Building a strong, chiseled waist is a common fitness goal among men—and for good reason. Beyond aesthetics at the beach and in the weight room, sculpting a more muscular core is beneficial to your overall health, daily movement, and the physical activities you love most. That’s why you’re doing yourself a massive favor by incorporating regular strength training into your routine. Sure, you can lift weights, but gaining strength by working with just your body weight is another incredibly productive (yet underrated) way to accomplish your goals. We spoke with April Gatlin, ACE, master coach for STRIDE Fitness, who shares five no-equipment strength exercises for a chiseled waist. So put down the dumbbells, and get ready to chisel out your waistline.
In general, strength training is an efficient method to build a more defined, muscular midsection, because, as with any exercise where you’re adding resistance to your body or working with weights, you’re activating your core. “The core is tightening and contracting in all lifts that are performed, so not only is the core getting stronger in the sense of building stronger muscle mass, it is also becoming stronger in its endurance,” Gatlin explains.
Put your body weight to the test and reveal a toned set of abs by performing the below exercises via Gatlin’s core-focused workout. Keep reading to learn about the best no-equipment strength exercises for a chiseled waist—complete these exercises in two minutes for five rounds total. And when you’re finished, be sure to check out the 7 Exercises To Slim Down a Thick Waistline in 30 Days.
Perform alternating windshield wipers by hanging onto a bar or lying flat on the ground. If lying flat on your back, extend your arms out to the sides of your body. Bend your knees, and raise your feet off the floor. Rotate your hips as you bring your legs to the right side without allowing them to touch the ground. Then, rotate your hips and legs to the left side. To make things more challenging, perform this exercise with straight legs, mimicking the movement of windshield wipers. Complete 20 windshield wipers in total.
Begin this exercise by lying flat on your back with your arms extended overhead and your legs out straight. Crunch your upper body up and simultaneously lift your left leg so your hands touch your toes. Lower back to the start position, and perform the same motion with your right leg. Continue to alternate as you complete 12 reps in total.
Set up for the alternating heel reach by lying flat on your back, bending your knees, and planting your feet on the floor. Your arms should be at your sides. Lift your head, shoulders, and upper back off the floor as you alternate between reaching your right hand to your right heel, then your left hand to your left heel. Complete 12 alternating heel reaches.
For side plank hip dips, lie down on one side of your body, place your bottom forearm on the ground, and stack your feet. Place your top hand on your hip or at the back of your head. Push against the floor and activate your core in order to lift your hips and assume a proper side plank position. Hold the side plank for a moment, then lower or “dip” your hip toward the ground without touching it. Press back up. Complete 12 side plank hip dips on each side.
Set up for butterfly crunches by lying flat on the floor with the soles of your feet pressed together to assume a butterfly position. Place your hands at the back of your head. Breathe out as you crunch your body up. Lower back down. Make sure your lower back maintains contact with the ground. Complete 12 butterfly crunches.