When considering exercises for the perfect hourglass shape, the focus is likely to be on abdominal movements. The appearance of a small waist may be the goal, but there are a variety of different muscle groups needed to achieve that enviable figure. Balancing the muscles and curves of the upper body, core and lower body is paramount.

Without some full-body toning exercises, hourglass girls are likely to stick out a little too much, especially in the thighs and arms. To maintain a shapely but firm figure, curvy body types need to pay special attention to their extremities.

The side arm Raise:
This exercise is very simple, but very effective in giving your arms and shoulders a muscular and toned look.


Using 5-pound weights, raise your arms at your sides to form a “T.”
Keep your back straight, strengthen your core.
Then lower them, again in a measured manner – you’ll find it even harder if you avoid speeding up.
Perform 8-12 reps and repeat for 5 sets.

Alternating dumbbell press:
The dumbbell press will improve and tone your shoulders and back, which is essential for giving the top half of that hourglass figure. Women rarely work their upper body enough, so we take it gradually [reps]. You can do it standing or lying on a bench, as shown.


Bring two dumbbells to shoulder level, press one up.
Then pull it down while simultaneously pressing the other up.
One up and one down counts as one repetition. Start with 6 to 8 reps for 3 to 5 sets.

Russian Twist:
This seated, rotating stretch opens the oblique muscles and waist, giving you a toned, muscular midsection that helps achieve the smallest part of the hourglass shape.

How to:

Sitting on the floor with your knees bent, hold an 8- to 10-pound medicine ball about 4 inches from your belly button.
Lift your feet slightly off the ground and lean back slightly.
Slowly begin to turn as far as you can to the ground to the right, then turn to the left.
Be sure to move slowly and focus only on the core muscles in motion. (Arms and legs should not move at all).
Perform 8-12 reps on each side and repeat for 5 sets.

Hip thrust:
This movement works the muscles that will give you a well-shaped butt. This is a versatile exercise that can be done with or without weights and still be challenging. Decrease the number of reps as you gain strength and instead add more sets (and rest time).


Bend your back against a secure bench with your feet flat on the floor. (Or, start on the floor, as shown above.) Place a weight on your knees if necessary.
Inhale, then push your hips up by squeezing your glutes.
To increase the intensity, you can do this on one leg or on a BOSU ball. If you’re really tough, you can do these on one leg and on a BOSU ball.
Do 8 to 12 reps for about 3 to 5 sets with a reasonably high weight.

Glute Bridges:
Bridges are one of the best exercises for getting a perky booty, which is exactly what you want associated with that cut waist.


Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart.
Lift your hips off the floor until your pelvis creates a straight line between your ribs and your knees.
(Lying down next to a mirror is helpful to make sure your hips are high enough).
Hold for 1-2 seconds at the top, then release.
Perform 8 to 12 reps and repeat for 5 sets.

Face pull:
This move helps women define their back and shoulders. More importantly, it’s a great exercise to help with posture and help the body support the weight of your breasts. As the rhomboid muscles are relatively small, it suggests a lighter weight to focus on their work instead of the larger surrounding muscles.


Set the band or stack at about chest height, step back and grab the other end with both hands.
Hold on tightly, then bring the weight back towards your face.
Tip: You can do this with resistance bands or the cable stack at the gym.
Start with a light weight and sets of 15-20 until you get tired.

Lateral lunges:
Side lunges work the gluteus medius, the muscle on the outer edge of your hip, the outer thighs (lateral quadriceps) and, as a bonus, the inner thighs too. We all want to tone these parts!


Hold a weight, usually dumbbells or kettlebells, and do a lunge as deep as comfortable to the side.
For extra challenge, add dumbbells and do a vertical row at the top of the movement.