Women with excess weight in their lower body are referred to as pear-shaped. As Tracey Mallet states in her book "Sexy in Six," this is the most common body shape for women. With weight training, it is possible to slim down the lower half of your body while building up the upper half -- which creates an hourglass appearance that many women find desirable. You can be at a healthy weight and still have a pear shape. If you are above your ideal weight, however, add cardio workouts most days of the week and cut calories to lose body fat as you build muscle.
Tone your thighs and love handles so they become slim and smooth. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps of squats, deadlifts and lunges two to three times per week.
Slim your waist by performing crunches, reverse crunches and bicycle maneuvers. The American Council on Exercise recommends performing five minutes of ab exercises each day, switching the exercises you perform so you work the muscles in different ways.
Widen your shoulders to fill out the top half of the hourglass. Military presses and upright rows target the shoulders. Three sets of 10 to 12 reps, two to three times per week will provide results.
Lift the chest to finish off your hourglass physique. Bench presses and chest-fly exercises -- which you can perform as part of the same workout for toning shoulders -- build the pectoral muscles, which support breast tissue.
- "The New Rules of Lifting For Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess"; Lou Shuler et al.; 2007
- "Sexy in Six"; Tracey Mallett; 2008
- American Council on Exercise; New Study Puts the Crunch on Ineffective Ab Exercises; Mark Anders; May-June 2001