswererIt's not advised to exercise right before bed because you may experience trouble falling asleep. Play an hour before bed instead.Thanks!
QuestionHow big should my small meals be?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe size should be a small-bowl amount that can keep you going for the day.Thanks!
QuestionMy stomach pops out a lot, how can I flatten it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can wear high-waisted jeans to cover up some of your stomach, or you can wear a corset.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I make my own corset without my parents knowing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can use a belt around your waist instead of a corset.Thanks!
Can I get an hourglass figure if I am very short?
What should I eat and what exercises should I do to decrease my waist without decreasing my hips or butt?
How do I thin my bottom, thighs, and calves?
To get an hourglass figure fast, create curves by choosing clothing that accentuates the waist to create an hourglass shape. Dresses or blouses that cinch at the midsection, fitted jackets with padded shoulders, and belts of any size will all pinch the waist in, creating the illusion of curves on the top and bottom. Swap the skinny jeans for a high-waisted slim fit for flattering hips, and look to well-made padded push-up bras for a fuller bust that won’t look fake.
- Light colored tops and bottoms usually stand out more than darker colors.
- Darker colored clothing is usually seen as more slimming.
Sources and Citations
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