9 Exercises for an Hourglass Figure
Susan Hoff
December 15, 2021

Try these 9 exercises to shrink your waist, sculpt your shoulders, and pop your booty!

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It is always important to implement exercises that work your whole body. However, when you have a goal, you also want to pay special attention to exercises that work the body parts you want to tone. For the thus-far elusive hourglass figure, you will want to focus particularly on the core, shoulders, and glutes. Below are nine exercises to include in your routine that will shrink the waist, sculpt the shoulders, and pop the booty.


1. Hundreds

Hundreds come from a pilates background and are used to target the lower core—flattening the lower belly and slimming the waist.

How to perform hundreds:

1. Lie on your back with your lower back touching the ground completely. Make sure to keep your lower back firmly touching the ground at all times. Lay your arms down next to your waist.

2. Bend your knees and place your feet shoulder-width apart.

3. Tuck your chin into your chest and lift your head, neck, and shoulders off of the ground. You should feel your core engage.

4. Lift your arms about a foot off of the ground and start pumping them up and down by only a few inches.

5. Breath out for five pumps and in for five pumps. Count to 100 pumps!

2. Mason Twist

The mason twist, also referred to as Russian twists, ignites your entire core as you twist from side to side. it especially fires up your obliques to shrink those love handles and midsections. Challenge yourself by lifting and straightening your legs as your twist!

How to perform the mason twist:

1. Sit on the ground with your knees bent. Hold onto a weight if you would like or simply clasp your hands together close to your belly button.

2. Curve your back slightly forward to create a "C" shape with your upper body. This will better engage your core and protect your back.

3. Lean back to the point where you can still sit up without falling backwards, but feel your core beginning to shake as you balance.

4. Twist your upper body to each side of your waist.

3. Side Plank Lift

The side plank calls your core, shoulders, and hips to attention. As you dip down and rise back up again, you will whittle your waist and strengthen your shoulders!

How to perform the side plank lift:

1. Lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of one another and your bottom elbow positioned underneath your stacked shoulders.

2. Lift your hips up. Your body should form a straight line from your head down to your toes. You can stretch your upper arm above your head for an extra balance challenge!

3. Lower your hips down to tap the ground and push immediately back up.


1. Lateral arm raises

Lateral arm raises work the shoulders and back for a sleek, sexy upper body. You do not need a heavy weight to start feeling the burn or seeing results quickly.

How to perform lateral arm raises:

1. Stand with your arms at your sides, holding weights in each hand.

2. Raise your arms to shoulder-height, making a "T" with your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top.

3. Lower your weight gently back down to your sides.

2. Steering Wheels

The burn from this little beauty creeps up on you! It's a small movement that your front and side shoulders will thank you for later. Similar to the lateral arm raises, this exercise does not require a heavy weight. You can perform this exercise with both arms or one arm at a time.

How to perform steering wheels:

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your abs and glutes engaged. These are your stabilizing muscles.

2. Holding two small weights together, raise your arms up in front of you to chest level and keep a slight bend in your elbows.

3. Imagine you are steering a car and rotate the weights to the left and right. Your arms stay straight in front of you. Your hands are the only things moving.

3. Chest Press

Think of the chest press as a natural chest lift. Since the chest is the primary muscle in this exercise, you want make sure you are using it to lift the dumbbells up, not relying on your arm strength. The deltoids and triceps will kick in as your secondary muscles.

How to perform the chest press:

1. Lie down on a bench and hold dumbbells in each hand, keeping them steady right above your chest.

2. Push the weight straight up above your chest. Your elbows should never fully extend.

3. Lower the weights gently back down to your chest.


1. Lateral Lunges

Onto the legs! Lateral lunges pay special focus to your outer and inner thighs as well as the gluteus medius. No more saddle bags, ladies!

How to perform lateral lunges:

1. Stand with your feet about a foot wider than shoulder distance apart. Hold a dumbbell at your chest if you are up for an extra challenge.

2. Starting on your right side, place all of your weight into your right leg and push your hips back, bending your right leg at a 90-degree angle and keeping your right knee directly above your ankle. If you do not have a weight in your hand, you can stretch your arms straight out to help keep you balanced.

3. Finish all the lunges on your right leg first and then move onto your left.

2. Bridges

Bridges are so good for tightening up your glutes, core, and hamstrings. You can also choose from several different bridge variations to challenge your strength and balance. You can perform this exercise with both feet on the mat, just your heels on the mat and your toes up, one leg in the air, or just your toes on the mat and your heels up. Wear a resistance band for an extra challenge!

How to perform bridges:

1. Lie on a yoga mat with your knees bent and feet about hip-width apart. Make sure to keep your lower back firmly touching the ground.

2. Peel your lower back off of the ground and push up through your glutes. It is so common to push up with your ribs, creating a big arch and placing all of the weight into your lower back. This can lead to injury and delay the results you want to see in your glutes.

3. Squeeze your glutes at the top and then slowly lower down.

3. Donkey Kicks

This exercise shapes up your glutes, creating space between your glutes and hammies. It's a natural butt lifter of an exercise. Make sure to turn on your core as you stabilize yourself. Your leg should be the only body part moving. You can also make this exercise harder by slipping on a resistance band!

How to perform donkey kicks:

1. Start on your hands and knees.

2. Keeping your knees bent, lift one leg straight up, pushing through with your heel. This is not a big-movement exercise, you should feel the burn right where your glutes meet your hamstrings.

3. Lower your leg back down.

Oath & Grind By Susan Hoff
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