How do I tone up? This is a common question asked by gym members and getting great shape, and toned up, can lead to improved self-confidence and help you look your best.
Of course, there is another important reason to workout and tone your body: it makes you feel great, inside and out. Good mental health is one of the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle, and it is just as important as having good physical health.
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How To Tone Up
When it comes to toning up, the “trick” is actually quite straightforward. You want to do each of the following three things consistently:
- Resistance training to tone the muscles (read our toning guide)
- Regular cardiovascular exercise for overall health, but also fat loss
- Maintain a healthy diet to reduce body fat and reveal those lovely muscles! (read our guide to losing weight without crash dieting)
To kick-start your journey to a slimmer, toned you, here are some tips to note:
Increase fruit and vegetable intake
Eat more fruits and vegetables than you normally would. You may have already heard that eating veggies and fruits will make your heart healthy. These two provide you with all the essential vitamins and nutrients. Fruits and veggies aid in digestion without the guilt. Including these two in each meal will help you tone up faster.
Eat lean proteins, healthy fat, and whole grains
Eating the right foods can help with muscle growth and repair; which helps with the formation of nice, lean muscle. A balanced diet will also ensure your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs to keep your overall health in top shape. Depriving your body of these healthy food choices will prevent your muscles from shaping up, making toning harder to achieve.
Try the pushup and plank combo
Want to tone the upper body? This workout combo targets the triceps, shoulders, abdominals, and chest… Start in a modified pushup position, with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and your knees down. Maintain a straight back, and keep your abs tight. Your elbows must be 90-degrees bent, and then push your body back up. Do 20 to 25 repetitions for three sets.
Related Article: 6 Steps To Amazing, Toned Arms
Do the side reach exercise
The side reach exercise works your obliques, which are the muscles down the side of your belly (the often-ticklish part!). To do it, lay on your right side with your legs stacked. Your right arm should be on the ground, while the left stays on top of the left leg. Maintaining a tight core, reach down using your left hand, like you are to touch the ankle. Feel the contraction along the side as you perform the movement several times.
Tone the legs with plie squats
The plie squats target the quads, glutes, and inner thighs. These are the common problem areas of women. To do it, stand with your feet wider than your shoulders. The toes must be turned out as you vertically hold light dumbbells in front of your thighs. Maintaining a tight core, bend your knees up to 90 degrees, and then push yourself up to the start. Do 15 repetitions for at least three sets as a starting point.
Incorporate reverse lunges into your routine
The reverse lunge targets the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and hold a pair of light dumbbells. Your arms must be at your sides, and the palms inward. Step one foot back, lunge, and then get back to the starting position. Perform 15 repetitions before switching legs. Try holding heavier dumbbells to add challenge.
See Also: How To Tone Your Butt
Drink only water
Staying well-hydrated will allow your body to flush away the toxins and keep you energised. It will also help hydrate and tighten your skin – which sis never a bad thing! Aim to drink at least two litres of water a day, and more when you sweat a lot. Avoid flavoured and alcoholic beverages as they will only cause your body to retain water.
Your body secretes a type of hormone that will cause weight gain and muscle loss when you are stressed out. Do your best to de-stress by getting plenty of sleep, slowing down, and spending more time to get some fresh air. Exercising is also highly recommended as it triggers your body to release endorphins, which counter the stress hormones.
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