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/ Source: TODAY
By Jenna Wolfe

If you’ve been intrigued lately by the waist cinching girdles making the news, listen up. For one thing, having a super skinny waist is not an indicator of excellent fitness. In fact, those waist “trainers” can make it impossible to train (let alone breathe and eat).

Here's a better approach: Work on your built-in “girdle” by strengthening and tightening your core. The muscles involved will indeed act like a girdle by helping to support your spine and firm up your midsection.

Try each of the exercises below in succession.

TODAY
Brandon Goodwin

Plank

Get into a pushup position, then bend your arms as I do in the animation above so that there's a 90-degree angle in the crook of your elbow. Your weight should be on your forearms and your body should be one long line from the tip of your head to your ankles. Try to hold the position for as long as you can, and add time each time you try it (most people begin with 30 seconds).

TODAY
Brandon Goodwin

Plank toe-lifts

Within your plank position (described above), simply lift one leg and then the other. Try not to shift the weight rapidly from one side to another; instead, try to stay relatively steady in order to work your core most effectively. Think of the heel simply lifting toward the ceiling, and then the next heel. Do 10 reps of left and right lifts, break, and try for another rep.

TODAY
Brandon Goodwin

Plank knee drop

Within your plank position (described above), simply bend one knee and then the next, keeping yourself balanced on the balls of your feet (though these will also bend as needed). Try not to shift the weight rapidly from one side to another; instead, try to stay relatively steady in order to work your core most effectively. Do 10 reps of left and right "drops," break, and try for another rep.

TODAY
Brandon Goodwin

Side plank

Lie on your right side, with your entire body in a straight line. Prop yourself up onto your right forearm and try to maintain the straightness of the line (though now it'll be diagonal) by keeping your hips from drooping. You can put your left hand on your hip and occasionally bring it down to balance, but the goal is to eventually be able to do a side plank without falling over. Hold the position for 30 seconds, then switch to the left side. Work up to 60 seconds.