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Top Exercises to Sculpt an Hourglass Figure at Home – No Equipment

While no one else can guarantee you the body of your dreams, you have the power to achieve it for yourself. All it takes is motivation, dedication, persistence, and the right guidance
The hourglass figure’s ageless beauty has transcended centuries, affecting perceptions of feminine attractiveness and captivating many women’s imaginations. Societal norms and expectations, often influenced by social conditioning, favor certain body types, and the hourglass figure is consistently portrayed as a pinnacle of attractiveness and femininity.
The influence of the fashion and beauty industries further contributes to the aspiration for this particular silhouette. In the modern period, the emergence of social media has played a crucial part in propagating beauty ideals, notably the preoccupation with the hourglass form. The digital age has increased the visual portrayal of these values providing both inspiration and pressure for women to meet particular body norms.
Despite the digital attraction, a counter-movement emphasizing realism and self-acceptance has evolved. Women are increasingly recognizing the importance of shifting their focus away from external expectations and toward embracing their real selves. It’s time that women must appreciate their individuality, creating a culture that embraces all body shapes and sizes.
It’s crucial to acknowledge that while some women are naturally blessed with the hourglass figure, others opt for a fitness journey to attain the desired shape through focused workouts and tailored nutrition plans. These workouts typically include exercises targeting the waist, hips, and overall body, accompanied by nutrition plans strategically crafted to support muscle development and promote optimal fat distribution.
This intentional approach to fitness underscores the commitment individuals make to sculpt their bodies in alignment with their ideals, reflecting the diverse paths women take in their pursuit of the coveted hourglass silhouette.

What is an hourglass figure?

Equal bust and hip proportions with a thinner waistline create an hourglass body shape. This body type is uncommon, a woman is said to have an hourglass form if her bust-waist-hip dimensions are 36-24-36 inches. The smaller and narrower waistline, balanced by a bigger breast and defined curvier hips results in a distinct and feminine shape that is typically seen as appealing.

What is a Bust? – The term “bust” refers to the size or volume of a woman’s breasts (The upper part between the neck and waist)

3 types of hourglass figures

Regular hourglass – A normal hourglass form is defined as having a hip and bust that is approximately equal in size and a waist that is 25% narrower. This classic hourglass form features well-balanced proportions between the bust and hips, as well as a noticeably smaller waist.
Top hourglass – The top hourglass form is identical to the standard hourglass but with a little larger bust compared to hips. This variant retains the hourglass silhouette, accentuating a curvier upper body while keeping a well-defined waist.
Bottom hourglass – The lower hourglass has the opposite shape as the upper hourglass. In this situation, your hips are a little larger than your bust. Despite the variance, the bottom hourglass maintains the hourglass figure, intensifying a curvier lower body while maintaining a defined waist.

Top Home Workout Exercises to Get an Hourglass Figure

Women in old times wore tight corsets to achieve an exaggerated hourglass figure. Corsets were designed to cinch the waist tightly, lift the chest, and create the appearance of a smaller waist and accentuated curves. This fashion trend aimed to conform to societal beauty standards of the time. Remember Wonder Woman, an iconic superhero figure with a true hourglass shape? Maybe her corset-like belt helped her achieve an hourglass shape, or maybe she was following some secret training regime to achieve that figure.
To achieve an hourglass figure you need to target specific muscles and need to perform a certain set of exercises that will promote a well-balanced hourglass physique. Every body type is different, with different metabolism, different muscle-to-fat ratio, and different genetics, that’s why every individual needs to follow different exercises and diet plans to achieve their dream body shape. If you are following a generic exercise plan then you may not be able to achieve the desired results, to ease your way we have sorted down some amazing exercises that will help you achieve an hourglass figure, do incorporate them into your workout schedule.

