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Muscle Training: Bigger obliques = larger waist?


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I'm new on these boards, although have been keeping a food log for a while now and have been active and fit most of my adult life. I'm naturally petite and up until the age of about 21 could eat mostly what I wanted and stay tiny. Since going to Uni and eating worse, I found I was gaining dress sizes quickly so incorporated exercise and healthy eating into my lifestyle.

Anyway, as I said I am quite petite and the one part of my body which I like is my waist and stomach. (I've got short legs and no bum!) It has always stayed quite flat and I have a nipped in waist. I train with weights at a muscle tone class three times a week and it's been doing wonders for my bum, legs, arms etc. Recently, maybe in the past month, each class has had more focus on the obliques, with lots of side planks and weighted oblique exercises.

Since then I've noticed my waist measurement has gone up. I used to have a 23inch waist and it's now 25. (This is at the smallest point, not over the bellybutton or naval). When I touch the side of my waist it doesn't feel soft, but actually quite hard which would seem it's muscle.

Is it possible that I've increased my waist size with added muscle mass through working out? And if so, if I stop training my obliques as much (still focussing on other abs though) and keep up cardio, is it likely to go back down again? I've not got a 'muscley' physique and actually struggle to keep muscle on, so muscle tone helps me maintain shape in my legs and arms rather than looking 'twig-like'. However, i want to keep my petite waist rather than getting a wider, more muscley midrift.

Any thoughts or experience on this?

6 Replies (last)

My waist was a bit more cinched in even when I was fatter & skinner.  I don't do any more direct ab work, I seem to get enough doing other lifting moves.  Not to mention I don't see any real functional need to do side bends. Just my 2 cents.

Thanks octo-luv. I don't mind crunches but I even avoid intense ab work as I feel it pushes my abs out, and whilst the look works for some I prefer a smooth flat stomach.

The only problem is the obliques work is part of a Muscle Tone class, led by an instructor. I may just ask if there are different exercises I can do during that part of the class. And I agree, other exercises definitely work that area anyway.

Thanks for your feedback, good to know it's not just me!

Original Post by octo-luv:

Not to mention I don't see any real functional need to do side bends. Just my 2 cents.

 What if I have a functional need to screw up my back?

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by octo-luv:

Not to mention I don't see any real functional need to do side bends. Just my 2 cents.

 What if I have a functional need to screw up my back?

haha, well i guess there is a very 'old, interesting & fun' function/activity for laying on your back.

Original Post by runjenrun:

Thanks octo-luv. I don't mind crunches but I even avoid intense ab work as I feel it pushes my abs out, and whilst the look works for some I prefer a smooth flat stomach.

Thanks for your feedback, good to know it's not just me!

 wasp waist training. The "vacuum" is supposed to work but I get bored doing it, so I can't speak from experience.

And also just watch what you eat, bloating doesn't help anything. Depends on what makes you bloated tho.

Original Post by octo-luv:

Original Post by floggingsully:

Original Post by octo-luv:

Not to mention I don't see any real functional need to do side bends. Just my 2 cents.

 What if I have a functional need to screw up my back?

haha, well i guess there is a very 'old, interesting & fun' function/activity for laying on your back.

If that's screwing up your back, you need a new mattress.

6 Replies
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