Surgery is the only option for losing fat from only one area of the body, such as the tummy, but it is possible to tone and tighten the abdominal muscles to make the waist, stomach and abdomen look trimmer. If you couple these tummy exercises with an aerobic plan, such as walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike, you'll have a great indoor workout. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet--and take out some of the fat--and you'll have a lifestyle change that will keep your tummy trim for years to come.
Crunches strengthen the abdominus rectus (the "six-pack") muscles as well as the internal and external obliques (waist muscles). Crunches need to be done properly to maintain the safety of your back, as well as to target the appropriate muscles.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Place your hands at the back of your head or across your chest, then raise your head and shoulders from the floor a few inches, squeezing the abdominal muscles. Do three sets of 25 crunches, as recommended by Great-workout.com, and add some weight to your chest if these become too easy.
This exercise is similar to the standard crunch, but specifically targets the obliques, the muscles on either side of your waist.
On the floor with your back flat and arms either behind your head or crossed over your chest, raise your shoulders a few inches off the floor as you turn toward the right knee or the left knee. Squeeze your muscles and hold for two or three seconds before returning to the floor. Alternate sides. Do three sets of 25 reps for each side.
This modified version of the sit-up is a great starter exercise for those with weak abdominal muscles, reports ChangingShape.com.
Sit on the floor with your legs bent and your feet tucked under furniture for support. Place your hands over your chest and tuck your chin down to your chest. Slowly lean back until you feel your tummy muscles start to contract, then try to go back another inch. Hold for three seconds and then return to a sitting position. Start with one set of 25 sit-backs and work your way up from there.
Isometric crunches can be done anytime, anywhere--even sitting at your desk at work. Sit comfortably and exhale. Then suck in your stomach as far as you can and hold the pose for 15 seconds. Once you've sucked in your stomach, breathe normally for the duration of the crunch. Release your stomach muscles, take a deep breath in, exhale and do it again.