One of the most common new year’s resolutions that people make is to get healthier and more physically fit, and it’s one of the most difficult ones to keep. But if you really want to tone every inch of your body, you need to know what exercises are most effective at doing so and which ones you should avoid at all costs. Here are the 10 best exercises to tone every inch of your body.
Pushups are one of, if not THE best, exercises for toning your upper body. They can also help increase your strength and muscular endurance, and they don’t require any special equipment or training. If you want to tone every inch of your body, start with pushups! The good news is that you can do them just about anywhere (they’re great for traveling), so you have no excuse not to start toning right now.
Check out our Beginner Pushup Exercise Video here. Remember: if it hurts your wrists to do a pushup, then kneel down while doing them until they feel better! Also, be sure to check out these 8 Pushup Variations You Should Try Today. Did we mention pushups will help you lose weight? It’s true—exercise, in general, helps speed up your metabolism, which burns calories even when you aren’t moving around much. And since being in shape means having more muscle mass, pushing yourself means more muscle, which means more calories burned even when you aren’t working out! So keep reading as we break down each important part of a successful workout routine…
Squats are one of the best exercises you can do to tone your body and make it stronger. Not only do they burn lots of calories, but they also tone your legs and rear end, which is what makes up a large portion of most people’s bodies. Squats require very little equipment or preparation, so you can easily work them into your day at any time. Try doing three sets of 15 reps every morning when you wake up—it will help wake up your muscles for a great start to your day! If you want more resistance while squatting, try holding dumbbells or even hand weights in your hands while doing them.
You’ll feel that burning sensation much more throughout your thighs and calves when your weights are held out in front of you instead of resting on your shoulders! You should always keep track of how many squats you do throughout each week; aim for 25-50 squats per day to get maximum results. Your weight gain depends on how well you strengthen your abs through exercise.
A lunge is a basic exercise for toning your thighs and glutes. Stand up straight with good posture, and hold 5 pounds in each hand. Now step one foot forward and drop your upper body forward so that you are bending both knees at 90-degree angles. Pause for 2 seconds before pushing yourself back to starting position. Do two sets of 15 lunges per leg (i.e., 30 lunges total). To get more advanced, hold a dumbbell in each hand or try doing box jumps after lunges for an even greater challenge on your legs and butt!
Planks are considered one of the best full-body exercises you can do, so it’s no surprise that they also offer incredible toning benefits. For starters, planks tone your core and target your arms, abs, back, glutes and thighs all at once. Do it right: Start by lying on your stomach with arms extended forward and palms flat on the floor.
- Lift yourself onto toes
- Then lift hips up off the floor
- Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute without arching lower back or dropping elbows below shoulders.
Repeat up to five times. Then rest and repeat two more times. To take a traditional plank to another level, set an exercise ball between your forearms instead of resting them on the ground, position feet far enough away from the ball that you feel stable but not overbalanced; repeat as above.
Do Bicep Curls
If you’re looking to tone your arms, start with bicep curls. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent. Slowly bend at your elbows and bring both hands toward your shoulders, rotating your palms so that they face forward as you lower them. Keep going until your hands are slightly below shoulder level, then push back up again to starting position. The bicep curl targets all three of the major arm muscles, including those in your shoulders and back. Together, these muscles will give you a toned look from head to toe by building strength and boosting metabolism.
Do Tricep Dips
Tricep dips are a great way to tone your triceps. This move works your triceps by using your own body weight as resistance. You can do tricep dips on any platform that you can rest your hands on, such as a bench or ledge (pictured), but a chair will work just fine if you don’t have access to anything else. With your arms shoulder-width apart and positioned straight up above your hips, slowly bend at the elbows to lower yourself down until you’re close enough that if you were to bring your arms forward, they would touch in front of you. Then, push back up until your arms are fully extended and repeat for as many reps as possible. No doubt about it -– these burn!
Swim in a Pool
Swimming is one of the best forms of cardio you can do because your entire body works as a unit. Whether it’s freestyle, backstroke, or butterfly stroke, there are few exercises that will strengthen and tone your upper body like swimming will. For example, to get an amazing chest workout, jump into a pool and swim freestyle for 15 minutes straight. The chances are good that you’ll be out of breath by the end, but what? If you want abs, you’ve got to put in work.
Plus, your upper body will be stronger than ever before! That alone might motivate you to keep swimming. Oh, did we mention that pools also make your butt look great too? It’s true – just ask any Olympic swimmer. When they train, they focus on kick sets (legs) and pull sets (arms) which help tone their tush along with every other muscle in their body. Before long, you might see a noticeable difference in muscle tone if you started swimming regularly today!
Then grab your suit and head over to your local pool.
Jog Around Town
Running is one of the most effective exercises around. Jogging won’t bulk you up, but it will help you lose weight and develop muscle tone in your entire body. It’s a simple, natural form of exercise that can be done anywhere—with no special equipment necessary. Running isn’t just great for losing weight; it also provides several mental health benefits by relieving stress and anxiety, reducing depression, and improving self-esteem. While getting started might take some motivation (who wants to get outside when it’s cold?), there are plenty of things that can make jogging easier.
Spin-on a Stationary Bike
Stationary bike workouts are actually great ways to tone and strengthen muscles in your legs, butt, back, arms, and shoulders. They’re a good choice for people who are overweight or have joint issues because they don’t place added stress on your joints. Stationary bikes also allow you to adjust your resistance level so you can make it challenging yet comfortable. Another benefit is that you can easily do them at home when it’s convenient for you without having to travel somewhere else. As far as equipment goes, all you need is a stationary bike and some type of resistance (e.g., handlebars). Once that’s set up, hop on!
Ride a Motorcycle
Motorcycles are known for being exciting, dangerous, and fast. As a side effect, you’ll also be working your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, abdominals, and lower back like crazy. Even if you don’t have a motorcycle but love riding or driving a car (or anything else with wheels), you’ll still work most of these same muscles as well as your core! While not super hard on your body like cycling can be (since there is no pressure on your joints), motorcycling can give you an incredible butt workout to help tone up those thighs—without all that sitting, we tend to do more than we should.
Finding a great workout routine to lose weight and tone your body is one thing; sticking with it is another. It’s easy to get discouraged and stop working out when you aren’t seeing immediate results, but you shouldn’t throw in towel until at least eight weeks have passed. Instead, use our list as a guideline for your quest for fitness, and be sure to continue consulting with a personal trainer. They will help keep you on track, motivate you, and offer valuable feedback that will ultimately help you reach your goals faster than if you were trying to do it alone.