There are multiple types of fitness goals, from building strength and muscle to increasing cardio endurance to improving body toning. If you're interested in toning your muscles, there are many ways to achieve your goals at home.
The word “toning” gets thrown around a lot in the fitness community, but what does it actually mean? Is it washboard abs? Perfectly defined arm muscles? Nice pecs? Lean muscles?
Technically, muscle toning or body toning doesn’t have an actual definition, but when most people use the term, they are referring to muscles that look more defined. So toning exercises refer to exercises that focus on developing muscle definition and shape.
When you think of someone who has the “toned” look, you most likely imagine someone with lean muscles or low body fat, right? Many exercises that focus on body toning actually involve strength training.
No equipment? No prob. If you are still setting up your home gym or if you just want to try some workouts that you can do from anywhere, here are a few physical exercises that work on toning your body:
Lunges can help to increase strength in your legs. Consistent lunges can help you to achieve more muscle definition in your legs and butt.
- Stand straight up with your feet being hip-width apart.
- Take a bigger-than-usual step forward with your right leg, shifting your weight forward so your heel hits the floor before your toes.
- Lower your body so your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your shin (on the same side) is vertical.
- Press or push weight into the right heel and then move back to the starting position while engaging your core.
As the name suggests, reverse lunges are basically lunges, but as you guessed it, in reverse. Reverse lunges can put minimal stress on your joints while still allowing you to focus on balance and strength.
- In a standing position, step your left foot back into a lunge
- Keeping the right foot planted flat and right shin vertical, step your left foot forward.
- Repeat on the other side.
Pushups are a great way to build muscle definition using only your own body weight. Not only are they a full-body workout but they can help to build more defined arm muscles, including triceps and biceps.
Body Toning Exercises With Equipment
Perhaps you want more of a challenge or want to use the equipment that you already have at home. Whether you are using resistance bands, dumbbells, or other functional tools like the Chopper, you are sure to find a toning exercise that you love:
Resistance Band Leg Press
For more defined muscles on your legs, resistance band leg presses are a great movement to target quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
- Start by laying down on the ground with your face up.
- Lift your knees parallel to the ground while keeping your core tight.
- Curl the resistance band around the bottom of your soles while keeping your feet straight.
- Slowly press your legs up without locking your knees.
- Slowly lower your legs back to starting position before repeating.
This exercise strengthens multiple muscles in your upper and lower body. Make sure that you are squeezing at the top of the movement each time with good posture. You will want to choose dumbbells with a moderate weight.
- With a dumbbell in each hand, hinge forwards about 20 degrees at the hips with your knees slightly bent.
- Look forwards and down at the floor, keeping your back straight, and engage your core by lifting your belly button up into your spine.
- Let the weights hang just in front of your shins, then lift them up towards the sides of your ribs without changing the angle of your back, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Control the weight back down, keeping your shoulder blades engaged.
Woodchoppers are great for a full-body toning workout that can increase muscle definition. They can be done with many types of equipment, but to really level-up the movements, a great body toning exercise tool to have is the Chopper. The patented asymmetric weight distribution makes the ultra-durable Chopper feel more than 4x heavier than it actually weighs. So instead of focusing on individual muscle groups each day, you can target every muscle group with each workout for more definition.