Working Towards a Smaller Waist

Photo posted by Vicky Justiz on YouTube

While everyone’s idea of the “perfect body” varies tremendously, one thing that many people strive for is a smaller waist. No body is made the same and no one needs a small waist to look and feel great. However, we thought we would share some research and exercises to help tighten up your waist if that is one of your fitness goals.

To tighten up the muscles around your waist, there is one muscle in particular that you should be training. According to healthline.com, the transverse abdominis is the deepest of all the abdominal muscles and it spans all the way from the lower ribs down to the pelvis. Many fitness influencers refer to this muscle as your body’s natural corset.

Photo from orthocarolina.com

Not only is the transverse abdominis important in giving the appearance of a smaller waist but building strong muscles in this area of your core is important for being able to perform everyday tasks. Stabilizing the core helps with proper spinal structure, protection of vital organs and provides lower risk for injury.

So how do you train the transverse abdominis? It’s not the same as targeting the other parts of your core like the “six-pack abs” we all focus so much on. The important thing to think about when training the transverse abdominis is engaging your pelvic floor muscles.

The best exercise to accomplish this is the “stomach vacuum.” Essentially, you are exhaling while drawing in your abdominals. By letting out all of the air in your lungs and contracting your abdominal muscles, you are directly targeting your transverse abdominis, helping to tighten up your waist.

It may sound complicated, but fitness influencer Vicky Justiz does a great job of explaining how to perform a stomach vacuum in her many YouTube videos. She claims that doing this exercise every time she is targeting her abs has helped her see such a difference in her physique.

Video posted by Vicky Justiz on YouTube

All you need is a few minutes of your day to set aside for the stomach vacuum. It is one of the most effective and easy ways to train your transverse abdominis. The best part is, you can do it wherever you want — while lying on the couch, while standing in the shower or even while reading VALLEY’s latest print magazine (subtle VALLEY 29 plug).

The most important thing to remember is that you do not need a small waist to achieve the “ideal” body — the “ideal” body really doesn’t even exist. However, if you have been working to achieve a tighter core and slimmer figure, we hope that learning about the transverse abdominis and how you can train it can help you achieve those goals.

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