How to Tighten Your Stomach and Sides

Stability ball exercises tone your midsection.
i Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

You can't look stylish with a muffin top draped over the waistband of your skirt or trousers. While flabby sides just look bad, a pot gut formed by the fat that gathers in your abdominal cavity around your internal organs increases your risk of chronic disease. You can't spot-reduce and lose fat just from your stomach area, though. To trim your midsection, you must lose overall body fat. Then, focus on tightening and toning your abdominal and oblique muscles by performing targeted exercises.

Step 1

Prepare to exercise. Begin your stomach and side tightening and toning workout by doing a 10-minute moderate-intensity cardio warmup. Take a brisk walk, dance or ride a bike to get the heart pumping and warm up the muscles.

Step 2

Work both stomach and side muscles with the bicycle maneuver. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Touch your left elbow to your right knee and the right elbow to left knee.

Step 3

Tighten your abdominal muscles on the Captain's chair. Place your forearms on the arm rests, with your back against the back rest and legs straight. Draw your knees up until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Twist your knees to the side as you lift them to activate the side muscles.

Step 4

Do crunches on an exercise ball for maximum tightening. The extra effort of balancing gives you a better workout than a more stable surface, effectively toning muscles.

the nest