When many people think of losing weight, among the first things that spring to mind is getting a totally toned and tight tummy. After all, who doesn’t wish to be able to slip into a pair of jeans without needing to deal with a muffin top? Plus, losing belly fat is a surefire way to improve your health: Research links a larger waist size to heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. That said, we hate to break it to you, but doing hundreds of crunches each day is not the best way to get rid of belly fat. In actuality, exercises that promote spot reduction just don’t exist.

“Spot reduction is not a workable approach to losing belly fat,” explains fitness trainer and nutrition expert Corey Phelps, inventor of the Cultivate by Corey Fitness Program. “However, there are some great core-focused exercises that will torch fat throughout the body, resulting in a strong and more chiseled heart.”

Celebrity trainer and nutrition expert Jillian Michaels also say that doing an assortment of exercises that combine cardio, strength, and heart work will ultimately help you reduce body fat. “I’m a huge fan of exercises which are core-focused, but work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously with a HIIT part for additional calorie burn,” she says.
Here are the best exercises and workouts to lose stomach fat, according to private trainers. Want more workout inspiration? Pick up the Tone Up in 15 workout DVDs, which is full of 15-minute total-body workouts which you can do in your home.