Let’s Start

Begin by assessing your current body composition and identifying the areas that need improvement. Whether you are thin, muscular, or overweight, self-awareness is crucial for setting realistic goals. It is important to understand that body recomposition is a gradual process and cannot be achieved within a limited timeline, as people tend to set goals for 8 or 12 weeks.
You will also get many coaches who will claim to shred you, and give you the body of your dreams in 10 weeks, no doubt there will be improvements but to achieve true targets you need more time and investment otherwise it will be misleading for you. Individuals with varying levels of experience and different body types require tailored workout considerations.
By following a dedicated exercise regimen, you can sculpt your muscles, enhance your curves, gain strength, and work towards achieving an hourglass figure. Those who are less experienced may need to focus on learning proper exercise techniques and building a foundation before advancing their training. Those who are overweight or obese may need to focus on reducing body fat or weight loss first before attempting to build muscle.
Additionally, factors such as age and gender can influence the approach to achieving an hourglass figure, necessitating customized strategies. It is crucial to attain a respectable body composition before embarking on the journey of sculpting an hourglass figure. This may involve reducing body fat and improving muscle tone, and overall body strength. By achieving a solid foundation, you can then focus on specific exercises and training techniques to target the areas that will enhance your hourglass shape.

1. Lower body workouts

In lower body workouts descending and ascending is the major movement that an individual performs during the exercise. Lower-body workouts help activate almost every lower-body muscle group like,
  • Adductors – muscles on the inside of your thigh, also known as the groin area.
  • Quadriceps – muscles that cover the front and side of your thighs.
  • Hamstrings – muscles located at the back of your thigh.
  • Hip flexors – muscles located toward the front of the hip.
  • Glutes – a large muscle of the buttocks.
  • Calves – muscles in the back of your lower leg.
  • Core muscles – muscles that provide support to your spine and also include trunk and hip muscles that surround the spine, abdominal viscera, and hips.
  • Lower-back muscles – large muscles in the lower back that help in holding the spine, and gluteal muscles.
To achieve an hourglass figure, it’s crucial to focus on toning your legs and getting a fuller, rounder butt. Lower body workouts are key to strengthening your muscles, toning your legs, reducing abdominal fat, sculpting your waistline, and achieving that desirable hourglass shape. To accomplish this, you can follow the exercises listed below:

Compound exercises are exercises that train and utilize multiple muscle groups at the same time (For example, Squats is a compound exercise that includes lower body muscle groups like glutes, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors core, and quads). Compound movement or exercises are great to shape up your body as they target the full body including multiple muscle tissues, joints, and nervous system”.

Top lower body exercises to be performed to achieve an hourglass figure

a) Squats – Squat is a great and oldest strength training exercise as it resembles the basic sitting and standing movements. A kind of compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups throughout the body and majorly focuses on the legs or lower body. Top exercises to build Hercules’s strength and muscle size, but they need to be performed very carefully specifically while using heavyweights as squats require simultaneous action at all primary joints in the lower body like hips, knees, and ankles which make individuals vulnerable to injury. Squats activate a wide variety of muscle groups like quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, and abductors.
How to perform – Performing squats is easy just like sitting on a chair, first make your back straight, your hips little back and lower your body while bending the knees until your thighs are parallel with the ground, and stand up by pressing the feet on your ground. Repeat the movement for a minimum of 15 reps x 3 sets. Contraction and expansion of hip muscles when performing the movement will help in toning the glutes.
b) Sumo squats – Sumo squats are also a compound exercise and a variation of the traditional squat. In Sumo squats, an individual has to take a wide leg stance just like a sumo wrestler and use his body weight to move up and down while bending and straightening the knees. This exercise activates muscle groups throughout your lower body and specifically targets the inner thighs or adductors.
How to perform – Stand with feet wide, toes turned out. Bend your knees and lower into a squat, keeping your back straight. Push through heels to return to the starting position. Repeat for desired reps, maintaining proper form.
c) Lunges – It’s an effective lower body exercise that builds strength, tones your body, and works a bunch of muscles like the core, butt, and legs. They are perfect for quadriceps buildup, buttocks shaping up, and activation of inner thighs and hamstrings. Lunges help individuals with posture improvement, stability, and increased range of motion.
How to perform – Lunges are variations of simple walking only but with a longer forward stance, stand with feet shoulder-width apart, now take a big forward stance and put your right foot in front, left foot behind you. Now lower your hips while bending your right leg knee to a 90-degree angle and balance your left leg on your toes with knees bent beneath the hip.
d) Glute bridge/Hip thrust/Hip extension – Great in sculpting a strong and rounder butt, glute bridge exercise emphasizes the muscles in the hip, buttocks, and quadriceps.
How to perform – Simply lie on the ground with your back resting on the ground and knees bent 90 degrees towards the ceiling, now squeeze and move your glutes up and down. Continue with a repetition of 10 x 4 sets.

