Learn the Best Exercises for an Hourglass Figure Workout

Building curves in all the right places.

Hourglass Figure Workout banded squats

Chances are good that you’ve heard the phrase “hourglass figure” at some point. But what is it, exactly? You are considered to have an hourglass figure if your bust and hips are nearly the same measurement, but you have a narrower, more defined waist. While it’s important to understand that genetics play a role in the shape of your body, know that there are ways to enhance or slim down certain areas. If achieving this curvy figure is a goal of yours, this Hourglass Figure Workout is a great place to start!

Working with Your Genetically-Given Shape!

plank exercise

Before we get to the workout, I’d like to dive a little bit more into how to work with your natural body shape. We’re all built differently: We carry our weight in different areas, our muscles are shaped differently, and our limbs are all different lengths. None of these things can be changed (nor should they be), but there are things you can do to achieve a shape closer to what you want!

“Building” Your Bust

This is actually the most challenging aspect to change naturally. Losing inches in your bust tends to be much simpler than gaining inches. For many of us, the chest area seems to be one of the first areas to lose inches whenever we begin losing weight. So not fair, but such is life. 

When it comes to adding inches to your chest, it becomes a lot more difficult. Since our busts are made up of fatty tissue, there’s no way to add more of it naturally. That said, training the chest muscles that lie underneath our breasts is a great way to add some lift and potentially a few inches of muscle over time. 

One more thing that you can do is perform shoulder and upper back exercises regularly. I know that sounds strange, but hear me out. If you can’t make your bust bigger to match the circumference of your hips, you can simulate a larger chest by building a slightly broader upper body. You can do this by putting some focus into building your shoulders and lats. Building your upper body up a bit is an excellent way to earn a more upside-down triangular top half.

Slimming Your Waist

As far as an hourglass figure goes, most (if not all) of us will need to slim and tighten our waists. On the off chance that you need to grow your waist, you’ll want to perform resistance exercises that target your obliques and lower back. 

But, for the purposes of this Hourglass Figure Workout, we’re going to focus on exercises that will pull your waist in. This means incorporating moves that target your transverse abdominal muscles, or your “built-in corset,” as I like to call it. The stronger these muscles become, the more they pull your waist in. 

Of course, one of the most important things you need to do that has nothing to do with exercise is follow an eating plan for fat loss. While it’s impossible to spot reduce body fat (sadly, we can’t pick and choose where we lose fat), eating for fat loss will help you slim down all over, including your waist. Combining a healthy diet with the appropriate ab exercises can earn yourself a seriously sexy cinched waist and set of abs.

Need an eating plan for fat loss? Try one of these nutritious and delicious plans:

Adding Curves to Your Booty (and Outer Hips)

Just like the waist is something that most of us will want to pull in, the booty and hips are something that most of us will probably want to grow. If you need to shrink these areas, eating for fat loss is your best bet to lose inches.

There are a vast number of exercises that you can perform to build a booty and curvier hips, but some are definitely more effective than others. We’ve included several of these moves in our hourglass figure workout below.

The 10 Best Exercises for an Hourglass Figure Workout

shoulder press exercise

It is important to note that whenever you’re trying to grow a muscle, moderately heavy resistance and a moderate number of reps (8 to 12) are the best way to go about it. This will apply to the upper body, booty, and hip exercises. 

Perform the ab exercises using just your own body weight for 30 to 60 seconds each. This will strengthen the muscles and cinch your waist.

You can perform all of these exercises consecutively or pick and choose the ones that will help you get to an hourglass figure! If you perform them together as a complete hourglass figure workout, complete three sets of each exercise, resting for 30 to 60 seconds in between each set. Be sure to watch the instructional videos for each of the exercises below!


  1. Standing Arnold Shoulder Press – Sculpt toned shoulders to balance out wider hips.
  2. Dumbbell Pullover – Work your chest muscles and your lats at the same time.
  3. Push-Up – A great chest builder to lift your bust. 


  1. Forearm Plank – Tighten that inner corset. 
  2. Hollow Rock – A great move to strengthen your inner ab muscles.
  3. Toe Reaches – This move will cinch your waist. 


  1. Banded In and Out Squats – This move is a real glute burner.
  2. Goblet Squat with Alternating Abduction – A combo that will build your booty and hips.
  3. Banded Clam Shell – Work your outer glutes for a curvier look. 
  4. Banded Glute Bridge with Abduction (16 to 24 reps alternating) – Another butt and hip combo!

Instructional Videos

Standing Arnold Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Pullover


Forearm Plank

Hollow Rock

Toe Touches

Banded In and Out Squats

Goblet Squat with Alternating Abduction

Banded Clam Shell

Banded Glute Bridge with Abduction

Love this Hourglass Figure Workout? If so, you might also want to try these routines:

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