What are the Best Body Toning Exercises?

Matthew F.

Body toning exercises are exercises that help a person achieve a body with less body fat and more muscle definition. Most resistance exercises are good for body toning, it is just a matter of how these exercises are performed. The goal of body toning is to increase endurance rather than to build up large muscles, so the focus is usually on repeating sets of exercises with a particular weight. The best body toning exercises include bicep curls, bench presses, crunches, and leg lifts.

Toning the body requires a focus on both diet and exercise.
Toning the body requires a focus on both diet and exercise.

When looking for body toning exercises, a person should focus on the way she is doing the specific lift as opposed to the exercise itself. Lifting large amounts of weight really isn't necessary for body toning. A person should be focused on building endurance with her muscles by exercising three to five sets per exercise with at least ten repetitions of the lift per set. If she pushes the weight and lifts too much, she is likely to start building more body mass than is usually desired.

Swimming is a whole body cardiovascular exercise.
Swimming is a whole body cardiovascular exercise.

Good body toning exercises for the arms are simple curls. A barbell with free weights can be used for bicep curls, as can dumbbells. Curls are performed by holding the weight in the hands while the arms are straight down, then bending the elbows to bring the weight up toward the chest.

Abdominal exercises can build muscle, but do not have much affect on fat content.
Abdominal exercises can build muscle, but do not have much affect on fat content.

Different types of bench presses are good body toning exercises for the chest. An exerciser can do bench presses on a flat bench with a barbell or with dumbbells. In this basic press, the weight or weights is held away from the body, directly above the chest; the elbows are then bent, and the weight lowered to the chest, before being pushed away again. Another type of chest exercise which is also good for body toning is the chest fly, in which the weights are held above the chest, then lowered to either side until the arms are about parallel to the ground.

Running works all parts of the legs.
Running works all parts of the legs.

Abdominal exercises like crunches or leg raises are great for achieving a toned abdominal section. A person can usually achieve toned legs through cardiovascular exercise, although leg press machines, lunges, and leg curl machines can be very effective body toning exercises for this part of the body.

Hand weights are used for various toning exercises.
Hand weights are used for various toning exercises.

Cardiovascular workouts are an essential compliment to any body toning exercises. Cardio is essential to achieve fat loss, which is essential for body toning. If somebody is looking to achieve fat loss, she should do at least three cardiovascular workouts of at least 30 minutes every week. Cardiovascular workouts can include running, bicycling, rowing, and swimming, among many others.

Dumbbell curls, seated or standing, are an effective way to build stronger, more toned biceps brachii.
Dumbbell curls, seated or standing, are an effective way to build stronger, more toned biceps brachii.

It is also important to note that, when change in body mass is desired, dietary issues must be addressed. It is very important to eat a low fat diet when trying to achieve a toned body, and to avoid any sugary food or beverages. This type of diet can help with fat reduction, which is important to achieving a toned body.

Traditional weight lifting routines will cause a person to build muscle mass.
Traditional weight lifting routines will cause a person to build muscle mass.
Abdominal exercises like leg raises are great for achieving a toned abdominal section.
Abdominal exercises like leg raises are great for achieving a toned abdominal section.
Leg extension machines allow users to exercise and tone their quadriceps, or thigh muscles.
Leg extension machines allow users to exercise and tone their quadriceps, or thigh muscles.
Side leg lifts work several muscle groups, including those of the buttocks and hips.
Side leg lifts work several muscle groups, including those of the buttocks and hips.
Push-ups can strengthen and tone the chest, arms and shoulders.
Push-ups can strengthen and tone the chest, arms and shoulders.
Different types of bench presses are good body toning exercises for the chest.
Different types of bench presses are good body toning exercises for the chest.

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