Toning Exercises

toning exercise
toning exercise

Many toning exercises can be done with just your body weight so it's a great way to get lean without spending a lot of money.

These moves can be easily performed at home or even while on the go.

Exercise is an important part of our lives. When you workout regularly, you are increasing your life expectancy by minimizing risks of many medical issues.

This series of exercise instructions will tone and strengthen different areas of your body. You will find some for the upper body, lower body and even your core muscles.

Simply use your own body weight or grab a couple of dumbbell weights to increase resistance and tone your body.

List of Toning Exercises

Check out these five easy toning workouts that you can do just about anywhere and at anytime.

Try these out at home, while travelling or even in the office. Don't let your co-workers give you a hard time, instead have them join in. These are easy yet extremely effective exercises.

To see the instructions for these toning workouts, you can either scroll through the page or use the links below to jump to the workout you want to try.

Benefits of Toning Exercises

toning exercise

Strengthening and toning muscles helps increase muscle mass and bone density. It builds strength, increases range of motion and of course just makes you feel better about yourself.

The main problem with exercise for many is scheduling the time and finding the right place. We all know exercise is good for us and most know how to exercise.

So it’s not that we are not well informed, we just don’t seem to have the time or the place.  With a busy lifestyle, making time for your toning workouts is a challenge.

Strength training and toning workouts are not just for body builders. In fact, this type of workout has become more and more popular with many people and especially seniors.

Once you hit the big 40 (me included) we begin to lose muscle mass, bone density and stamina.  For women especially, bone loss becomes a problem.

When your body needs calcium, it steals it away from the bones when necessary.  By performing toning exercises, you help increase your bone density and increase your muscle mass. Toning also helps reduce fat and helps you lose weight. The increased muscle mass increases your metabolism, which in turn burns more calories.

Toning can help sculpt your body, tightening up some of the flabbier areas. When strengthening your core muscles, you are also improving your posture. These types of exercises, especially when combined with aerobics, can help relieve stress. It will give you more energy making you more productive throughout the day.

Exercise #1 - Bridge Butt Lift

The bridge butt lift one of my favorite tonining exercises. This one really works your glutes. The gluteus maximus, known as the glutes, is the large muscle in the buttocks.

Toning this muscle will help lift your bottom and tighten the butt. You can do this with no equipment. However, if you want to add extra resistance you can use a band. Just stretch the band across your belly holding both ends in your hands. This will give some resistance as you lift, taking this move up a notch.

Follow the step by step instructions below for the butt lift toning exercise.


How to do the Butt Lift

  1. Lay down on your back with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your legs shoulder width apart and knees bent.
  3. Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your body.  Pushing with your feet, squeeze your glutes (your butt muscle) and lift off the floor. 
  4. Hold the position for a count of five to ten seconds and release bringing your rear end back down to the floor.
  5. Repeat this 4 to 10 times to really tone your backend.

I call this one of my butt blaster toning exercises. Try holding your knees together while you do this and you will also be toning your thighs.

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Exercise #2 - Bodyweight Squats

Squats are an awesome toning exercise and can be done with just using your body weight.  If you have the equipment available, you can also do this with a resistance band or dumbbell weight to tone your muscles. This exercise can hurt your lower back if done incorrectly.

Using a chair to help you do the move correctly can minimize pain in your back. So grab a chair as this will help ensure you do this correctly. Follow the instructions below for this toning exercise and lift your butt up off the you know what.

body weight squats

How to do the Bodyweight Squat

  1. Place a chair behind you to use as a guide for this move. The chair is optional.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and feet flat on the floor.
  3. Place your arms straight out in front of you or with your arms in front of you and elbows bent.
  4. Keeping your upper body straight and your weight on your heels, sit back (as if you are going to sit down) until your buttocks touches the edge of the chair. Be sure you don’t actually sit down though.
  5. Be sure to keep your abs tucked in to work the core muscles as well.
  6. Once your backend has touched the chair, hold this for 2 to 5 seconds.
  7. Return to starting position and repeat several times.

Placing your arms in front of you help to maintain your balance and to keep your back straight so that you minimize any back pain.

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Exercise #3 - Reverse Lunge

Lunges are another great toning exercise that can be done just about anywhere. You can use your own body weight or add resistance with resistance bands or dumbbell weights. When doing this move, be sure you don’t overextend and cause injury. Just take the lunge to the point where you feel toning without stressing the joints.

A reverse lunge still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure on the knee. You will be toning the hamstrings, quadriceps and the glutes. Keeping these muscles toned will help your legs stay strong which will help you maintain balance minimizing injuries from falling.

reverse lunge

How to do the Bodyweight Squat

  1. Stand with feet together and arms at your sides.
  2. Lift your right leg and move it backwards until you are in a lunge position bending your front leg at a 90 degrees angle putting your weight on the ball of your foot.
  3. While in this position, lower your body down until the back knee almost touches the floor.  If you have knee issues, take this down as far as you can without pain.
  4. Hold this position for a count of 2 to 4 seconds and then return to starting position.
  5. Repeat this for several reps alternating legs each time. 

For a regular lunge, instead of stepping backwards with your leg you would step forward into your lunge.

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Exercise #4 - Tricep Extension

The triceps extension is an upper body toning exercise. This one really targets the triceps muscle, as the name indicates. Working the triceps (with it's three heads) can help tighten that flabby skin underneath your arm. The tricep is one of the most under worked muscles, so toning this through exercise can help tighten and strengthen this muscle.


How to do the Tricep Extension

The triceps extension is best done with either resistance bands or dumbbell weights,however, you can just use your bodyweight and let the movement tone the muscles.

  1. Stand with feet together and flat on the floor.
  2. Holding the resistance band on both ends with your hands, place one hand behind you and hold in place at your lower back with one hand.
  3. Reach your other hand over your shoulder bending at the elbow.
  4. With this hand, straighten your arm straight up keeping your arm close to your ears.
  5. Repeat this for several reps. 
  6. Switch arms and repeat for several reps on the other side.

You can use dumbell weights as well and do both arms at the same time if you like. You can do this as well with a resistance band. Just loop the band and step on it and then place both of the ends of the band in one hand and perform this toning exercise.

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Exercise #5 - Chest Press

The chest press is another upper body toning exercise in this series of step by step instructions. As the name indicates, the chest is the primary area of focus. You will also feel this in the shoulders, or your deltoids. To some lesser extent, you will also feel your upper back engaged while doing your repetitions for this exercise.

The chest press can be done using resistance bands, dumbbell weights or even a weight bench. Depending on whether you are standing or lying down, you will feel it more or less in the various muscles that are engaged in this toning exercise.

The instructions below are based on standing using a resistance band. You can anchor the band around a stationary object. If you don't have something to anchor it, just place the band behind you across your upper back. Wrap the bands around your wrists to get more resistance while doing this move.


How to do the Chest Press

  1. Stand with one foot stretched out slightly in front of you with the knee slightly bent.
  2. Place the other foot behind you and lean your body forward to create a slight angle.
  3. Start with both hands on the side of your chest with the elbows bent.
  4. Take both hands and reach out in front of you straightening the elbows bringing your hands together.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for several repetitions.

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For even more toning exercises, be sure to see all the exercise instructions on this site.

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