Ladies, it’s time to forget those waist trainers you’ve seen online. The better strategy for cinching: targeting the transverse abdominis. That’s the deep core muscle that wraps around the entire belly and acts as your body’s natural corset. And my dynamic, plank-based moves hit it extra hard. Strengthening this muscle will also help protect your lower back. Now who’s ready to lose the love handles?

Do 30 reps of each move in the series on one side, then repeat the sequence on the other. For exercises 3 and 5, just switch the side you initiate the move on.

Kick, Twist & Arabesque:

How to:

  • Sit with feet and palms planted on the floor, fingers facing back.
  • Lift hips, coming onto toes as you extend left arm and right leg up, right inner thigh facing the ceiling (A).
  • Rotate torso, placing left hand and right knee on the floor as you extend left leg up (B).
  • Reverse motion to return to “A.” Repeat.

Tuck & Inner Thigh Kick:

How to:

  • Sit with feet and palms planted on the floor, fingers facing back.
  • Lift hips and cross right ankle over left thigh. Lift left arm, bending it as if making a muscle (A).
  • Push hips up slightly as you uncross right leg and kick it straight up (B).
  • Return to “A” and repeat.
  • This move will really challenge your balance.

Pike and Dip:

How to:

  • Start in plank position, then lift hips; think Downward-Facing Dog (A).
  • As you lower hips, twist waist to the left, dipping hips toward the floor (B).
  • Twist hips back up to centre and then over to the right, dipping them down again.
  • Continue alternating, turning leg out from the hip.

Swinging Arabesque Plank:

How to:

  • Start in plank, then lift leg as high as possible, toe pointed (A).
  • As you lower down, rotate body to the right, coming to rest on right hip.
  • Immediately swing left leg back behind body (B).
  • Reverse motion to return to “A” (make sure to avoid arching your back here).
  • Repeat.

Alternating Arabesque Kick:

How to:

  • Start on all fours with forearms on the floor (A).
  • Lift right leg up and over to the left on a diagonal, rotating torso and right leg slightly so that sole of right foot faces left (B).
  • Return to “A” and repeat move with left leg (C).
  • Continue alternating, trying to reach that leg back.