Unless you’re up for liposuction, spot reducing belly fat through exercise is too good to be true. Only when you lose fat from your entire body is when your belly pooch will also slim down. Targeted exercises can still be part of your routine, because they strengthen and tone your muscles, leaving you with a well-defined physique when the excess fat is gone. In addition to crunches, which mainly work the upper part of the rectus abdominis, perform toe raises to work the lower part of this muscle. With proper form, you’ll be well on your way to a flat, firm tummy.
Lie face up on a padded exercise mat and extend your arms alongside your body.
Raise your legs directly above your hips, flex your feet and slightly bend your knees.
Suck in your tummy tightly as if you’re trying to make it as small as possible. Aim to get rid of any space between your back and the exercise mat.
Inhale, and slowly push your hips up as high as you can, using the strength of your lower abdominals. Initially, the motion will be small and maybe only a few inches. Avoid pressing your palms or arms into the floor to help you raise your hips — this is cheating. Imagine trying to reach the ceiling with your heels. Your legs should be making an upward motion; they shouldn’t move toward your head.
Exhale for one second when your feet reach the highest point, and then slowly lower your hips back to the floor in a controlled motion. Avoid dropping your hips to the floor; use your lower abs to control the descent.
Perform up to 12 toe raises to finish a set. As your abs get stronger, add two more sets.
To make toe raises harder, wear ankle weights or wrap a resistance band around your feet as you hold the ends of the band in your hands.