What I loved about my training as a Latin Ballroom dancer is how strong and defined my midsection got. If you’re not familiar with this style of dance, most of the dances require you twist your torso in such a way that your rib cage is moving in opposition to your hips. When I stopped dancing, certain exercises that re-created the same twisting motion allowed me to continue training my core in this way. In Pilates we say “Twist your torso like a cap off a bottle” for a visual aid. Doing this helps develop a lot of core strength and in turn, creates those nice defined V-shaped lines down the sides of our waist. Do these 4 core twisting moves to give yourself a tighter more defined waist.
1. Spine Twist– Sit upright on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Flex your feet and squeeze your legs together like they are one Leg. Interlace your fingers and place the palms of your hands behind the back of your head. Sit up tall, lifting up and out of your hips and lengthening the back of your neck. Keep your elbows open wide. Inhale and on your exhale twist two pulses to the right using your core, not your arms. Take out any momentum and make the second pulse farther to the right than the first. Your left hip stays glued to the floor and your legs should barely shift if you are moving properly from your core. Repeat to the left moving through the center position. Do each side ten times.
2. Seated Oblique Twist– Sit with your legs bent and heels on the floor. For more of a challenge, you can lift your legs off the ground and balance on your tailbone. Lengthen your spine without arching your lower back. Cross your arms holding onto each elbow. Slowly with control, twist your torso to the right trying to keep your hips and legs stable. Go as far as you can to the right by contracting your right oblique. Repeat to the left doing two sets of 5 on each side.
3. Hip Twist– Get into a plank position on your forearms. Feet hip distance apart. Without moving your shoulders, twist your hips to dip one side towards the ground and then dip to the other side to complete one rep. Start with minimal movement to maintain control since this will also be challenging your upper body strength. Do 20 reps.
4. Trunk Rotation– Get into a high plank or push up position with your legs hip distance apart. Without moving your upper body, bring your right knee in and across towards the left elbow. Bring the leg back into your plank and repeat on the other leg to complete one rep. Do 20 reps.
These core exercises will do more than tighten your waist, they also help prepare you for more real-life activities that include bending, twisting, and balancing.
Do you include twisting moves into your workouts?
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Video: Crystal Chin
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