The classic physiques were those with true symmetry and a stunning v-tapper. Broad and fully developed deltoids, sweeping lats that are fully developed both on the upper and lower sections, and a tight waist with washboard abs. Today’s bodybuilders in the heavyweight division going for titles at the top of the sport often are seen with bulging stomachs and wide waists with over-developed obliques.
A movement in the sport is bringing back this classic “slimming of the waist” and creating more aesthetic physiques. The IFBB has even introduced a new classic physique division in the Mr. Olympia competition. This is exciting news! But how does one go about creating a slimmer waist? Are there certain techniques and exercises? Are there exercises to avoid? Should you rush to go buy a waist slimming belt or corset? The following is what I have learned about the topic:
Tips to follow for waist slimming:
* Avoid doing heavy or weighted sit-ups and abdominal exercises. You’re not in the game to make you abs bigger. You do want to train your abs frequently so that they are defined and shredded, but using excess weight can actually make you abs and belly bigger and put too much emphasis on the obliques (which will ad width and circumference to your waistline).
* Speaking of oblique training…..Never do weighted oblique training. Seated twists with a light weight bar will do the trick.
* Avoid extremely heavy deadlifts and squats. If you must include those exercises in your routine, always wear a training belt and concentrate on full range of motion and maximum muscle contraction, using a more manageable weight.
* Once your body fat is around 10% then it can be beneficial to use a waist training belt or corset in assisting in your waist slimming by pulling the organs together more closely and eliminating access water in the internal extremities. If you still have a heavy layer of fat around the belly these types of waist slimming belts do very little to minimize and shrink the waistline.
* Consistently practicing vacuum exercises on a daily basis during your waist routine can significantly help to further define your abdominal muscles. There are several styles of ‘vacuum exercises’ and different positions of your body in which to perform them. You may find one or another easier for you, but it’s important to rotate exercises and practice them in sets holding the pose for around 10-15 second. Google these exercises……
* Diet is obviously extremely important in this equation. A high-protein based diet, avoiding late night carbs, and limiting your fat intake to quality sources (avocados, olive oil, almonds, chia seeds, fish oil, and other positive fats) can help you to have the right balance and build muscle without gaining fat around the waist.
* Avoid sodium-rich foods. Sodium causes you to retain water and although you do need sodium for regular bodily functions, an excess can create subcutaneous water retention around the waste and under the skin. This will hamper your definition and add size to your waist. Use spices and flavorings that add flavor to your food, but that don’t contain sodium.
* Sugar…….Wipe it from your diet. Your carbohydrates need to come from complex sources. Some athletes ingest simple sugars after a workout in order to spike insulin and jump start protein synthesis. I don’t suggest this as it can cause you to faint if you’re not careful or make you nauseated. (personal experience) Avoid simple sugars at all costs because an excess will convert to belly fat very easily.