Hourglass Body – The Ultimate Guide

Hourglass body

The hourglass body is a look sought after by a lot of women but only few naturally have it. In in this article we will answer all the important questions about it.

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What is a Hourglass Body?

The hourglass body is one of the four body shapes described by the fashion industry. It is a quite rare body type as only 8 percent of all women have naturally. It has gotten its name due to the body resembling a hourglass, with wide hips and booty, a small waist and a wide upper body and bust about the same measurements as the hips. As with most things, the most desired body shape varies through different eras of time. In the last few years the hourglass shape has become one of the most desires looks as can be seen by a lot of celebrities working hard on those curves.  

Celebrities with a Hourglass Body

Some of the more notable celebrities known for having a hourglass body we have listed here:  

  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Shakira
  • Beyonce Knowles

And the list goes on and on

How to Get a Hourglass body?

If you are one of the lucky 8% you can skip this part of the article as you don’t have to work to have a body with wide hips, small waist and a bust matching the waist. But if you’re not continue to read as there are hope! You can still get your desired body shape through hard work and dedication. To get the hourglass shape you have to workout out. Building muscle on your legs, booty and hips to get your lower body bigger. You also need to put in some work on your upper body, focusing on building up your chest, shoulders and lats to appear wider while still keeping your waist small. All this can be done, for the fastest results lifting weights in the gym is the best way. But if you are pressed for time don’t feel down as it can be done with home workouts but it will take longer to get your desired results. Below we have listed two different workout routines you can do to acquire the hourglass body shape. One in the gym and one from home.

Related: How to tone your body

Hourglass body beach

Hourglass Body Gym Workout

For your gym routine you will do two different workouts. One for your upper body and one for your lower body with some abs at the end of each!

Workout A – Lower Body


For proper lower body development squats are a must. As we are looking not just to build muscle on your thighs but get your hips wider we are going to tweak the stance a bit to get more glute activation. Perform your squats with your feet at about an inch outside your shoulders to get more glute activation. Do the negative part of the lift in a slow controlled motion. Go as deep as you feel comfortable with as long as it is 90 degrees or below. Then explode up to the starting position and remember to squeeze your glutes at the top!

Perform squats for 4 sets of 8 reps and increase the weight the next session when you get all 4×8 on the same weight.  


Deadlifts target the whole lower body and your back and carries a lot of bang for your excersise buck. Keep your stance at around shoulder width or slightly inside. Remember to keep your back tense and straight at all times during the lift to avoid injuries. Keep the negatives controlled and do not just let the bar fall down to the floor.

Perform your deadlifts in the same rep scheme as your squats and aim to get 4 sets of 8 reps before increasing the weight next session.    The hourglass body is a look sought after by a lot of women but only few naturally have it. In in this article we will answer all the important questions about it.

Hip Thrusts

The mother of all booty exercises must be included when you want to build and hourglass body! Perform the lift with a stance just outside shoulder width in a position so your shins point straight down towards the floor. Hold the top of the lift for at least 2 seconds while squeezing your booty as hard as possible.

Perform 4 sets of 8 reps on this exercise too, increasing the weight in the same manner as above.

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Leg Extensions

To isolate your thighs nothing works as good as the leg extension machine. Perform the lift keeping reps slow both on the way up and down and really try to feel the front side of your leg working. If you start to feel a burning sensation in your legs you are doing it right!

Perform 3 sets of 12 reps. Increase the weight only when you can do all 3 sets of 12 reps in a slow and controlled motion. Isolation and feeling the muscle working here is the key and not the amount of weight!  

Leg Curls

Leg Curls are used to isolate the hamstrings. Just as with the leg curls you should focus on feeling your hamstrings working and not on the amount of weight lifted. Go slow to really feel the burn. There are quite a few different leg curl machines available and it doesn’t really matter which one your choose. So go for the one you like the best whether it is seated or lying. But we recommend to choose one that uses both legs at the same time. Because these slow sets will be really draining and it is easier to do just 3 sets instead of 3 sets for each leg.  

