8 Videos to Help Slim Your Waist
We All Have a Wasp Waist
Your waistline is, at the skeletal level, like the very narrow part of a wasp, no wider than one vertebra. Long ago, the skeletal narrowness in the waist area was exploited by freak fashions that squeezed women's waists into tight corsets. Today, many cannot even find their waistline. Keeping a slim waist is not just a question of good looks but much more importantly a matter of health. Today, waists have grown in the opposite direction to the point of increased risks of obesity, diabetes and heart problems. We shall examine why this is so, and what can be done about it with no less than 8 simple to follow short videos.
The Waist and Health
Weak Muscles Are Beds for Fat
When muscles in the waistline are weak and unable to hold you up properly the body allows fat to grow there instead to keep your upper body in balance, to prop you up. This is not only unsightly and prevents you from moving freely (fat cannot move) but as recently proven by science, a fat waistline is also a great danger to your health.
The waistline is the critical part of the skeleton that relies mostly on muscle strength to help the lumbar spine (the bit below the waist) balance the entire weight of the upper body, including the rest of the spine, ribcage, the weight of your arms, shoulders, upper back, neck and head. This vital connection is illustrated when you tip upside down on a gravity inversion table as seen in the next video.
Watch the Body's Center of Gravity at Work
Gravity Inversion Proves the Point
In fact, as shown in the above video on Gravity Inversion, if your body was a pencil balancing horizontally on your finger, its pivot point would be in the pelvis. The pelvis is the center of gravity in the body. So everything above the pelvis makes up half of your total body weight. Just goes to show how much work the waist muscles have to do to keep your upper body in balance. Now if those waist muscles are weak, your body grows fat instead to help you stay upright.
A beer gut or apple shape were traditionally assumed to develop on men, whereas women were considered to be more pear shaped, carrying excess weight on the thighs. But this is no longer the case. Women are catching up fast with men on the spare-tyres front. Scientists told the National Obesity Forum conference that both men and women are at risk of ill health through weight gain around the waistline.
Waistline and Health Risks
According to Professor Anthony Barnett at the University of Birmingham, waist measurement is more important than overall weight. Carrying fat around the stomach can quadruple the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Women with waists over 30 inches/90cm and men with waists over 35inches/100cm are classed as high risk.
Prof Barnett and his colleagues have been at the forefront of research into fat cells around the waistline. Their research indicates that these fat cells are not passive lumps of lard but are highly active, pumping out proteins and hormones. While in small doses these substances are necessary, in excess they can cause damage to insulin use, raise blood pressure and increase cholesterol in the bloodstream.
The number of people with Type 2 diabetes has increased considerably in recent years and now tops 3 million in the UK alone. It is caused by insulin resistance, which can be triggered by excess weight around the waistline. Insulin produced in the pancreas stops working properly in overweight and obese people and the fatter someone becomes, the more resistant to insulin they are.
National Obesity Forum
Dr Ian Campbell, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, told the BBC that the evidence is "overwhelming." People with large waistlines are just as much at risk as those who are clinically obese. And he said while doctors are "getting to grips" with the fact that abdominal weight is the key factor in diabetes and heart disease, people should keep an eye on their own waistlines.
Men Versus Women
Men with waists of more than 40 inches/100cm and women with waists of more than 35 inches/90cm are at a high risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Thicker waistlines may double and quadruple these risks, compared to those with slimmer waistlines. Even a lower waist measurement of 35 inches / 90cm in men and 30 inches / 80cm in women may significantly raise the risk of either of these diseases, if not both.
Diabetes UK warns that weight around the waist is a contributing factor in Type 2 diabetes. A spokeswoman said: "Abdominal weight is a problem but the public are still not aware enough about the risks." Prof Barnett said: "Waist measurements can predict the risks of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease more accurately than weight."
In 2016,75% of all Americans are overweight and 41% obese. Let us debunk those horrible statistics and start reversing the trend now by firstly looking at what is inside the body.
