Do you have to sit a lot at work? Have you been out of training for a long time or have you just started recovering from an illness? Or maybe training has ceased to bring the desired result? Muscle toning is what will help to cope with problems and restore strength and agility to the body! Muscles in good shape are a protection for the joints, a guarantee of the proper functioning of blood vessels and an increase in calorie consumption. Just 5 toning exercises and 3 important workout tips will help you get back to normal!
The Best Toning Exercises: Use Your Own Weight
To tone your muscles, start with these exercises (and if you’re already exercising, add them to your list). Don’t be fooled: the movements only seem simple. In fact, they effectively stretch the contracted muscles and increase blood circulation in them!
Hips, buttocks and abdomen
We stand up straight, put our hands on the belt, legs — shoulder-width apart. We take a wide step to the side and at the same time squat on this leg. We straighten up, put the foot back and do the same on the other side.
20 repetitions and 3 sets will help warm up and stretch the muscles of the thighs, buttocks and abs.
Important: the feet are always parallel to each other!
Oblique and transverse abdominal muscles: making the waist
We sit down and bend our knees. The feet are pressed to the floor. The body is retracted so that it forms an angle of 45 degrees with the floor. We press our palms to each other, we spread our elbows to the sides.
Without lowering the body, we alternately turn left and right in order to reach the floor with one elbow.
We perform 10 times on each side. If it is difficult, you can slightly raise the body closer to the knees. If it’s easy, lean back.
Important: do not tear off the buttocks and legs from the floor!
Comprehensive approach: legs, buttocks, back and stomach
We stand straight, hands on the waist, legs apart shoulder-width apart. Slowly we begin to sit down, not bringing our knees together. Having reached the bottom point, we begin to straighten up to the starting position, raise our hands up and stand on our toes.
We freeze in this position for a couple of seconds and again begin to squat.
We perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Important: do not linger in the starting position or in the squat — keep moving all the time, freezing only at the highest point.
We tone the core muscles and pump the press
We lie down on our back, legs are closed together, bent at the knees, feet pressed to the floor. Hands behind the head, elbows extended forward, chin pressed to the chest.
Begin to stretch your forehead towards your legs, lifting your back and twisting the body, then return to the starting position, straightening your back well.
Do 8 reps and 3 sets.
Important: if it is difficult to perform, you can cross your arms over your chest. Well, if everything is easy, lift your legs off the floor and try again!
Parterre for femoral and gluteal muscles
Get on all fours, belly tense and drawn in. Raise the bent leg to the side until the thigh is parallel to the floor, and the heel rises above the knee.
We pull the knee to the shoulder as close as possible. We freeze, count to three and return the leg to its original position on weight. Don’t let go of your foot!
Repeat 12 times on each side.
Important: the body does not move! Only the muscles of the thighs and buttocks work.
To work out the muscles of the arms and the shoulder girdle separately, push up from any support — the floor, walls, benches, do straight and reverse push-ups. They not only help muscles: in the magazine “Bulletin of sports science” published a study on the effect of push-ups on shooting accuracy.
It turns out that those who regularly do push-ups hit the target more accurately. All because these simple exercises relieve psychological tension!
Perform the entire complex for a week, and the result will be noticeable: stronger muscles, more elasticity and endurance. And — the pleasure of the first results. But remember: basic exercises are not everything. We have 3 more important rules for muscle toning: start following them now!
It doesn’t matter which workout you use. There comes a time when the usual loads cease to have the desired effect. What to do? Constantly changing routines? We have an answer!
To increase the load and increase muscle tone, change the rhythm of execution. There are two phases in the dynamics of each strength exercise: concentric, with muscle contraction, and eccentric, when the weight falls into place, and the muscle fibers lengthen.
For best results, lower the scale (even if it is part of your own body) more slowly. So the muscles will tighten and lengthen at the same time. This will improve balance, increase strength, and help you recover faster from a workout. Raise the weight for a count of two, and lower it for a count of five.
Swimming and water aerobics are great ways to get in shape even with moderate exercise. In addition, scientists have proven that regular visits to the pool help protect against seasonal viruses, and if they attack, then SARS and acute respiratory infections pass faster.
Dropset: do not increase, but decrease!
