Workout Routines for Toning
What are good workout routines for toning?
If you’re excited about working out and toning up, you should be! You’re going to look better and feel great once you establish a routine. It’s true that men and women view it differently, so let’s look at why that is.
Workout Routines for Toning - It's Different for Men and Women
Often times the terms “toning” and “muscle definition” are used interchangeably. Most men and women, however, believe there is a difference. Women prefer to say they’re toning up, while men like to work on their muscle definition.
Toning really means tightening and shaping the muscles. Women love to have that tight “toned” look around their arms, stomach, and thighs. The term actually means that the muscle is denser—thicker and harder. In the process of achieving this look, the fat tissue accumulated on the muscles is eliminated.
Men, on the other hand, want to develop visible muscle thickness and definition. Many men are slender with adequate definition, but the Holy Grail of fitness is the achievement of muscle thickness—pure mass—without sacrificing definition. Men often describe this level of definition as “being ripped,” a true sign of muscle quality.
Workout Routines for Toning - Essential Aspects
Burning fat and expending calories is an important part of toning up. By getting rid of fat, your muscles are more clearly visible beneath your skin. The results of your efforts can be seen.
As you develop the best workout routines to meet your goals, remember to warm up before each session.
Whether you are doing aerobic or resistance exercises, you should move your muscles in the same arcs and directions that you’ll be moving them during your workout.
Muscles that start out loose and limber will do a better job and gain more benefit, and it also helps get your joints ready.
Workout Routines for Toning - Adjust to Your Own Body
Begin with a light weight or level of resistance.
Start with something you can move or lift 25 times —you want something that light, even though you won’t be doing more than 12-15 reps.
But remember that light weights alone won’t change your muscles. After you’ve warmed up, switch to a weight or resistance that creates a real struggle just to do 8-12 reps.
You can use either weight machines or free weights to do your workout—the choice is up to you. Both of them provide results you need as long as you challenge your muscles. You should try a few workouts with each method to learn which one really suits your style.
Workout Routines for Toning - Doing It
Many people, both men and women, are afraid that using too much weight, or choosing free weights over machines, will give them the look of a bodybuilder. Don’t be afraid of that! Bodybuilders devote many, many hours into tremendously challenging workouts in order to achieve that extreme level of definition.
When you begin a routine, do your warm-up and then start with only one set of reps. This is a good way to monitor how well your muscles accept the work you’re putting them through. If you try doing three or four sets on your first workout, you’re likely to be so sore that you won’t want to work out again for a week, which certainly defeats the entire purpose. So start slowly, rest for a full minute between sets, and after a week or two add sets and weights. Every time you add a new exercise, do it just a few times at a low level of resistance.
It’s best to perform whole body exercises or routines before you focus on specific muscle groups. You should move slowly through your reps, and keep your abdominals and glutes contracted in order to support your back. Move your arms or legs through the entire range of motion (ROM) for the exercise. Developing proper form is more important than the amount of weight, and speed is never a priority.
Workout Routines for Toning - The Next Level
As it becomes easy to perform an exercise for 8-12 reps, you’ll know to add more weight or resistance. If you just keep curling the same amount of weight for six months, your muscles will not make any progress. You should be able to move on to an increase in weight by the end of four to six weeks. Challenging your muscles is important.
It’s also a good idea to work out three to four days per week, but be certain to rotate your workouts. On one or two days you might want to do strictly cardio. You should lift or use machines only two or three days per week. At every workout you’ll include a few basic whole body routines. Then, on some days you’ll exercise certain muscles, and on other days you’ll rest them and focus on other muscles.
This ties in to the way people have of focusing on one particular muscle group because they want to sculpt that area. Just remember that the way your body fat is distributed over your muscles is something you inherited from one or both of your parents. You can’t lose more weight in one area by working out just that area.
It’s a great idea to focus on abdominals, however. The rule book goes out the window! Be prepared to work out these muscles on a daily basis. Instead of sticking to three or four sets of 8-12 reps, put your abdominals through lengthy sets of 50 or more reps. Just like any muscle group, you should begin slowly, but the abdominals help form the core muscles that run the length and breadth of your body, and they can withstand lots of work.
Workout Routines for Toning - More of It
You’ll find some wonderful downloadable routines on this website to help you work toward your goals.
You can call it toning up or achieving muscle definition, but it’s a commitment to good health that you can make for a lifetime!
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