New guidance has us thinking about our waistlines.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says adults with a body mass index under 35 should ensure their waist measurement is less than half their height. For example, if you are 5ft 5in, you might want your waist to be 32.5 inches or less. This isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach as we all carry weight differently, but it could be a good starting point.


People who have more weight in their middle can be more likely to struggle with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

A slim waist alone is not necessarily enough to ensure you are fit and healthy, but putting more effort into exercise and a healthy diet is no bad thing. If you have any concerns about your health and fitness, speak to your doctor.

A white woman measuring her waist with a tape measure.
Your waist measurement should be half of your height or less. (Alamy/PA)

Stomach exercises could help trim your waistline, with Georgie Spurling, fitness coach and founder of GS Wellness (, saying: “Having a strong core makes you feel incredibly strong all round. In day-to-day things like sitting at your desk, walking upstairs and more, it makes a huge difference to how you carry yourself.”

While “you cannot spot reduce fat”, she says: “We can target certain areas with strengthening moves to appear more defined. Body fat percentage plays a big role in this. If you are lean, your muscles will appear more visible. So nutrition is key.”

By having a healthy, balanced diet and focusing on waist-training exercises, you might be able to trim your midriff and feel stronger. These are some exercises you can do – without having to do hundreds of sit-ups…

Exercises to trim and strengthen your waist

Planks – and their many variations

Man doing side plank on athletics track in sun
Side planks are great for toning the stomach. (Alamy/PA)

Ben Scarles, trainer and studio manager at F45 Soho ( explains a “plank is one of the most famous and easiest exercises you can do to improve your core strength”.

If you’re bored of the regular version, he says: “Try a three-point plank [where you hold a plank, alternating between raising one leg off the ground, then the other], or a high-low plank [where you move between a plank on your hands and on your elbows, trying to keep your body steady].”

Scarles also recommends trying a side plank – certain to get your tummy trembling.


Man doing a hit workout with huge ropes in gym.
HIIT workouts have become really popular. (Alamy/PA)

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, can burn fat and muscle – while always keeping workouts interesting.

“To get stronger, HIIT works really well,” says Scarles. Most gyms offer HIIT classes, and there are plenty that are accessible online if you want to try them at home.

It can be quite tricky to target specific areas in your body, with Scarles suggesting you cannot “control where you lose weight from” – so why not adopt the attitude of working out your whole body, and trying to feel stronger everywhere?

Hollow body hold


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Olivia Zhou (@livfit_coaching)

According to Scarles, a hollow body hold is basically a plank flipped around. Lying on your back, raise your head, shoulders, arms and legs into the air using your abs – while keeping your lower back glued to the floor.

The further you stretch those arms and legs and the longer you hold it for, the tougher the workout. Scarles also recommends adding a rock back and forth, to really hit your obliques.

Squats and deadlifts

A woman squatting weights in the gym.
Squats are a great way to work your whole body. (Alamy/PA)

When we think about getting slimmer, we may sometimes avoid heavy weight training for fear of getting ‘bulky’, but actually, lifting weights might make it easier to tone and reduce inches in the long run.

Scarles says squats and deadlifts are “exercises that work the whole body” – and you’ll keep coming back to them, “Because you get those little wins when you manage to lift more than you have before”.

Lifting weights requires you to engage your core, to carry the load and stop yourself from getting injured.

Best-selling home gym equipment

Fancy working out at home? Check out our list of best-selling home gym equipment on Amazon!

SaleBestseller No. 1
ONETWOFIT Multi-Function Power Tower with Sit Up Bench,Adjustable Height Pull Up Tower Heavy Duty...
  • 【Detachable & Adjustable Bench】- Come with a detachable bench,ergonomically designed with thick cushions for comfortable support.4 adjustable heights to meet different exercise needs.Supports to...
  • 【6-Levels Adjustable Height】- 6 levels height adjustment,and the adjustable height ranges in 65"-93"(188-213cm),you can adjust the height to fit your needs during workout.Supports to 330...
  • 【Heavy Duty Construction】- The heavy-duty steel tube frame ensures steady support for the power tower.U shaped frame base with skid resistant feet,safe and stable.With anti-kid push up handle.
Bestseller No. 2
FIT4HOME Multi Gym | Gym Equipment For Home | Heavy Duty | Cable Crossover | 200kg Weight Plates |...
  • MULTI-GYM FOR USE AT HOME: If you are looking for a comprehensive total body workout, from the comfort of your home then our TF-1007 Home gym would be the ideal choice. Free 1-year parts & labour...
  • TRAIN YOUR ENTIRE BODY: Train various muscle groups including your chest. back, shoulders and biceps by carrying out different exercises including Chest flys, lateral raises, bicep curls, tricep...
  • HEAVY DUTY CONSTRUCTION: Built with high quality materials including a solid steel frame, heavy duty cables and 200kg weight plates to suit all fitness abilities.
Bestseller No. 3
EVOLVE - Professional Home Multi Gym Equipment 50kg Weight Stack Sit up Bench, Workout Station,...
  • APPROXIMATLEY 50 Kg WEIGHT INCLUDED - Level up your strength, size and endurance without needing to purchase extra weight! We've included a MASSIVE 50KG weight plate stack so that you can load your...
  • BEST SHAPE - Replace the gym and train your entire body at home with just one training machine. Define and strengthen your biceps, back, legs, abdomen, shoulders or glutes. You can also train your...
  • MULTI-FUNCTION DESIGN - EVOLVE home GYM power tower station can support many different kinds of exercises such as back pull bar, butterfly arm, lower pull bar function, bend arm training, kick...
Bestseller No. 4
Fit4Home 7080A (68 KG) Multi Gym Home Gym | Gym Equipment For Home | Workout Station Home Workout…...
  • 150 lbs (Approx. 68 kg) weight stack for a varied workout. Ideal for creating your own home gym. Great alternative to having just a weight bench or weights. This multi-gym combines lots of exercises...
  • Thick padded seat and backrest etc., protective cover around the weight plates of the home gym for added safety
  • High density foam padding on the multi Gym. The item comes packed in 4 boxes so the home gym can be delivered easier.These boxes contain the weights and the main frame of the multi-gym. 1 year free...
Bestseller No. 5
FIT4HOME Multi Gym Fitness Equipment Exercise Machine Strength Training Body Building Heavy Duty...
  • MULTI GYMS FOR HOME WITH PUNCHING BAG: Enjoy the benefits of a comprehensive full body, strength training workout, from the comfort of your home, with our brilliant TF-30031C1 3 station home gym. Free...
  • BRILLIANT FEATURES: Punching bag, 50kg weight plates, speed ball, protecting net and multiple workout stations. Carry out a range of exercises for your chest, back, legs, abs, biceps and shoulders...
  • DURABLE, STRONG, HIGH QUALITY FITNESS MACHINE: Comes with a preacher pad, heavy duty cables and a Max user weight of 120kg. Constructed with premium quality materials including a strong and sturdy,...

Last update on 2022-05-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You may be interested in…



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.