Toning up your muscles is a great way to keep your body firm without building up huge muscles. If your goal is to look lean and build definition in your muscles, then try these muscle toning workouts in order to keep your body strong and in shape.
- Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your sides with your palms facing front and arms fully extended.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Keeping your elbows close to your sides, curl the dumbbells up to your shoulder. Your palms should be facing backwards once the dumbbell reaches your shoulder. (Hint: You can do both arms at once or alternate arms depending on your preference.)
- Return the dumbbell to the starting position in a slow, controlled movement.
- Place your right knee and left hand on a weight bench.
- Take a dumbbell in your right hand and raise it so that your arm is bent at the elbow with the upper arm parallel to the floor and the lower arm hanging straight down.
- Keeping your back straight, raise the dumbbell backwards until your arm is almost fully extended.
- Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position in a slow, controlled movement.
- Repeat with your left arm after performing repetitions.
- Lie face down on the floor. Place your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Point your toes to the floor and keep your feet hip-width apart.
- Push your body up with your hands until your arms are almost fully extended.
- Lower yourself back down in a slow, controlled movement until your body is about 4-to-8 inches from the ground.
- Repeat as necessary, making sure not to lock the elbow.
Dumbbell Bench Press
- Lie on your back on a weight bench. Take one dumbbell in each hand.
- Bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders with your palms facing up and elbows out to your sides.
- Raise the dumbbells straight up until they are directly above your chest and your arms are almost fully extended.
- Lower the dumbbells to the starting position in a slow, controlled movement.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides with your palms facing front.
- Using slow and controlled movements, contract the muscles in your shoulders and upper back to slightly lift the dumbbells up. This will look somewhat like a shrugging movement.
- Lower the dumbbells back down slowly.
- Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart on the floor.
- Arch your back up a few inches off of the floor, keeping your upper back flat on the floor.
- Hold for a few seconds then relax.
- Lie down on your back on the floor. Bend your knees slightly so your feet are flat on the floor and about hip-width apart. Place your hands across your chest.
- Flatten your lower back against the floor, then contract your abdominal muscle to bring your shoulders a few inches off of the floor. (Hint: Keep your chin pointing up throughout the exercise.)
- Hold for a few seconds, then lower your shoulders back down in a slow, controlled movement.
- Place your back against a wall. Keep your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart a foot or two out from the wall.
- Slide your back down the wall until your legs are at a 90-degree angle with your thighs parallel to the floor.
- Hold this position for at least 5 seconds, then return to the starting position.
- Repeat as necessary, making sure not to lock your knees at any point.
- Stand on a stool or a step with only the balls of your feet on the surface. Your heels should be extended off the edge.
- Lower your heels so that they are slightly below the level of the stool or step. Hold this position for a few seconds.
- Lift your heels so that they are slightly above the level of the stool or step. Hold this position for a few seconds.
- Repeat as necessary, using slow, controlled movements throughout.
- Kneel on the floor with your legs hip-width apart. Place your lower arms flat on the floor in front of you, keeping your back straight and parallel to the floor. Keep both legs at 90-degree angles throughout the exercise.
- Lift your right leg until it is at a 90-degree angle with your foot pointing up and your thigh parallel to the floor.
- Lower your leg back down in a slow, controlled movement.
- Repeat with the left leg.
Tips for Toning Your Muscles
- Do more repetitions with less weight rather than few repetitions with a lot of weight. Dumbbells should be a challenge for you to lift, but not painful.
- Start with a few repetitions for each exercise (5 or 10, for example), then increase that number as your strength grows.
- Focus on keeping the proper form with each exercise.
- Combine your workout with a healthy diet for the best results.