When you hear the words hourglass figure, you might envision stars of the 1950s such as Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, and Elizabeth Taylor. Certainly, the coveted body shape was popularized by the icons of yesteryear and remains as stylish today. Current celebrities with the iconic figure include Beyonce, Scarlett Johansen, Jennifer Lopez, and Dita von Teese. Let’s look at what the hourglass figure is and how to get an hourglass figure yourself.
Hourglass Figure: What is it?
The traditional definition of an hourglass figure is that the bust and hip measurements are the same, and the waist is much smaller, often described as 10 inches less. For example, measurements of 36-26-36 would be an ideal ratio for an hourglass figure. However, most women don’t have that level of difference between their waist and hips.
It’s important to note that photographs of celebrities showing a perfect hourglass shape like this are often taken with the woman wearing a corset under her clothing to cinch in her waist or are edited. Very few women have this measurement naturally and will have more variation in their measurements. A curvy figure with a toned waist is still considered an hourglass shape, even if the waist is not a full 10 inches less than the bust and hips.
How to Get an Hourglass Figure
You can’t spot-reduce body fat from your waist or anywhere else. If you need to lose belly fat, you’ll need to reduce your overall body fat percentage with a balanced diet and cardio. Then, you can do workouts that increase the size of your butt and thighs to give you a curvier shape, such as squats and glute bridges, and some exercises to sculpt your upper body, such as shoulder press and lat pull downs. Most importantly, you’ll need to work on toning your waist.
Waist Exercises for Hourglass
The best waist exercises for hourglass figures include ones that tone the entire core, rather than just the abs. Toning the entire core provides a cinching effect, and it is also stabilizing for the spine. Yoga postures are the best exercises for targeting deep core muscles. These are our top three to practice every day:
Practicing a plank workout routine including high plank (on your hands), low plank, (on your elbows), and side planks (one elbow and one leg) can activate those deeper core muscles.
2: Boat Pose
Boat pose (Navasana) is excellent for strengthening all the core muscles. Balance on your sitting bones with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Place your hands behind your thighs and practice lifting one foot off the floor at a time. When you feel you can balance, lift both feet so that your lower legs are parallel with the floor. Ensure you are pulling in your abdominals and straightening your spine. To add difficulty, release your hands and stretch your arms forward. When you can do that comfortably, you can try the full version by straightening your legs. It’s a challenging pose and takes practice, but it is an excellent core workout.
3: Bow Pose
Bow pose (Dhanurasana) works on the back of the core muscles. If you don’t tone the back core, the front core, i.e., the abs, will stop developing because the body strives for balance. Lay on your front and bend your knees so that your feet move toward your glutes. Grab hold of your feet and kick your legs upward, extending your feet toward the ceiling. This action will pull your upper body off the mat. As you progress, you’ll be able to get more of your body off the mat.
Remember, the perfect hourglass figure is extremely difficult to achieve if you aren’t made that way naturally, so be sure to manage your expectations, and love yourself for who you are.