Muscle Toning Workout
The goal of muscle toning exercise is to make the muscles more defined and hard. This often involves weight loss as well. Muscle toning exercise should work a variety of different muscles.
Typical muscle groups that are exercised include the abdominals, obliques, biceps, triceps, back, chest, deltoids, trapezius, quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, and calves. In other words, all of the primary muscle groups.
For individuals that are looking to perform a higher number of sets per muscle group it is recommended that you exercise a sub-set of the various muscle groups on a given day and thereafter, rotate through exercising all muscle groups over the week.
The most apparent benefit to muscle toning is weight loss. Weight loss occurs when the amount of calories burned that day is greater than the amount of calories consumed in that day. Usually, a muscle toning workout can increase the amount of calories burned by 300.
In addition, as muscle tissue and density are gained, they begin to use more energy, even when they are at rest. This is the result in an increase in metabolism. This accounts for even more weight to be lost. The rate at which weight is lost varies by each person’s biological makeup, the amount of food he or she eats, and his or her exercise routine.
Cost: $50 to $2,000
Depending on your set up, you’ll want a set of dumbbells and a few pieces of equipment at the minimum (like a bench press) to get the most out of your muscle toning workouts. While dumbbells are cheaper, machines have the added benefit of helping you maintain proper form.
Activity Locations: Home or Gym
While you can perform muscle toning exercises at home, make sure there is always someone close by that can help in an emergency, or if you need a spotter. Working out at the gym increases the safety of weight training significantly.
Types of Movements
There is a vast amount of exercises available to those wishing to tone their muscles. Remember that it is important to stretch and warm up before beginning the routine. Generally, it is best to do a variety of exercises in rotation in order to work all the different parts of the body. To work the biceps, a person can use handheld weights or a resistance band. The person should stand in the middle of the resistance band if it is being used. His or her palms should be facing upward, holding onto the weights or band, then he or she can bend at the elbow and lift up the weights. To work the triceps, doing a French Press with the resistance band or weights is useful.
To do this, start with one hand (holding the weight or band) above the head and palm facing backward. Bend at the elbow to allow the weight to come down near the upper back. Then lift the weight back up again (this is the part the works the triceps the most). This should be done on both the left and right side. The back muscles can be worked using a rowing machine or an exercise band. To use an exercise band, attach it in the center to a fixed location about chest height. After this, pull back on the band to the chest while contracting the muscles of the back, shoulders, and stomach. Sit ups and crunches are helpful in working the stomach.
To work the hips, ankle weights can be used. The person should lie on his or her side then lift the leg at about a 45 degree angle. This should be done on both sides of the body. To work the thighs, a gym ball can be used. The person should sit on a bench with the gym ball between the knees. He or she should then squeeze the ball with the thigh muscles while tightening the stomach. These are not the only exercises that can be done. Again, it is very important to rotate these exercises so that all the muscles are worked regularly.
Mental and Physical Requirements
There are no physical requirements for muscle toning activities, as they can range from very simple movements using small weights to intense weight training exercises. Check with your health professional to see which types of exercise are appropriate for you, and seek help from a professional trainer at first until you understand proper form and are comfortable with your weight training routines.
- Weight Plates
- Strength Training Equipment
- Kettle Bells
- Medicine Ball
- Resistance Bands
Mental and Physical Benefits
- Improved Mood
- Reduced Anxiety
- Decreased Stress
- Improved Self-Esteem
- Improved Focus
- Weight Loss
- Improved Immune System
- Better Cardiovascular Function
- Increased Resilience
- Decreased Blood Pressure
Typically, muscle toning is considered anaerobic meaning that it is not designed to provide an aerobic effect. An aerobic effect is achieved when you increase your heart rate to your target heart rate and maintain that level for a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes. For most individuals, muscle toning routines are performed to reduce excess body weight and to sculpt and tone their overall physique.
A muscle toning workout usually requires some form of resistance. This can be in the form of barbells, dumbbells, hand held weights, weight machines, ankle weights, medicine balls, kettle bells, and resistance bands.
When beginning a muscle toning routine it is best to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the weight over time as starting with weights that are too heavy can lead to strained or pulled muscles. In addition, it is important to learn how the various muscle groups interact with one another, their range of motion, and the appropriate amount of time required for recovery.