In a recent poll from Women’s Health magazine, 62% of women said that they were embarrassed when it comes to their abs. So how can you get rid of that pudge around your tummy area? Here are five of the best exercise and lifestyle tips.

#1 Do Some Cardio
You may be thinking, “how will cardio help me great abs?” Cardio is one of the first steps in having killer abs. You can do all the ab exercises in the world but they won’t slim down your middle if you have a layer of fat over the muscle. It’s just not possible to spot-reduce fat in one area. In order to have abs worth showing off, you must lose overall fat. To lose fat, make sure that you are doing at least two high-intensity cardio workouts a week.

#2 Try Pilates
Almost every move in Pilates targets the core, which is what makes Pilates such a great workout for the abs. Pilates is based on 600 different exercises and is unlike any other workout. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that doing Pilates twice a week for nine months strengthened the abdominal muscles more than 21% and reduced imbalances in the core area.

#3 Work with a Personal Trainer
You might be wondering how a personal trainer can help you get great abs. Correct technique and posture are essential when it comes to abdominal exercises. A personal trainer can help ensure that you are doing the ab exercises correctly. If you are not doing the exercises using the correct form, they will not be helpful and could lead to injury. A personal trainer can also help you set realistic goals based on your particular body shape.

#4 Don’t be Intimidated by TRX Training
Maybe you noticed those funky nylon ropes at the gym but were too intimidated to try it out. TRX, or Total Body Resistance Exercise, uses these ropes along with gravity and your own body weight to build balance, coordination, flexibility and strength. There are a number of core exercises that can be performed using TRX equipment. It’s best to join a TRX class or use a personal trainer so that you can learn to do the exercises properly.

#5 Use Props
Stability balls are great props to help you get strong abs. There are numerous abdominal exercises that can be performed using this method. Performing exercises with the help of a stability ball can improve balance, posture, and flexibility. Research in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy has also found that using a stability ball for crunches are twice as effective as doing them on the floor.

Getting killer abs involves more than just performing abdominal exercises. These five tips will help you achieve great abs and a tighter midsection.