2. Upper body workouts

Strengthening the upper body increases the range of motion, improves posture, reduces strain, and maintains a balance between the upper and lower body. In upper body workouts, various movements and exercises target different muscle groups to strengthen and tone the upper body.

Some of the major muscle groups engaged during upper body workouts include.

  • Chest Muscles (Pectorals) – Responsible for pushing and pressing motions.
  • Back Muscles (Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids, Trapezius) – Essential for posture and pulling movements.
  • Shoulder Muscles (Deltoids) – Provide shape, strength, and stability during arm movements.
  • Biceps – Responsible for elbow flexion and pulling actions.
  • Triceps – Engaged in extending the elbow and pushing motions.

Top upper body exercises to be performed to achieve an hourglass figure

a) Pushups – Pushups are the most challenging bodyweight movement and very effective upper body exercise that involves almost all of the upper body including arms (wrist, elbow, biceps, triceps, and forearms), shoulders, back, chest, and core. A type of compound exercise is very beneficial in upper body strengthening, sculpting, and toning. Working more muscles in less time is great for people who don’t want to put effort into individual body exercises or are much needed for those who have less time to exercise. The pushup is an exercise that is time-tested and as simple as one exercise can give you a bigger chest, toned arms, big shoulders, and tightened core.
How to perform – Assume a high plank position with hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending your elbows until your chest is close to the floor. Push back up by extending your arms. Maintain proper form and repeat for desired reps.
b) Dips – Dips are designed specifically to target the triceps, but also help in building muscles in the arm, core strengthening, and shoulder flexibility. Triceps-focused bench dips with the body weight alone are one of the best exercises to shape up your arms and strengthen them.
How to perform – Grip the front edges of a chair or bench by placing your hands shoulder-width apart, extend your legs a little forward, and start lowering your body towards the ground while bending your elbows and reversing the motion.
c) Curls – Curls specifically target the biceps, which is a large muscle located on the front of the upper arm. Firm and round biceps can be gained with a single exercise movement which is curls. It’s easy to perform any time of the day, try to get the fullest range of motion by squeezing and straightening your biceps muscles.
How to perform – Make your upper arm still and elbows pinned toward your sides, now bend your elbow to bring the lower arms up to your shoulder and squeeze the bicep muscles, now reverse the curl slowly and stretch the biceps. Repeat the cycle of 15 reps x 4 sets.

3. Core Strengthening

Your core is the central part of your body which includes the pelvis, lower back, hips, and stomach. A strong core increases the stability, balance, and athletic performance of an individual by giving him an extra edge during tough sessions. Abs or abdominal muscles are the most evident part of core strengthening and are cherished by every being. Targeted core exercise programs will help you improve core stability, core strength, and visual core muscle definition (often termed as 6 packs).

Core strengthening exercises engage and work the following body parts.

  • Rectus Abdominis (Pectorals) – Front abdominal muscles responsible for the “six-pack” appearance.
  • Obliques – Side abdominal muscles involved in rotation and side bending.
  • Transverse Abdominis – Deep abdominal muscle providing stability and support.
  • Erector Spinae – Muscles along the spine for posture and back support.
  • Pelvic Floor Muscles – Support for pelvic organs and bladder/bowel control.
  • Hip Flexors – Front hip muscles for flexion and leg movement.