The dropset method is the reduction of weights in the process of performing exercises. No need to start with a small mass, and then increase it. During training, do the opposite: immediately take the maximum weight that you can lift 8–10 times without interruption. And then reduce it by 15% (no rest between sets) and do 10 more sets. Now remove another 15% and repeat the exercise the maximum number of times.
Life hack: if you work with your own body weight, pay attention to the options for beginners: when you repeat the approach, change the angle of inclination or the level of lifting the legs, arms, body.
Jay Cardiello, a fitness expert from the USA, claims that this helps to work out the muscles as much as possible and quickly improves their tone.
Fast does not mean efficient. Slow down during exercise (but don’t freeze to relax). For example, try to lift the body or dumbbells not for a couple of seconds, but for ten.
Keep your muscles tense longer, and after just a few workouts, you will feel the difference.
Svetlana Talabko, nutritionist, weight management and nutrition consultant, fitness trainer
- How to quickly tone the muscles?
It all depends on the initial state of the person and related factors. For example, whether the person was previously involved in sports or not. If yes, what was the break? What kind of food and whether a person plans to change it, the state of health, and, well, genetics too.
Do not immediately rush into all serious and train 7 days a week.
Perhaps the result will be, but there is a huge risk of overworking, which will have to be eliminated, which means there will be a big rollback. Three workouts a week is enough. For beginners, as a rule, the result is noticeable already at first.
- I recommend strength training, they will be the most effective. Preferably with a coach who will competently draw up a program, so the work will be focused and effective.
- At the same time, we normalize the food. We achieve a balanced diet, in no case exclude carbohydrates, they are needed to replenish the expended energy, and, of course, protein to restore and build new muscle fibers.
- We pay enough attention to rest and sleep, this is a mandatory item, without a good recovery, progress will not happen.
Daria Manuilenkova, world and Russian champion in body fitness
How to quickly tone muscles at home is one of the most common requests. Especially now, in the autumn period, when the optimal load will raise the protective functions of the body and improve mood. Where to begin?
I advise you to use the method of “mirror diagnostics”. I heard about it at a seminar in Texas and still find it to be true when building a training scheme intuitively (without specific knowledge in this area). It consists in the following: you need to go to the mirror and look at yourself.
Everything that we see in the mirror — the reflection of the chest, biceps, front of the shoulder, abs, front of the thigh, tibial muscle — is most loaded with household stress! And everything that does not fall into our field of vision — this is the back delta, back muscles, lumbar spine, buttocks, back of the thigh and lower leg — require more detailed study.
Often, traps (fat deposits) are formed on our weak points, the tone drops and chronic diseases arise — from a lack of blood circulation and mobility of the muscles and articular apparatus.
Shall we start the lesson? Every workout has a structure.
- Warm-up: pre-warm up the ligamentous-articular apparatus, slightly increase the pulse.
- The main part — here we include work on the necessary muscle groups (in the context of our request).
- We finish the workout with a hitch and stretching — to help the body return to its pre-workout state!
Go! Let’s go from top to bottom:
- Exercises that develop the back of the delta can be performed both in isolation and loaded with basic exercises for the entire group. A basic dumbbell or barbell press is perfect (I recommend using a back support in any case), as well as spreading your arms to the sides with dumbbells in an incline. It must be remembered that the little finger, elbow and shoulder always “look” up.
- The lumbar spine — better exercises than extensions on the mat, they didn’t come up with. Lying on your stomach, putting your hands behind your head and without changing the direction of the head and neck, lift the body up as you exhale, and lower yourself to the starting position as you inhale. As an accompanying exercise, you can add a static bar. The buttocks and back of the thigh at home can be loaded with classic lunges (2 in one).
- If you are a beginner and have never done lunges before, then take your time to get a large number of repetitions, and the supporting leg (buttock and back surface of which we load) can be placed with the knee resting on a sofa, chair, etc.
- As a hitch, use an exercise that “lifts” the lower leg, stimulating the improvement of blood flow and the functioning of the lymphatic system — lifting on toes while standing against the wall. I recommend not to count repetitions, but to note the time — starting — 30–40 seconds. By the way, this exercise can be performed regardless of training, when washing dishes, for example.
As soon as you adapt to the proposed training option (it becomes easy and you want to enrich the workout with new exercises and sensations), add more “usual” exercises — push-ups, twisting on the press and squats! Happy training!