How to Get an Hourglass Figure: Exercise and Lifestyle Tips

The hourglass figure has been coveted among women for many years. The idea is to have a small, narrow waist in contrast to broader hips and shoulders, thus mimicking the shape of an hourglass. Hollywood celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and many others have popularized this trend. If you are wondering how to get an hourglass figure, here is what you need to know.

Not Every Hourglass is the Same

Not Every Hourglass is the Same

Bodies come in a variety of shapes, which means that your hourglass shape isn’t going to look exactly like a celebrity figure. For instance, your natural waist may be longer, or your hips may be naturally narrow. While not everyone can get an hourglass figure as advertised by photoshopped celebrity photos, it is possible to achieve your own version of the hourglass body through a healthy diet and exercise.

Setting Realistic Expectations

Some women get an hourglass figure. They naturally have wider ribs and hips, leaving a small waist. If you have a naturally thin or curvy body, it may be more challenging to either put on or lose weight in the right places. Following a healthy routine ensures that you stay healthy, and it’s important to be able to appreciate your own beauty with or without an hourglass figure.


Clothing has been used for centuries to help women achieve the desired shape. Accentuating a narrow waist can be done with belts, or by accentuating the hips. In a pinch, you can also use a corset or combine a waist cincher with a good pushup bra to help accentuate your waist.

The Diet Portion

All of the exercises in the world are not going to help you get an hourglass figure if you don’t follow a healthy diet. This does not mean jumping onto the latest fad diet only to crash several weeks later. Instead, your goals should be to develop lasting, functional dietary habits wherein you are getting plenty of nutrients without consuming too many calories.

The trick to a sustainable and healthy diet is finding foods that you enjoy consuming that are also healthy, while remembering not to completely deny yourself treats. Of course, it is easier said than done because it is much easier to overindulge in something unhealthy or to skip a meal thanks to our busy schedules and overeat afterward. In this case, perseverance, and the willingness to overcome slips without being too hard on yourself, is key.

Crafting Your Hourglass Figure Workout

As with diet, a good hourglass figure workout is going to allow you to stay consistent, which means that you don’t want to start with something too difficult, too time-consuming, or too daunting. It’s better to craft an hourglass workout that allows you to build over time rather than to dive into a plan that is simply unrealistic for the long term.

Identify Your Target Areas

The contour of the hourglass-shaped body relies on a strong back, tight tummy, and large hips. If you’re asking how to get a small waist and big hips, check out some of the exercises in the next section.

Dont Forget Cardio

cardio for an hourglass figure

No matter your desired shape, cardiovascular exercise is going to help you stay lean and healthy. Just fifteen minutes of exercise can play a role in improving overall health.

Be Mindful of Past Injuries

If you have an old injury, make sure that you are not choosing exercises that are putting on too much pressure too soon. For individuals trying to recover from breaks, sprains, or other injuries, a consultation with a physical therapist may be recommended before beginning new exercises. If you cannot consult with a physical therapist, it is recommended that you at least start slowly to ensure that you don’t exacerbate an old injury.

Exercises to Try

There are many exercises that you can try at the gym or at home that can help sculpt your back and hips while also helping to ensure that you have a leaner tummy and get an hourglass figure. Remember, youll want to start slow and increase your repetitions as you become stronger.  

Shoulder Bridge on a Stability Ball

This exercise involves lying on a mat on your back while having your feet on top of a Swiss ball. If you dont have a Swill ball, try any round surface, or, if not, any flat surface that allows you to elevate your legs. You want to press your palms to the floor and engage your core as you lift your hips off the ground. If you have a Swiss ball or a round substitute, use your quads and hamstrings to roll the ball side to side without letting your butt hit the ground. Keep your hips up for as long as possible as you continue your side to side reps.

Back Lift Deadlift

This involves a dumbbell or some sort of weight and a chair or platform. Youll want to lace one leg on the platform as you perform your deadlift. The deadlift itself involves bending at the waist to pick up the dumbbell. Once you are done, switch legs for several reps.

Alternating Curtsy Lunge with Bicep Curls

This one involves grabbing a dumbbell or a weight in each hand and performing a curtsy to either side as you curl. The curtsey involved crossing one leg behind the other and bending both knees as you keep your knee over your toe. Youll also want to simultaneously lift your weight. When finished, switch your legs.


  • An hourglass figure does not look the same on everyone, and it shouldnt.
  • In a pinch, the right combination of clothing can help you get an hourglass figure.
  • A long-term hourglass figure can be achieved through a combination of diet and exercise.
  • Be rational when choosing a diet and exercise plan. It’s better to start slow and ease into a plan where you can stay consistent than jump into a routine that isnt sustainable.
  • Take it easy. Developing a natural hourglass figure can take time, so give yourself plenty of slack if you miss an exercise or mess up on your diet.
  • Overall, your ability to commit to an imperfect plan long term is better than striving for perfection in a short-term plan.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Table of Contents

Was this post helpful?

Share your Article

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Scroll to Top
Affiliate Disclaimer
Please understand that in some cases we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.