Top core strengthening exercises to be performed to achieve an hourglass figure

a) Knee pull – Efficient and effective resistance training that helps strengthen core muscles like your abs. Knee pulls also help in lower back strengthening and pelvis stability.
How to perform – Lie on your back with your legs extended on the floor now touch the floor with your toes. Now reverse the motion by pulling your knees toward your chest and bringing your hips off the floor, slowly lowering your body back to its starting position. Master the exercise and try to perform at a very slow tempo.
b) Leg raises – Leg raise is a strength training exercise also called the lying leg raise or leg lifts. Leg raise is a type of bodyweight exercise that helps in core muscle flexibility, abdominal muscle toning, and strengthening of hip flexors and lower back.
How to perform – Lie on your back and begin by hovering your feet above the floor and raising your legs straight up to the ceiling (90-degree angle with the upper body) until your butt comes off the floor, now slowly lower your legs straight to the ground and repeat the cycle.
c) Planks – A kind of static isometric core exercise that engages multiple muscle groups at the same time. Doing planks often will strengthen your spine, and muscles in your abdomen and also tone your stomach by burning overall fat in the middle section of your body. Planks can surely shrink the circumference of your waist and give your body better stabilization and balance. Research says, that holding the plank pose positively activates the calorie-burning process with 2-5 calories burned per minute.
How to perform – Lie down with your face towards the floor, now simply move your hips, chest, and arms lifted from the floor. Now let your elbows lie flat on the ground 90 degrees to your shoulders with your core engaged. Assume a push-up position with toes on the ground, hands flat, and a straight body, but to perform planks just bend your arms at your elbows so your weight rests on your forearms. Stay in this position for 2 to 10 minutes and build up stamina to last longer.
What are Isometric exercises?

Isometric exercises involve tightening / contractions / squeezing of a specific muscle in the same position for the duration of time, where the muscle doesn’t move or change length but always stays in tension.

d) Superman – This exercise gives a childlike sensation of flying and you must have performed this exercise many times unknowingly. A great exercise to strengthen the muscles that support your spine, core, lower back, and glutes. This exercise also encourages breathing performance, flexibility, and body stabilization.
How to perform – Lie on the floor in a facedown position, now raise both your arms and legs outstretched straight up off the ground, hold the position for just a second or two, and then come back. Let your neck stay in a neutral position.

4. Cardio exercises

Cardio exercises are easy to do and can be performed anywhere without the need for gym or weight equipment. 30 minutes of cardio a few times a week is a great way to strengthen your heart, strengthen your blood vessels, burn fat, and make you shred extra weight from your body. Cardio exercises called aerobic exercises, involve movements that get your heart rate up and fasten your breathing. A cardio workout session makes you breathe faster and more deeply making your respiratory system strong with an improved flow of oxygen throughout your body. Cardio is an essential exercise for every individual no matter age or gender for good health, fat burning, muscle sculpting, and stamina improvement. Cardio exercises typically engage and work multiple body parts simultaneously.

Here are the body parts that are commonly engaged during a variety of cardio exercises.

  • Cardiovascular System – The cardiovascular system includes the heart and blood vessels. Cardio exercises elevate heart rate and strengthen heart muscle which helps to improve cardiovascular endurance.
  • Lower Body Muscles – Cardio training involves almost all the muscles in the lower body including the quadriceps (front of the thighs), hamstrings (back of the thighs), glutes (buttocks), calves, and hip flexors. Movements such as running, cycling, and jumping rope engage and strengthen these muscles.
  • Core Muscles – Abdominals, obliques, and lower back muscles all are targeted while performing cardio exercises. Core muscles play a crucial role in maintaining proper posture, stability, and balance.
  • Upper Body Muscles – While cardio exercises predominantly focus on the lower body, some exercises also engage the upper body muscles.
  • Respiratory Muscles – Cardio exercises challenge the respiratory muscles, including the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, by increasing the demand for oxygen intake and ventilation.