How the Trunk Is Put Together
The trunk is divided into two parts: the thorax (rib-cage) and the pelvis. Imagine your trunk as a figure eight. The upper part is your thorax or rib-cage and the bottom part is your pelvis. Above the waist, the rib-cage safely houses you heart and lungs, stomach, liver and other vital organs like the spleen and the gallbladder. Your waistline is the only thing that keeps your skeleton together in that area, with the five lumbar vertebrae aided by muscle force from the external and internal obliques (see second video below). These muscles keep your upper body mobile and balanced.
Inside the Trunk
The sternum is a large bone that provides a wide area of protection of the heart. The sternum is held between the ribs by the costal cartilages.
At the top of the sternum are points of articulation with the clavicles (collar bones) which pass from the sternum to the shoulder blades (scapulae).
The Ribcage or Thorax
The rib cage is like a built-in shield for the important organs held within: the heart and lungs. The ribcage is made up of the central sternum, with ribs attached on either side via costal cartilages. The ribs go around the outside of the rib cage's contents, and meet the spinal column at the back. Gaps between the ribs ensure effective movement for breathing.
Below the waistline is the pelvis. The pelvic girdle is a basin-shaped ring of joined bones connecting the spine to the legs and contains part of your intestines and internal reproductive organs.
How to Get Rid of Fat Around the Waistline?
Losing fat around the waistline is only possible when the fatty cushions presently helping to support the body are replaced by strong muscle tissue. With muscles instead of fat around the waistline the body no longer needs cumbersome cushions of fat to support it.
Reducing the waistline can easily be achieved through targeted exercise. Fat cannot move and does not like to be moved. As soon as you start moving, the fat humbly retreats. As a rough rule, if you lose 1 cm off your waist, you lose about 1 kg in weight. Just move the fat away by following the videos below. You can find your own level by choosing a video in the “Beginners,” “Intermediate” or “Advanced" sections.
Sitting Torso Twists
You can do it now, even sitting at your computer. Back of the shoulder and torso twist by Barbara Simon, from Romancing your Soul.
Note: Don’t lift your shoulders like Barbara does on your in-breath.
Side Bends – See the Oblique Muscles Working
You don’t have to use weights to do these side bends but if you do, I recommend using wrist weights first before progressing onto heavier dumbbells.
Standing Torso Twists by Kini Knox from Expert Village
Another Variation of the Standing Torso Twist
1.Let the arms hang loose by the side of your body to allow their dead weight to give momentum to the twisting move.
2.Involve the head. See how far you can look behind you on each twist. The eyes can lead the movement. In this way the whole spinal column gets a good twist, right up to the Atlas (the top vertebra that supports the head, situated somewhere between your ears).
CAUTION: Keep the crown vertically aligned above the tailbone. Go slowly at first.
Ribcage Isolations by Paulette Walker Johnson from Expert Village
If you find it difficult to isolate your rib-cage put your hands on either side of the ribs and gently push the rib-cage into the desired direction with your hands.
Waist Slimmers by Naoko Ikeda
Advanced Abdominal Series
Single Leg Stretch
Double Leg Stretch
With these core toners you can:
- Tighten the waist and butt
- Flatten the stomach
- Tone the upper arms and open shoulders
- Strengthen the core, pelvic floor, back and torso muscles
- Improve posture and reduce back pain
Ultimate Waist Toner
Total Mastery of Core Muscles
I’m not suggesting any of you should attempt to move like Sadie in her virtuoso performance.
This video has been included as an inspiring example of the ultimate achievement in control and coordination in the core muscles and to prove that practice makes perfect.
Dancing Is Even Better Than Exercise
Having been inspired by the above video, you too can join a Belly Dancing or any other fun dancing class (men can do it too). When you dance you find your waistline the fun way. You lose weight while strength and grace are all thrown into the bargain. Enjoy your body and it will respond with great improvements.
Keeping the Waistline Trim
Some or all of the exercise videos in this article can help you reduce the size of your waistline. However, you will also want to change your diet from fatty junk food to a predominantly vegetarian diet. Once you have found your waistline you’d sure be a fool to lose it again and expose yourself to a high risk of diabetes and heart disease. So why not bookmark this page so you can come back to it every day and progressively learn the moves in these carefully selected videos.
Good luck, enjoy your journey to slim your waist, and let us all know in a comment how you are getting on. Any questions? Put them in a comment and I shall respond to the best of my ability.