We all have areas on our body we wish we could tighten or tone; whether its arm flab, a sagging backside, or thigh fat. But how do you go about “toning” and firming specific areas? First off, recognize that we all have areas on our body that maybe jiggle or sag a little and that’s 100% fine. No one is perfect—not even the models who have been photoshopped to make it look like they have 0% body fat. Furthermore, spot-reducing body fat doesn’t work. You need to start by losing weight all over, and then focusing on working the specific muscle group you want to tone up. Sound like something you’re up for? Then read on to learn how to tone up your body and get started with our 10-minute Total Body Toner.
How To Tone Your Body 101
Ok, so here’s the game plan. Like we said above, if you have areas on your body you want to tone up, you first need to lose the weight that’s covering the muscle. But remember: you can’t pick where you lose weight from on your body. It doesn’t work like that. You have to use cardio to lose weight all over, then specifically target the areas you want to strengthen and firm up with strength training moves.
Step 1: Become A Cardio Queen
If you’re not doing it already, make sure you’re getting 150 minutes of heart-pumping cardio per week. Think jogging, hiking at a brisk pace, cycling, or doing bodyweight cardio moves. You can divide your minute up however you like, just get them in! If you don’t have a regular cardio routine, we have tons to chose from through GetHealthy U TV. Some favorites of mine are Cardio Kickboxing or Calorie Sizzler.
Step 2: Pay Attention To Your Diet
You can’t out-train a bad diet, period. If you’re working out regularly but still eating frozen pizzas every night, you likely won’t see many results. Eat plenty of fresh veggies and fruits, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains. Limit dairy, sugar, and alcohol. You don’t need to eliminate them completely, but if your diet is currently heavy on those three things, you need to cut back. Psst: If you’re feeling a little lost in terms of what do with your diet, read our Get Started with Clean Eating Guide and start making those small changes right away.
Step 3: Tone, Baby, Tone!
Here comes the fun part: building up the muscle that’s been hidden beneath the fat. You can either work different muscle groups on different days, or do workouts like the one we’re about to show you, which is a total-body muscle workout that will help you tone and tighten each muscle group.
10-Minute Total-Body Toner
Ready to tone up? This 10-minute workout uses both bodyweight and dumbbells, and has two moves for each major area many women want to tone. All you’ll need are a set of dumbbells and access to a clock, timer, or stopwatch. (We used our phone’s stopwatch function.) Here’s the plan:
- Warm up by doing 1 minute of jumping jacks
- Perform each exercise for 30 seconds
- Take a 1 minute breather after going through them all;
- Then start at the top and perform each exercise for 30 seconds again
Performing this workout will take about 10 minutes, and you’ll have worked most major muscle groups, getting you one step closer to toning and tightening your body! Ready to go? Let’s get to it!
1) Begin by standing a few feet in front of a step or chair and reach left foot back so toes are on the step/bench and heels lifted.
2) Bend the right knee, lowering your body toward the floor until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. If your right knee extends in front of your ankle when you lower, move your right foot farther forward.
3) Squeeze your glutes as you press yourself back to start, keeping the weight in your right leg. Continue moving down and up, pressing through the front heel for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Related: 4 Exercises To Tone Your Butt
1) Lie on your back with bent knees hip-distance apart, and feet flat on mat stacked under the knees. Extend one leg long towards the ceiling.
2) Squeeze glutes and lift hips off the mat into a bridge. Lower and lift the hips. Continue for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
1) Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart. Take a large step forward with right foot and lower your body toward the floor. Both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge.
2) Push off left foot (back foot) so the left knee lifts up and you land with left foot in front, same bent knee position. Now push off the right foot, lift the right knee, and land with right foot in front, same body position. Continue to “walk” your lunge forward as far as you can go, then turn around and walk back.
1) Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart, toes turned out, and lift your heels into releve.
2) Bend at the knees, lowering torso, keeping your back straight, and abs tight. Squeeze glutes and straighten legs to return to starting position.
1) Start with feet hip-distance apart. Engage your abs and sit back into a slight squat. Dumbbells start at the sides of the knees.
2) Keeping the core engaged, press the dumbbells past your hips and return with control. Avoid swinging the arms or bending the elbows.
1) Stand in split stance with your right foot forward and a heavy dumbbell (or two light ones) in left arm. Slightly hinge over from your hip flexors, keeping your abs engaged to protect your low back.
2) Pull the elbow straight back past your hip (keep arms close to the body—don’t let your elbow wing out). Engage and squeeze your back muscles, then lower the dumbbell back to starting position with control.
1) Start with feet hip-distance apart, engage abs, and sit back into a slight squat with arms bent at 90- degree angles and dumbbells on the sides of the chest.
2) Press dumbbells back past hips, hugging the side body while working your triceps and return the arms back to 90- degrees with control.
1) Lie down on one side stacking your shoulders, hips, and feet. Bring top hand to the mat directly in front of your bottom shoulder. The bottom hand will be wrapped around your waist, below your chest.
2) The top arm does all the work as you press yourself up and lower yourself down to the mat to your starting position. You will feel the tricep muscles on the back of the top arm working.