Which Exercises Can I Do to Tone?

  • The Fitness Team
  • Written on:
Bird-dog-exercise

Question: My friends have told me that it's important to incorporate strength training into my daily cardio routine for the best results. What exercises should I do that will tone as opposed to bulk? 

Your friends are absolutely right. Doing a combination of cardio and weight training will yield the best results for weight lose. As for exercises that will help you tone rather than bulk, try these.

They are provided by the American Council of Exercise, require minimal equipment, if any at all, that you can do anytime, anywhere. Well, almost anywhere…if you don’t mind your boss walking in on you doing the boot camp crawl. Jokes aside, these three moves are excellent ways to tone and sculpt target areas such as your arms, hips and butt. And because they require you to engage other muscles to keep the pose, your abs and back will reap the benefits too.

Exercise 1: The Bird-Dog
Works: gluteus, abs, upper back.

Starting Position: Come to a hands and knees position on an exercise mat positioning your knees underneath your hips and the crease of your wrists directly underneath your shoulders. Your fingers should be pointing forward and your back straight. 

Movement: Slowly lift and extent your left leg and right arm, like you’re trying to make a straight, parallel line to the ground from your finger tips to your toes. Make sure your back doesn’t sag or arch. Hold for a few second and gently lower your arm and leg. Alternate sides…or you’ll walk funny all day!

Throughout this move, focus on keeping your stomach tightened, and making sure your back is parallel to the ground.

For more details, including images, click here.

Side plank with bent knee
Works: abs, thigh/butt

Starting Position: Lie on your right side with your right arm directly below your shoulder, with your forearm perpendicular to and upholding your torso. Knees bent, stacked on top of one another.
Movement: As you exhale, lift your right hips off the ground, keeping your body straight. Inhale as you slowly lower your body to the starting position. Repeat 5-10 times and switch sides.

For more details, including images, click here

Bent Knee Push Up
Works: Shoulders, arms, chest

Starting Position: Position yourself on your hands and knees. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, knees on the ground below your hips. Imagine a straight line connected from your head to your knees.

Movement: Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows lowering your body to the floor. Keep your elbows close to the side of your body. Exhale as you lift your body off of the ground, keeping your body rigid and straight. Make sure not to let your back sag. Continue pressing the floor until your elbows are straight.

For more details, including images, click here.

Photo courtesy of modelsinspiration.blogspot.com.

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