Despite what magazines may tell you, you can’t simply trim your waistline with a few simple exercises. The concept of “spot reduction” (i.e., using exercise to lose fat in a specific area or body part) is a myth, but with a smart plan and hard work, you can unveil sleek abs and obliques.

Don’t waste your time with endless sit-ups or side bends. Here are 2 simple exercises that, in combination with smart nutrition, will trim your waist:

 

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Side Planks
Few exercises target your entire midsection like side planks. More specifically, you’ll hammer your obliques, which, in combination with low body fat, will give your waistline a slimmer look.

Unlike crunches and sit-ups, which can leave your lower back sore and cranky, side planks can actually improve lower-back health by creating a more neutral pelvic and rib cage position. It’s a win-win.

 

Hip Thrusts
Naturally, if a bigger back makes your waist look small, a set of shapely thighs and glutes will make it look even smaller. Hip thrusts target all the muscles of the lower body and can be performed just about anywhere.

You’ll get a crazy burn from high-rep hip thrusts, especially the 1-leg version, but you’ll also help correct the previously mentioned APT by strengthening your glutes and hamstrings. Make sure to keep your core tight and squeeze your butt during the whole movement for the full effect.

Start with 3 sets of 10 reps per side. You can go as high as 20 reps or hold a dumbbell or weight plate across your lap to increase the resistance.

Now that we’ve squashed the myth of spot reduction, leave the sit-ups behind and try out the exercises listed above. I am confident you’ll achieve the slimmer waist you’ve always wanted.