Perform the same 3 sets of 12 reps as above.  

Hip Abductor Machine

The hip abductor machine is the best tools available to target your outer booty wich gives your hips a wider look. To get maximal glute activation we are going to use the machine a little different than it is intended. Instead of doing them seated you are going to hoover your booty in the air just above the seat in a squatting position. Instead of going for a lot of weight focus on feeling your booty working to the max by really going slow during the lift!

Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.  

body hourglass

Workout B – Upper Body

Military press Complete Guide

A wider upper body that matches your hips is the essence of the hourglass body. So putting in the best shoulder exercise in the routine is a given. Perform standing military presses with a barbell. Keep your stance about shoulder width and remember to brace your abs. Also remember to squeeze your booty to have a stable body and posture during the lift. Do not use your legs to get the bar moving. Instead focus on using your upper body to press the weight up.

Perform 4 sets of eight reps on a weight before increasing the next session.

Lat Pulldowns Complete Guide

A true hourglass body is not just seen from the front but also from the back. And bigger lats are the best way to give you the shape we are looking for from the back. Perform lat pulldowns in a slow tempo. At the bottom of every rep squeeze your lats as hard as possible for a second before letting the bar travel back up slowly to a stretched position.

Perform 4 sets of 8 reps.

Related: How to build the booty of the upper body

Barbell Row

Rows work the whole backside of your upper body. The barbell have the added benefit of targeting your biceps quite a lot too. Use a underhand grip, bend forward to at least 45 degrees. Then start pulling the bar towards your navel. Squeeze at the top before lowering in a controlled motion.

Perform 4 sets of 8 reps.

Machine Chest Press

No upper body routine is complete without some chest work, we opt for a machine press to focus on isolation. Choose a chest machine press you like and follow the instruction on the machine. Remember to do the reps slowly on the way down and explosive on the way up.

Perform 3 sets of 12

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Lateral raises mainly targets the outside of your shoulders which is great for appearing wider in the upper body. This exercise is purely for maximum contact of the muscle you are targeting. So do them slowly and focus on the shoulder working during all reps. Stand with the dumbbells hanging from your sides and arms very slightly bent. Start lifting them up until the arms are parallel to the floor before starting to bring them down in a controlled speed. A tip to feel the shoulders working better is to focus on bringing the dumbbells outwards, away from your body instead of trying to lift them up.  

Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.

Cable Pullovers

Pullovers is a isolation move for the lats and we have choose to do them standing from a high cable pulley. Perform the lift bent over at the hips to about 45 degrees. Grip width should be outside shoulder width on the bar. Keep your arms straight and go as far up as you feel comfortable with and squeeze for a second in the contracted position of each rep. Go very slowly on this exercise and focus on the lats working. Tip: some people have trouble feeling the lats working during this exercise. If you have this problem try having a friend putting a finger on each of your lats and you will feel them starting to work like crazy.

Ab Circuit

Use the ab circuit at the end of each workout to keep your waist tight and strong. Perform the circuit for 3 rounds and increase the reps as you get stronger. The reps listed below are a good starting point.  

Related: Ab-roller benefits

Leg Raises

Leg raises are the toughest move in the circuit so it is placed first. Lie with your lower back pressed against the floor. Keep your legs straight and by bending at the hips bring your legs up until the soles of your shoes point to the ceiling. Bring your legs down slowly.  

Do 12 reps

Elbow to Knee Crunches

Perform this exercise lying on your back with your hands behind your head. Start by bringing your right elbow and your left knee together. Go back to the starting position and do the same with the opposite elbow and knee.

Do 12 reps on each side


Do your crunches in a slow fashion as maximum contraction of the abs is the key here. Lie on your back with your knees bent. With your hands behind your head start rolling your chest towards your navel until your abs are fully contracted. To get a even harder contraction blow out the air in your lungs as you crunch up and breathe in on the way down.

