To get a toned body you have to eat food that is healthy and nutritious. And exercise. All exercise is good for the body but when it comes to having a toned and well defined body, there are some exercises that work better and faster than others. One of these exercises is weight lifting exercise. And NO, i do not mean you should attack the 60kg weight at the gym. What I mean is that it is time to break up with those pretty colored 1 or 2kg dumbbells in the gym and go for the 4 – 8 kg dumbbells. The same applies for kettle bells.
Light weights will not give you a toned body. Pick weights that are comfortable but challenging for you. After some weeks your body will get used to the weights and it will no longer be challenging for you to use it. You will know the time has come for you to change your weight, when you can do 20 reps without muscle fatigue with a dumbbell you can only use for 10 reps the previous week.
Remember that consistency is the key. You will not get a toned body by working out today and forgetting you registered in a gym for next four days.
You have to make a commitment and then stick to it to get result. There are no shortcuts. The good news is that it will not take you months to see result. You will start seeing results in as little as 3 weeks if you remain focused and follow the routine.
Move 1: Kettle bell Squat with an up row
Where it works: Your butt, thighs, arms and core
Bend knees and squat, as if sitting on a low chair with 8kg kettle bell; pause, then stand and press arms straight up over shoulders. Go back to squat position. Do 10 to 12 reps.
Move 2: Crossover Lunge
Where it works: Calves, hamstrings, Obliques (sides of your abs), butt
Stand with arms at shoulder height, palms down. Step forward with right foot, crossing it in front of left. Lower into a curtsy like lunge (right knee shouldn’t go past toes) while twisting torso right. Untwist and push off with right foot, return to starting position. Switch legs and repeat. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Move 3: Kettle bell squat
Where it works: Your butt, arms, thighs and core
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Chest pointed towards the sky and your shoulder back. Hold a kettle bell with both hands. Assume a squat position with the kettle ball touching the ground. Pushing through your heels, press back to start squeezing your butts and snapping your hip a bit forward.
Move 5: Standing single leg lift
Where it works: Your core, back, shoulders, arms and butts.
This is very good for giving the buttocks a lift. Stand with legs hip width apart with your hands at shoulder level. Lift your left leg behind you. Make sure your knee is not bent and bend from your waist, keeping a flat back. Squeeze your butt and gently lower your left leg. Repeat with right leg. Do 10 – 15 reps with a slow and controlled movement.
Move 6: Lying single leg lift
Where it works: Your abs, legs, thighs and arms
Lay down on a mat with your belly up. Keep your feet together and your arms stacked on the floor above your head. Inhale and lift your right leg off the floor and your arms off the floor at the same time. Use both arms still stacked to touch your shin. Exhale and slowly lower your right leg and arms to the starting position. Change legs and repeat. To make it more challenging hold 4kg dumbbell in your hand.
Do 10 – 15 reps
Move 7: Reverse lunge
Where it works: Your butts, abs, and legs
Stand with straight back and your hands at your hips or with dumbbells in each hand. Take a large and controlled step backward with your right foot.
Lower your hips so that your left thigh becomes parallel to the floor with your left knee positioned directly over your ankle. Your right knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor with your right heel lifted.
Return to standing by pressing your left heel into the floor and bringing your right leg forward. Change legs.
Do 10 – 20 reps.
Move 8: Elliptical machine workout
Where it works: For total upper and lower body workout
This is one of my favorite gym equipment for total body workout. I will take this over the treadmill any day.
When using the elliptical it is important that you do not slouch. Stay upright; keep your tummy engaged at all times. Give your arm a good workout by holding the handle and consciously moving it backward and forward as if you are running. Adjust the tension from medium to high, to keep you focused on what you are doing. It is a good machine that tones the body fast.
Move 9: Plank
Where it works: Your abs, butt, shoulders, and arms
Assume a push up position, Bend your elbows and let your weight rest on your forearms. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Keep your tummy tightly tucked in. Do not allow your hips to sag. Hold as long as you can. You can start from 10 seconds and progress to 40 seconds.
Move 10: Push up
Where it works: Your arms, shoulder, abs, butts
Place your palms on the ground directly under your shoulder. Keep a flat back and your eyes looking about two or three feet in front of you. Do not arch your neck. Keep your tummy tucked in. Gently lower your body as low as you can or until your chest touches the floor.
Firmly push back up. Do 10 reps
Move 11: Step ups
Where it works: Your butts, hamstring and abs
If you do not have a stepping board, any stable and elevated surface or your staircase can do the job
Stand straight behind your board with your tummy tucked in and tight. Shoulders back. Step on the board with your right leg, Lift your left leg behind you with knees straight. Squeeze your butts and lower your left leg. Bring the right leg down and repeat with the left leg. You can use dumbbells to make it more challenging.
Do it for 5 minutes.
You should aim to do these exercises at least 3 times every week. It is best combined with cardio at regular intervals. You can do the cardio by using the elliptical machine and the stationary bike or body weight exercise like jumping jacks and burpee.
Exercise is only one part of the toning routine. The other part is nutrition. Go through the foods you need for a healthy and toned body and start using it with these exercises for a total body transformation.