T Nation

Thick Waist


I have been competing in bodybuilding for 7 years and always have had a thick waist. I am 39 years old, female, 5 feet 7 inches, 145 pounds and 9% bodyfat. I have tried various exercises to narrow my waist. When I do weighted obliques, my waist gets thicker. I am currently doing ball crunches, hanging leg raises. I am also working on making my lower lats wider. Does anyone have any other suggestions?


Stop doing oblique exercises for one, focus on delts and lat width. If you currently deadlift from the floor, I'd suggest switching to rack pulls.

Followed by,
Telling your parents thanks for narrow clavicles and/or wide hip genetics.


I have a naturally (or from years of power type lifting) thick waist. Obviously you can only do so much, but what I've focused on the last year was:

1- No direct oblique work
2- No full deads (switched to weighted hyperextensions for lower back)
3- Full squats - now before you jump at me about obliques being stabilizers,.. when you do a full ROM, you will actually have to lower the weight, and as your form will naturally be better, the other muscles (aside from your quads) will have to work LESS.
4- Focused on my quad sweep - to draw attention away from the thick middle section (lot of close stance hacks and front squats!)
5- Focused on my lower lats - lotta close grip and reverse grip work, as well as straight arm pressdowns with a rope, but also with an angled torso, so I felt the stretch much more by my lower lat insertions.



I also have a thicker waist than I'd like, and I did stop doing oblique exercises for it. I always heard twists were good (I see people doing them w/ a stick across their shoulders).


I would think that the same muscles responsible for pulling you back into position repeatedly in the twist are the same ones that you're concerned about being too large. I'd stop any direct work on that area if I were you.


Wear a belt through the majority of your workouts and 'suck in' as much as possible throughout the day.


Looking good by the way.


That's what Ronnie Coleman talked about on one of his DVDs isn't it?


As others have stated, create an illusion via more side delt and lat width. I personally think the teres major/upper lat area will give you a more pronounced effect(it sort of "juts out" there).

Rack Chins
A good lateral raise machine or cable laterals

Get to work on both of those.

Something that will make a great difference is in how you present your physique, a slight twist here or there can diminish the waist so practice your presentation .


Not sure but quite a few BB's have mentioned they do this to reduce waist size. I remember Dexter Jackson saying it recently also.


x2. I used to do crunches to the point my rectus abdominus looked like I had a gut (while doing little to none oblique work) When I stopped doing that, my abs gradually atrophied down to a more normal size and my waist was smaller and my stomach was flatter. I don't have personal experience with the belts but I think the idea is that they prevent your trunk muscles from firing as much by artificially maintaining intra abdominal pressure that your ab muscles would normally be maintaining. Less use leads to atrophy, smaller waist.


I honestly have no idea why people who compete in physique competitions even do oblique work to begin with shrug


Because exercises magically either build size or trim down according to what your desire is, of course!


I'm currently dieting, and nearly finished with it. About a month ago, I had a 34" waist, (at belly button) Then I started doing 12 stomach vacuums a day, in the AM and PM, on as empty a stomach as possible, by getting down on all fours and sucking my belly button up into my spine, making my stomach horribly concave. It feels weird. You gasp for breath afterwards, and can often strongly feel the artery in my abdomen. I have since progressively worked up to doing 16 vacuums 3X per day.

My waist is now under 31", no joke. There is no way I lost 3 inches worth of fat. Vacuums are awesome.


Or any weight trainer for that matter.


Yah...I haven't trained abs in 4 years more than 2-3 times. Obliques? Can't ever remember even attempting to train them, hah.

lol Bill, you hit the nail on the head right there!