Forget Waist Trainers, Try the Hourglass Workout


I’ve been reading a lot lately about body trends. As if it’s not tough enough keeping our shoes and handbags on trend … now our bodies, too? Sigh.

But it’s nothing new, it’s been happening for centuries. Think of the super curvy Rubenesque ideal of the Baroque period, the tightly corseted shape of the Victorian era, and the ever-changing “hot bod” of the last several decades: from healthy, athletic, girl-next-door Cheryl Tiegs to rail-thin, “heroine chic” Kate Moss.

Right now, the body trend seems to be DD breasts, tiny waists, 6-pack abs, and big butts. Think Jessica Rabbit. Easy to draw in a cartoon, very very rare in a natural flesh-and-blood human female. That’s where surgery comes in – breast implants, sculpting liposuction, butt augmentation. But surgery isn’t for everyone.

So when Kim Kardashian and other celebrities cinched themselves into “waist trainers” and posted pics to Instagram, a new trend was born – another way (we’re told) to achieve today’s hot hourglass shape.

You don’t need me to tell you that waist trainers are corsets by another name. They’re not healthy and they do not “train” your body to take another shape. Waist trainers constrict the diaphragm, constrain the organs, and can injure the ribcage. Just google “waist trainer” and “danger” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

It’s all quite disturbing. However, the fact that a curvy shape is being idealized is awesome. This latest body trend is an opportunity to celebrate our natural feminine bodies. Forget waist trainers. It’s all about healthy diet and exercise. But let’s not exercise to the point of stripping away our curves … let’s embrace our womanliness!

Done in combination with light cardio (a gentle run, some time on the elliptical), the hourglass workout targets the side body, toning and lifting your obliques with planks and twists while leaving your gorgeous curves intact.

There are many versions of the hourglass workout available. A few places to get you started:

>> Celebrity trainer Lizabeth Lopez has been called the “Kim Kardashian of fitness” and has her own branded Hourglass Workout. She’s kind of adorable in this Cosmo spread, demonstrating a few of her signature moves.

>> There’s a helpful spread in Shape featuring some key plank moves (look past the fact that the women demonstrating are all 6-packs and few curves!).

>> Yoga Journal is a good place to go when you’re trying new yoga twist variations.


If you’re interested in creating your own hourglass workout, here are some things to look for (or ask your trainer for):
Variations on Plank Pose

Side plank, plank with twist, plank with leg raise
Variations Using a Stability Ball

Plank lifts, shoulder bridge, plank tap downs, weighted pull over
Variations of Yoga Twists

Seated twists, revolved side angle, revolved triangle


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