actress-singer Qi Wei, actress-singer Wang Li Kun and actress-singer Yuan Shanshan showing off their #A4Waist
From left: Actress-singer Qi Wei, actress-singer Wang Li Kun and actress-singer Yuan Shanshan showing off their #A4Waist

What’s the ideal waist size? Based on the latest beauty craze that has hit China, it’s apparently 21 cm by 29.7 cm, which is the width of a sheet of A4 paper. This “A4 Waist Challenge” has resulted in hundreds of people posting photos of themselves hiding their waist behind A4 sheets of paper on Weibo and other social media sites, using the hashtag #A4Waist. Even Chinese celebrities such as Qi Wei, Wang Li Kun and Yuan Shanshan have jumped on the bandwagon.

We totally get that a slim and trim waist is desirable. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll fit your waist behind a piece of A4 paper, we can be sure that you’ll get a trimmer and tauter tummy, the safe and healthy way, by doing the exercises below for four weeks, accompanied by a nutritious diet to boot.

Leg Raises
Lie down with your back flat on the floor, your arms down at your sides and your palms facing down. Lift your legs directly overhead, so they’re at right angles to your body and the soles of your feet and facing the ceiling. Gently lower your legs to the floor – take them as low as your can without arching your back.

The Plank
Lie on the floor face down. Place your forearms flat on the floor to support your body and straighten your legs out behind you, balancing on the balls of your feet. Your hips should remain square and your bottom should not be raised, allowing your body to form a straight line. Hold this position for 45 seconds to begin with, extending the time as you get stronger.

The Classic Crunch
Lie on the floor and bend your knees up so the soles of your feet are flat on the floor. Place your fingertips at your temples and use your abdominal muscles to pull yourself up onto the seated position. Gently lower yourself back down, taking care to push your lower back into the floor as you curl down. Be careful not to strain your neck.

Text: Good Health, Bauer Syndication / Additional Reporting: Zarelda Marie Goh
Photos: Weibo