Do you want to tone your body? Of course, we all want a toned body, but it can be hard to know how to get there.
Most people think you need to go to the gym for hours and eat nothing but chicken breasts and broccoli to tone your body.
That is not true! You can easily tone your muscles with simple exercises at home or while doing other activities such as walking or running errands. To learn more about this, read our article on “how-to-tone-your-body.”
In our guide, we teach you exactly how you can achieve a toned body without having to spend hours at the gym every week. We share expert tips from our trainers and nutritionists on which exercises will help you reach your goal fastest and easiest. So even busy people like yourself have time for them!
What is a toned body?
When we talk about a body as toned or defined, we refer to how the body looks. It is the consequence of the following:
- Low levels of body fat
- Having enough muscle mass
- These muscles have enough muscle tone.
These are the results of your lifestyle, mainly how you train, what you eat, and how much you move.
How long does it take to tone your body?
Almost all trainers agree that it will take about 6-8 weeks to notice toning effects if you follow a strict diet and exercise program. If the body fat percentage is not too high, it generally takes three to four months for a toned physique. Strength increases approximately take the same time.¡
Remember that your body fat percentage plays a significant role in how quickly you lose weight, so be patient.
Exercises that tone your body
There are many exercises that you can do to tone your body. You don’t need any special equipment or machines, and you can do them at home with little to no space required. The following are some of our favorites:
Squats are an excellent exercise for toning your thighs and butt.
- To do squats, stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Then slowly bend your knees and squat down until you reach a 90-degree angle.
- Make sure to keep your back straight throughout the motion.
- Hold the position for one second before pushing yourself back to a standing position while squeezing your muscles in your butt or thighs.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
It is OK to bend your knees more than 90 degrees for this exercise if you are starting.
You can do squats while standing in front of the sofa or facing the wall and placing your hands up against it. You can also stand behind a chair if you need support during the motion.
For beginners, we recommend holding the position for just a few seconds and slowly working your way up to higher durations as you get more comfortable with the motion.
Squats are very easy to incorporate into other activities such as walking or running errands.
Push-ups are another great way to tone your arms, chest, and back.
- Start in a high plank position with your palms on the floor right underneath your shoulders to do push-ups.
- Keep the rest of your body straight by squeezing your abs and butt throughout the motion while bending your elbows until they touch the ground as you would do with a regular plank.
- Then push your body back into the starting position by extending your elbows while keeping the rest of your body straight.
- Repeat 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
While doing push-ups, make sure not to collapse on the floor at any point during the motions or arch your back as you bend your elbows so that you do not injure yourself.
You can also perform push-ups against a wall to make them easier for beginners.
Lunges are an exercise that helps tone up your legs and butt while helping you maintain good posture throughout the motion.
- To perform lunges, stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Then take a long step forward with your left foot and slowly lower your body down until your front knee is at a 90-degree angle.
- Make sure that your front heel stays in contact with the ground at all times.
- Now push yourself back to the starting position and repeat with your right foot.
- Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg.
If you find that lunges are too challenging, you can do them without stepping forward by simply bending your knees and lowering your body down until your front knee is at a 90-degree angle.
You can also hold onto the back of a chair for support.
When performing lunges, make sure to keep your back straight and do not let it arch or slump at any point during the motion.
Arm raises are another excellent exercise for toning up your arms.
- To perform this motion, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Then lift your arms in front of you until they are parallel to the floor and keep them elevated throughout the motion.
- Make sure not to lean back as you do this since it can put a lot of strain on your lower back.
- Repeat 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Arm raises are simple to modify by simply performing them while holding onto the back of a chair for support and without lifting your arms as high as you usually would.
You can also raise one arm at a time if that feels easier for you.
Sit-ups are a great exercise to help tone your abs.
- To perform this motion, lie down on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your hands placed lightly on your chest.
- Then raise your torso until you are sitting upright and keep your abdominal muscles pulled in so that you move as one unit throughout the motion.
- Lower yourself back down to the starting position and repeat 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
You can make this move easier by performing it on your knees with your hands resting lightly on your thighs instead of your chest. If you find that sit-ups are problematic even in this modified seated position, then perform them while lying flat on your back with your knees bent.
Make sure to keep your abdominal muscles pulled in so that you move as one unit throughout the motion.
When doing sit-ups, do not let your lower back come off the ground at any point during the motion, and make sure to keep your head and neck in line with your spine.
Planks are an excellent exercise for toning your entire body.
- Start in a high plank position with your palms on the floor right underneath your shoulders to perform this move.
- Keep the rest of your body straight by squeezing your abs and butt throughout the motion while bending your elbows until they touch the ground as you would do with a push-up.
- Hold this position for as long as possible, and then rest for a few seconds before repeating.
- Aim to do 3 sets of plank hold for 30 seconds each.
When doing planks, make sure not to let your hips sag, or your butt come up in the air and maintain a straight line from your head to your heels.
If you find that planks are too hard, you can start in a plank position with your knees on the ground instead of your feet.
Again, make sure to keep the rest of your body straight by squeezing your abs and butt throughout the motion while bending your elbows until they touch the ground as you would do with a push-up.
Hold this position for as long as possible, and then rest for a few seconds before repeating.
Related: “How to get a good body shape“
Tips for toning your body
When you eat healthily, your body will thank you. Eating nutritious foods provides the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function correctly and stay healthy. Eating a balanced diet also helps you maintain a healthy weight, essential for keeping your body toned.
Regular exercise is critical when it comes to tone your body. Exercise helps you burn calories and lose weight, which can help you achieve the toned look you’re after. Choose activities that you enjoy so you’re more likely to stick with them.
Related: “How do beginners get fit?“
Do strength training
Incorporate strength training into your routine. Strength training not only helps you tone your body but can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Strength training is also a great way to reduce your risk of injuries in the future.
Do cardio exercises
Add cardio exercises to your routine. Cardio exercises help you burn calories and tone your body. Choose activities that you enjoy, so you will be more likely to incorporate them into your routine.
When you’re under a lot of stress, you may notice you carry extra weight around your belly. While you cannot eliminate the stress from your life, you can use effective coping strategies to help you reduce it and avoid putting on weight.
Try yoga, meditation, or consider counseling with a therapist to help you manage your stress.
Get enough sleep
If you want a toned body, you need to get enough sleep. Sleep plays an essential role in overall health and helps your body recover from the day’s activities. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Foods that help you tone your body
Some foods are better for toning your body than others. Here are a few of the best:
Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass, which is crucial for toning your body. Choose lean protein sources such as chicken and fish.
Fruits and vegetables
These nutritious foods provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need to function correctly.
Healthy, wholegrain versions of bread, cereals, and pasta will provide you with the carbs you need.
Snack on almonds instead of chips or other fatty snacks for a quick burst of energy you need to stay active all day long. Almonds are also packed with healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
Drink plenty of water to help you stay hydrated and keep your body functioning correctly. Water is also a calorie-free way to help you feel full and avoid snacking on unhealthy foods.
Here I leave you a video with more tips to get a toned body effectively!
Eating healthily, exercising regularly, and incorporating strength training into your routine are all you need to achieve your goal of toning your body. Stay healthy, stay strong!
Follow these tips, and you will see a noticeable change in the appearance of your body in no time! Of course, toning your body takes time and patience, but if you are willing to put in the work, you will be happy with the results. Good luck!
DISCLAIMER: buildyourbody.org does not provide medical advice, examination, and diagnosis.
Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.