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Being toned just sounds amazing. Say it with me, “I’m toned!”
I get this great image of firm shapely shoulders, a tight stomach and great thighs. I guess it’s the picture of an athletic women’s body.
But what does being or getting toned really mean?
It’s an interesting word because the definition has to do with the tone of a sound. And when it comes to “tone up”, it’s one of those words that has the word itself in the definition.
Tone Up… def – to give a higher or stronger tone to.
What does that mean? And why is this important?
If Being Toned Is Your Body Image Goal… You Have To Know What That Means
I’ve talked before about goals and how to better set them. The first part of setting any goal is to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.
If you want to get toned and you’re looking for toning exercises, what are you really looking for?
Let’s break that down so you can have a clean goal in mind which will then make it very easy to find the path to that goal.
Getting Toned Is Building Lean Muscle Mass
That firm, solid, athletic feminine look is achievable only through lean muscle mass. I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions in getting fit…
Fat gives your body curves.
It can help give some soft curves but if you want real curves then muscle is how you achieve that. It’s the degree to how much body fat you have onto of muscle that will affect the curves you have.
Either way, you have to lowering your body fat percentage and increase your lean mass, but only by a little bit… nothing bodybuilding scary style. Feminine “strong” muscle. The empowering kind.
So Toning Exercises Are All About Adding Resistance
That means you need to increase the intensity on your body during a workout and do resistance training… mostly bodyweight training until your ready to get into weight training.
In fact, you don’t even have to get into weight training if you don’t want to. Bodyweight is enough for the rest of your life and you can shape a great body with it. (Of course nutrition matters too!)
Here Are Some of My Favorite Toning Exercises To Get You Started
1. The Bodyweight Squat
This is one of the most fundamental exercises. However, you probably have a few imbalances that cause the motion to breakdown. The most popular is letting your knees bend inward.
Fixing these issues is not to hard and once you do, you can easily introduce some additional weight through dumbbells.
Here is more about how to get started in and use the bodyweight squat.
2. The Bodyweight Lunge
I love lunges because they really target your legs and core, but they also bring in balance. Balance is an often overlooked form of training but just as important.
There are a variety of lunges you can do, but start and master the standard lunge.
3. The Pushup
This exercise is one of the major ones for women. Most women (myself included) lack upper body strength. Pushups are amazing for the whole body because they utilize your arms, core, and of course chest and shoulders.
I am working on a great pushup progression graphic right now that will help you get on the ground and pump out lots of big girl pushups.
Make sure you subscribe to the blog so you can get first access to when I publish these graphics.
4. Reverse Row
You do need some type of equipment to do this. It does not have to be at the gym though. Most play grounds have a variety of bars you can use.
You hang from a bar while keeping your body perfectly straight and your heels on the ground. From there you keep your body perfectly straight and you pull yourself up to the bar and then go back down.
It’s surprisingly tough, but a great exercise too.
Now You Just Need To Put These Into A Structured Workout
Of course there are more exercises, but you must start with the fundamentals. Just getting really strong with these will have you achieving that toning process you want. That firm look.
Both offer a progression of workouts you can use to build that strength. Their sole focus is to help you get toned while getting stronger.
You’ll really enjoy them and by after your first workout, you’ll fully understand what a toning exercise is all about.