woman measuring waist photo
woman measuring waist photo
(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

It's the one area of the body, that regardless of weight, shape or body type everyone wants to slim. From arduous hours in the gym to restrictive diets and wardrobe tricky the pursuit of a slimmer waist has the potential to lead us down all kinds of expensive and time-consuming and rabbit holes.

Off the back of our waist size insecurities the shapewear industry is now reportedly a billion dollar business. No longer just producing quick fix one-off solutions, but 'shape trainers' - garments which over time comfortably reduce the size of you midriff to create a permanent cinch. Having secured a huge A-list following in recent years they are unsurprisingly flying off department store shelves at record rate. And then there are those electronic waistband's which wrap around your wobbly bits with minimum effort and mimic the muscle toning motion of normal exercise until your suitably taut.

But what if we told you that you don't even need to work up at sweat, or spend a pretty penny to sport a trimmer midriff? Experts have revealed that something as simple as a daily stretch or sucking your stomach in for a minute at a time - whilst trawling the supermarket isles or standing at the bus stop, can be equally adept at producing a toner tum.

Read on to discover our 3 steps to a slimmer waist and look forward to slipping into that flimsy summer dress in no time.

1. Stand and Stretch

This exercise strengthens your tummy muscles, abs and chest for a longer, leaner look. Stand with feet just wider than shoulder-width apart and knees bent slightly. Shift your tail bone forward; maintain this alignment for the entire move. Inhale, interlacing your fingers and reaching you palms to the ceiling, then straightening your arms (back to the starting position, reaching up to create space in the abdomen and chest. Start with two sets of ten; then build up two sets of 20.

2) Simply suck in your tum

You can do this one anywhere - at the bus stop, in a queue - and the more you do it, the more toned you'll get. Stand up straight and tall and exhale until all the air is out of your lungs. Next, tale a deep breath and suck your stomach in as far as you can. Hold your stomach in for around 20 seconds (after practice hold for around 60 seconds``0, then let it out. Rest for a few seconds then repeat the exercise twice more.

3) Cheat

The Slendertone Abs belt uses electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) - which causes the muscles to contract, then relax, as they would during normal exercise - and helps to tone deep into your core. Programmes are designed to give your abs a workout and include passive options (when no physical activity is required), and active ones that cover a cardio setting, as well as stomach-crunch routines. The belt costs £149,99 - order online now at slendertone.com

Top tip:

Need to fit into that slinky dress tonight but still feeling the effects of the festive season feasting? Try the Miraclesuit Waist Cincher, which instantly takes inches off your waist while smoothing your hips and tmmy, £37.99.