What is toning?

Sometimes when someone is looking to introduce exercise and fitness into their lives, it is not just in order to get thinner or fitter; it can be about the look of their body too. This is most commonly referred to as toning, and tone can be achieved through a number of different exercises.
When someone is referred to as “having a toned body”, what we are really talking about is the firmness of their body, and how muscularly defined they are, so although some body products promise to add tone, the best way of toning your body is through exercise. Tone can be sought after in every part of the body, but most likely in the arms, legs and stomach areas.
In order to get muscular definition, you must not only increase the muscle tissue, but also get rid of excess body fat too. The best exercise methods for getting toned are strength training and fat burning activities. Her is your guide to four simple exercises that will have you toned in no time.

Toning your arms:

ARM CIRCLES: This is the simplest movement for toning arms. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and stretch each arm out to either side of you. Keep your shoulders down and make small circles from your wrists, first forwards, and then backwards. For added impact, do this movement whilst holding light dumbbells.

Toning your stomach:

CRUNCHES: To perform a basic crunch, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet both flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows out to the sides. Your fingers should not be linked. Pull your abdominal muscles inwards and lift your head off the ground and towards your knees. Hold the pose for 5 seconds then lower your head again, and repeat.

See NuYu’s “Tummy Toner Workout” sheet for more stomach toning exercises.

Toning your legs:

SQUATS: There are many different types of squat, but this is a great one for beginners. Put your arms out straight out in front of you, keeping your spine straight. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground and are hip-width apart. Push your hips and buttocks backwards and whilst doing this, bend your knees. Keep you arms in front of you and your knees in line with your feet. Keep going down until your hips are lower than your knees and then slowly come back up.

All over toning:

PLANK: Master the plank and you’ll receive toning all over! For a forearm plank, start in a push-up position, leaning your bodyweight on your toes and forearms. Make sure your body is straight from your shoulders to your ankles. Suck in your stomach to engage your core, and look forward. If you are new to the plank, hold the pose for just 20 seconds but when you get used to it, work on holding a plank for as long as possible, without being in pain or compromising your breathing.



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