Do 12 reps


Keep your body parallel to the floor with your back straight, abs braced and booty squeezed. Only keep forearms and toes against the floor.

Do it for as long as you can keep a good posture. When you can’t, your set is over.

Rest for 1 to 2 minutes before repeating.

Related: Booty Building and Circuit Training

Hourglass body type

How to Program it

Workout 3 days per week on non consecutive days. How often you want to do each workout is up to you and where you think you need to focus the most on. Follow the guidelines below:

  • To focus on the lower body

Perform the workouts A – B – A fashion every week to bring up your lower body the fastest

  • If you want to focus on your upper body

Do the workouts B – A – B every week to give your upper body extra focus to bring it up to speed

  • If you want even development

If you want to develop both upper and lower body at the same pace. Alternate workout A and B every session so in two weeks you hit both three times!

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Hourglass Body Home Workout

For the timpressed woman looking go get an hourglass body being able to workout from home is essential. Below we have written a routine that you can do any time any place so you always can fit it in your schedule. When doing the workout listed below start with the reps prescribed. Then try to increase the amount of reps you do every time you work out to progress and get closer to your goal for every session that passes!  

Jump Squats

As no weights will be used in this workout we have to create more resistance in other ways. And by jumping gravity takes care of that. Explosive jump squats will help to put new muscle on your legs and booty. Start in a squatting position and jump straight up as high as you can every rep you do. When you land on the ground remember to have slightly bent knees to not put your joints at risk. Stand up straight between every rep before squatting down for your next jump.

Perform for 10 reps with as much power as you can.


Pushups involves all your pressing muscles namely the chest, shoulders and triceps and will help you get the upper part of the hourglass. Put yourself on the floor with only your hands and toes touching the floor, back straight, abs braced and booty squeezed to keep proper posture. With your hands at just outside shoulder width start to lower yourself down towards the floor. Go as low as posThe hourglass body is a look sought after by a lot of women but only few naturally have it. In in this article we will answer all the important questions about it.sible while still feeling comfortable before pushing yourself back up in an explosive fashion. At the top position hold that position for a second before lowering yourself back down.

If normal pushups get too easy you can progress to clapping pushups. Perform them by setting everything up just as a normal pushup described above. But from the bottom you push even more explosively so your hand lift off the ground. In the air you clap your hands before putting them in front of you again before landing on the floor.

Perform 10 reps


Perform lunges to build muscles in your whole lower body. Take a stance with one feet in front of the other wide enough so that when you lunge down your front knee dont go further forward than your toes. Alternate between the legs every rep.

If you want to make this exercise harder we one again turn to using gravity as our solution. Set up as a normal lunge but jump up from the bottom position of the lift, change your feet while in the air to land with your feet already in the right stance to start lunging down in your next repetition.

Perform 10 reps on each leg.

Pullups Complete Guide

As we have written in the gym workout, the lats are one of the most important muscles to get a true hourglass body so it comes as no surprise we have a lat exercises included in this workout as well. Find a bar, staircase or anything else you can grab and hang from and start pulling yourself up then lowering yourself back down in a controlled motion.

A Lot of people have trouble doing pull ups in the beginning or maybe you don’t have anything high enough to hang from, don’t worry as there is a solution and it is called Australian Pull Ups. Find a bar, a stable table or anything similar you can grab and hang down from it with your feet on the ground and a tense and straight body. Pull yourself up while still keeping your feet on the ground. This version is easier than normal pullups because you pull at a angle that is more horizontal and your feet takes off some of the load.

Perform 10 reps if you can. As this is the hard exercise on the workout don’t worry if you don’t get all the reps the first time. You will get there!

Glute Bridges

No workout routine is complete until you have some direct booty work included and for what we are looking for with this routine it is even a must. Lie on your back with bent knees, star the exercise by lifting your butt up by pressing through your heels until your body is straight from your upper body to your knees. In this position try to rotate your pelvis towards your navel and squeeze your booty as hard as possible to maximise the results.

