Best Toning Workouts for Women

toned legs

Toning and Firming Workouts for Women

When women think toned muscle many believe that the only way to achieve this is by spending countless hours lifting weights.

Others may consider jogging every day, however, while lifting weights and jogging may help you burn the fat and keep you toned it can be monotonous.

Instead of focusing on one specific type of workout you can break up the monotony and keep things fresh by switching up your activities.

Regular exercise is important for everyone, it can prevent many ailments and keep you healthy. Exercising several times a week may help you live longer and prevent the onset of many chronic diseases.

In order to achieve good results from your training, its best to implement different kinds of exercise. For example, just running or jogging might help you lose weight but it’s not going to help you gain a lot of strength in your upper body, for gaining lean muscle resistance training works the best.

Below are some of what we feel are the best toning workouts for women.

Boot Camp

Boot camp workouts are nothing new, they have been around for many years. these offer a combination of strength training and high-intensity aerobic exercise. Every Boot Camp workout will focus on different training styles, one may focus on military-style training while others on calisthenics.

Boot Camp Workout

The calisthenics may include exercises like jumping jacks, pull-ups, push-ups, lunges, and crunches these workouts place a lot of emphasis on interval training that includes high-intensity training and lighter workouts.

Some of the benefits of a boot camp workout:

  • Does not require special equipment
  • Gain camaraderie among other participants
  • Offers a varied and challenging workout

Who are boot camp workouts for?

Boot Camp fitness training might not be right for everyone, most fitness boot camps are geared for those looking for a more intense workout. Boot camp workouts often include hardcore intense workouts that involve rapid movements which may be too challenging for some women.

Women who are pregnant or those who have any kind of health issue should speak with their doctor before joining any kind of boot camp fitness program.

Spinning classes (Spin)

Spin classes involve riding a stationary bike, these are usually given by one or more instructors. These classes have evolved to more than just riding a stationary bike. Many classes now involve using free weights, doing side crunches, and resistance bands to help improve upper body strength.

Spin classes can give you a toned body, after a few weeks you should notice more toned legs and bigger and firmer glute muscles.

Spin Classes

There are many small studios that add more variety to regular spinning classes that offer a dance party like atmosphere were they add fun choreographed movements.

Spinning classes offer an incredible cardio and strength workout all at once, while these classes can be exhausting one 45-60 minute spinning class can help you burn anywhere between 300-600 calories in a single class, this obviously depends on the instructor and how intense the class is.

Barre

Barre classes give women and opportunity to increase lean muscle mass. A barre workout is a mix of pilates, yoga, and functional training. Many classes add more advanced routines that could involve pliƩs and stretching movements.

Barre targets some of the biggest muscle groups in your body including your glutes, thighs, and core. These isometric movements work a specific group of muscles to the point of failure, this improves overall strength and balance. Practicing barre on a regular basis may help improve flexibility and posture.

Yoga

Yoga is something that can be practiced by women of all ages and offers many health benefits.

There are different kinds of yoga, each one with a varying degree of difficulty. Obviously the greater the degree of difficulty the better impact it will have on increasing muscle tone.

Types of yoga include:

  • Ashtanga involves a series of poses along with special breathing techniques.
  • Bikram yoga involves a series of 26 poses that are challenging, these exercises are done in a heated room.
  • Power yoga involves fast-paced movements done with intensity for the purpose of building muscle.

Most people think of yoga more as meditation or a passive exercise routine but there is actually more to doing yoga that meets the eye.

Depending on the type of yoga, it can strengthen your core and give you more toned and firm muscle.

Yoga poses like the side plank and boat pose can help strengthen your abs and lose the flab around your waist.

Yoga can strengthen and tone your arms. Certain yoga movements require you to do movements where you are supporting your body during movements. A pose like a plank spreads your weight evenly between your arms and legs.

Yoga bridges, squats, and the warrior pose involve bending your knees into a squatting position, these poses help strengthen the buttocks muscles, hips, thighs, and quadriceps muscles.

Pilates

Pilates is a core-based workout that is perfect for building muscle tone, improving posture, and building strength.

Classes are offered on a reformer machine using springs and straps or can be done on a mat. Typical Pilates classes should include toning exercises which may include a warm-up called the hundred.

Pilates

A Pilates workout helps boost cardio resistance and works your abdominal muscles.

Kettlebell power classes

Working out with kettlebells not only works great for toning and firming your body, certain exercises can get your blood pumping giving you a good cardio workout as well.

Exercises that can be done with kettlebells help strengthen major muscle groups, these include goblin squats, walking lunges, kettlebell swings, and kettlebell push-ups.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

HIIT is a great way to get a firm and toned body, high-intensity interval training not only tones muscle, but it can also give you an incredible cardio workout.

HIIT training can be done in 15-20 minutes which is perfect if you don’t have a lot of time.

A few of the exercises you can do during a HIIT session include squats, sprints, burpees, and lunges.

HIIT training will get your heart rate up and sweating fast. 20 minutes of high-intensity training can burn more calories than spending an hour on an elliptical machine.

Final thoughts

Getting in shape and getting a firm body does not have to be hard, in fact there are many types of exercises you can do, you may want to take a look in your community or at your local gym to see what they offer.

We recommend trying a few of the different training techniques above, that way you can decide which one suits your needs the most.

References:

HIIT training https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/jphysiol.2009.181743
Physical and mental effects of yoga https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447533/
Strength training vs kettlebell training https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22344061/
Barre workouts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barre_(exercise)

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