Top cardio exercises to be performed to achieve an hourglass figure

a) Mountain climbers – Almost the entire body can be strengthened with this exercise, great for building cardio endurance, and strengthening your arms, back, shoulders, core, and legs. Mountain climbers are best to lose that stubborn belly fat and reveal your abs. Mountain climbers are good for your heart, great for mobility, and an effective bodyweight exercise to boost your fitness.
How to perform – Mountain climbers are like climbing mountains which involve putting your body in plank positions and your arms 90 degrees standing flat on the ground parallel to your shoulders, followed by alternate movement of knee forward towards your chest at a time and back out again, try to speed up until you are running against the floor.
b) Burpees – Burpees are a very dynamic exercise that not only targets your upper body or lower body but targets the body as a whole. Considered one of the most intense exercises and go-to choices to burn calories and fat at the same time, as it involves both cardio and strength training. As per science, in just one minute you might be able to burn upwards of 15 calories while performing burpees. A full bodyweight workout that fires up your core muscles, as well as targeting the shoulders, hips, and cardiovascular system.
How to perform – Burpees are a combination of three movements i.e. Jumping, squatting, and pushup together. All three exercises are combined and performed together in one set and repeated as per the stamina of the individual.
c) Jumping Jack and Variations – Jumping Jack and its variations is a great cardiovascular exercise that helps you burn a whole lot of calories, engages multiple muscle groups, helps strength building, increase bone density, and improves mobility. Jumping jack exercises are extremely helpful for the heart too as this exercise stimulates muscles to pump more oxygenated blood.
How to perform – Jumping jacks are easy to perform. Just stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, Jump up, and extend both your hands overhead, so your hands almost clap together. Come back in the starting position and jump again, perform sets of 4 and reps of 25.

There are many variations of jumping jacks like Step jacks, Squat jacks, Press jacks, Plank jacks, Tuck jumps, Cross-Jack, High Knee jacks, and Split jacks. You can also make your combinations of jumping exercises, but first work slowly to understand the posture and then start to perform.

d) Skipping – Skipping is a great cardio, this aerobic exercise has proven to be the best full-body workout. Skipping works great in posture maintenance, knee strengthening, metabolism boost, heart health, muscle strengthening, calorie burn, and cognitive functioning improvement. Just grab your skipping rope and start doing this simple exercise to enjoy many health benefits, start with 5 to 10 minutes and improve from there, or you can count to 100 without breaking the cycle, then rest and repeat for 100 or continuously 500 or more as per your expertise.
e) Stairs – Stair climbing is also a form of cardiovascular exercise that can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, muscles, and joints. When compared to running and walking, climbing stairs burns extra calories, 10 steps climbed can burn 1 calorie, but it is advised to people not to perform jumping and stair exercises if they are suffering from knee problems.

Warning - Exercises to Avoid Completely to Achieve an Hourglass Figure

If a smaller waist and curvier hip is your goal then there are a few specific exercises that must be avoided by you at any cost. You must have seen many females performing crunches, side bends, and rotations nonstop for minutes and hours. All these exercises have something in common, they increase the size of side oblique muscles and make your waistline boxy.
Avoid these mentioned exercises as they will create a thicker midsection which is exactly opposite to an hourglass figure. Due to a lack of knowledge or being told by inexperienced trainers some women make this mistake; avoid exercises that specifically target the oblique muscles if you want to sculpt a small waist physique.

Fast Answers

Is an hourglass figure rare?
The hourglass body shape is the rarest as it requires equal bust/shoulder and hip proportions with a dramatically smaller waist, only 8 to 10% of women have an hourglass body shape.
Is an hourglass figure genetic?
An hourglass figure is largely based on your genetics—your body shape or frame you are holding is inherited.
Is an hourglass figure attractive?
Curvaceous woman “Most admired and desired feminine figure with an impressive bust, slim waist, and curvy hips”.
Who has the best hourglass figure in the world?
Marilyn Monroe, with her measurements recorded as 36-24-34, and of course Wonder Woman.

Expert advice on performing the above exercises at home

  • Perform 5 day/week exercise schedule.
  • Try to do at least 2 exercises from each group every day (Lower body, upper body, core).
  • Empty stomach simple half-hour cardio like walking, jogging, and stairs helps in fat reduction and weight loss.
  • Eat some complex carbs and proteins 1 hour before strength exercises.
  • Try to complete a session of 45 minutes to 1 hour every day.
  • Get a healthy diet rich in protein, good fats, and complex carbs.
  • Take good rest, and don’t exaggerate your body, the body needs time to recover.
  • Be consistent and have patience, soon you will see results.

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