To make it harder you can do them one leg at a time by keeping the side your not working in the air the whole time you work the other side. If you have a side that is weaker start with that one so you do the same amount of reps at both sides.

Perform 10 reps.

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Fire Hydrants

As we want wider hips, working the side booty is a must and fire hydrants does the trick.

Start by standing on all fours on the floor. Start the lift by lifting your leg out to the side as high as you can without your back rounding. The goal is for your leg to have the same angle through the whole movement only moving at the butt. Really focus on trying to go slow on this exercise for maximum side booty growth. Do all reps on one side before going over to the other side.

Perform 10 reps on each leg.

Rest for 2 minutes and repeat the circuit 2 more times.

Keep rest between exercises as short as possible, but take enough rest to be able to perform all reps. The workout should be performed 2 to 3 times per week on non consecutive days. Ad in the ab circuit written on the gym workout 2 to 3 times per week also, they can be done together or on separate days, that is up to you.      

Hourglass body bikini

Related: How to get bigger buttocks in a week

Hourglass Waist Training

If you are one of the lucky few that has a small waist naturally, the workouts above will do the trick to get you a hourglass body. But most people are not so lucky and have a wider waist than they would want, but not to worry as there are a solution. Here we will look at two ways to make your waist smaller, two ways that work but only one that is a healthy choice.

1. Waist Trainers

Most of you reading this article have probably heard about waist trainers, seen celebrities use them on instagram, heard about the good results people have gotten in making their waist smaller. Waist trainers are a high compression garment putting pressure on your waist when worn to force it to become smaller. Having been used all the way back from the 16th century they sure do work, but they do carry a lot of risks and are not a healthy alternative. Below we have listed the pros and cons of waist trainers so you can decide for yourself if you think the risks are worth it.


  • They work


  • Discomfort

Even though discomfort might not be a very high price to pay to get the looks you want, you have to be ready for shortness of breath due to breathing restrictions, restricted movement and bruises from the pressure of the garment.

  • Hampered digestion

Inside your body, just where you place the trainer you have a lot of your intestines that plays a key role in digestion of your food. If you have a garment putting pressure on that area when you digest food you wont give your body the optimal environment to process it and take up all the nutrients you put in your body.

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  • Weakness and muscle atrophy

Wearing a waist trainer for long periods of time is sure to give you a smaller waist but the price is high, as the trainer helps you to keep your body stable your core dont need to work and you will get weaker. Long term this is very bad, as a weak core will increase the risk of back problems and increases the risk of bad posture. The bad part is that one you lose your core strength it takes a lot of time to build it back up as atrophied muscles are hard to restart.

  • May cause harm to your organs

Studies have shown that long term use of waist trainers can cause misplacement of your organs. Having you organs rearranged is not something we want, they are placed where they are for a reason in the incredible machine that is the body.

So now you know both the benefit and the bad, the choice is yours but before you decide we have listed a alternative below that is not dangerous but it might be a bit harder, but as you probably know there is no shortcuts in fitness.

2. Vacuums

The vacuum exercise is an old bodybuilding technique to keep your waist small while building muscle and this is exactly what we are looking for to obtain the hour glass body. Instead of forcing your waist to become smaller and risking losing your core strength like trainers do, vacuums instead make you waist smaller by strengthening your core, mainly your transverse abdominals. The role of this muscle is to keep your abdominal intestines in place, they help you with rotational movement and are activated when you breath heavy. If you put your hand on your belly button and focus on breathing with your stomach it is the transverse abdominals making your hand move up and down. So what are the pros and cons of vacuums?


  • They work

There is a lot of evidence to support that vacuums work and results seen on forums from people doing it are exceptional.

  • Stronger core

They actually make you stronger so instead of increasing the risk of injury and problems like trainers they reduce it!

  • Body control

When you learn how to do them right you get the added benefit of better body control in the abdominals and you learn to breathe with your stomach which is great.


  • They are grueling to do

The exercise might not look too hard but when you try it you will get why they are hard!

Related: Flexibility for Booty Building

How to do them

Start the exercise by standing tall with your hands on your hips, exhale as much air out of your lungs as possible, expand your chest out and try to bring your navel as far into your stomach as possible while keeping your posture. Hold this position for 10 seconds before slowly inhaling, rest 30 seconds then do it again. Do 3 sets of 10 seconds the first time and try to increase the time every time you do the exercise. For best results do vacuums every day and you can fit it in whenever you like during the day.

Hourglass Body Diet

Now you know how to workout to get the body you want, but you can work as hard as you want without seeing results if your diet is not on point. The unfortunate thing here is that when it comes to diet there is not one single solution that fits everyone and it has to do with how your body reacts to the different nutrients and even more importantly where you start your journey. So instead of writing one single diet, we have written easy to follow guidelines to start implementing depending on in you want to gain, lose or maintain weight.

1. Gaining Weight

Gaining weight might sound like a stupid guide on a fitness site but gaining weight can be just as hard for some people as losing weight is for others. For a hourglass body there is no need to be ripped at all as long as you perform the waist exercises written earlier. Below are some guidelines:

  • A diet high in protein

No matter what you want to do with your weight, a diet high in protein is essential to give your body the optimal environment to build muscle and recover. Shoot for 1,5 to 2 grams for every pound of bodyweight you carry.

  • Ad in more meals

Instead of just starting to load up your plate with more food try to implement more meals or snacks during the day. Start by adding one each day and when you are used to that add in one more.

  • Eat a lot of carbs

Carbohydrates are fuel both for working out and recovery and is essential. Focus on getting them from good sources and not junk food or sugar. Pasta, rice and potatoes are good sources.

  • Milk or protein shakes

Sometimes it is hard to get all your daily nutrients in and drinking milk is a easy way to get both calories and protein in. If you don’t like milk you can try protein shakes in a flavour you like.

Related: Nutrition Gaining Weight

2. Losing Weight

  • A Lot of protein

Just like when you want to gain weight you want to keep your protein att at least 1,5 grams per pound of bodyweight.

  • Cut down calories

It is very logical that to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you take in. Start by cutting out candy, sodas and junk food. If you need to cut out more start cutting out a bit more carbohydrates taking away some of the pasta, rice and potatoes from your diet.

  • Cut slowly

Taking out too many calories too soon might make you stall out in your fat loss and loose alot of your muscles, instead cut out small increments every week. Take away about 200 calories per increment.  

  • Don’t take away meals

Cutting out meals is not a good idea as you still need all your essential nutrients to stay healthy, so change to lower calorie foods but keep your normal eating schedule.

3. Maintaining Weight

  • Protein

The same 1,5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight goes for maintaining weight.

  • Calorie counting

Staying at the same weight is often one of the hardest choices as you need to eat the same amount of calories that you burn. Use a nutrient calculator you can find online and start with the numbers you get from there and adjust the amount of calories as needed.    

Related: Vegan Diet

Maintaining Your Hourglass Body

So you have gone through all the steps above and find yourself with your dream body and now you wonder what now? If you are satisfied and don’t want to put in the work to push to new limits this section is for you.


Now you workout to maintain what you have built and that doesn’t take as much work as building it, but that does not mean you can stop completely. If you do the gym workouts you can now take your workouts down to one session every 5 days, and keep your weight, sets and reps the same without trying to increase them more. If you do the bodyweight workouts we recommend to perform 2 per week. The same goes for the vacuums that you can take down a little and do them once every three days to maintain.

If you want you can add in some cardio in the form of jogging or brisk walking to burn calories so your diet doesn’t have to be very strict.


Your diet is the most important part in maintaining your hourglass body once you have it. Calculate your caloric needs and try to eat around that amount, when you cheat just do a extra workout or take a walk.  

Now you know everything you need to know about hourglass bodys, now it is time for you to take action and bring your body and health to the next level!

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