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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

6 Effective Toning Exercises for You to Tone Up Naturally

Toning exercises will help tone and strengthen specific muscles. Start with ten repetitions and add two reps once you can complete ten easily. Use the full range of motion, taking the muscle from its fully extended position to its fully contracted position. For exercises with weights, select a weight that allows you to complete ten to fifteen reps with good control. Increase the weight once you can complete fifteen reps easily. Maintain good posture and neutral alignment of your spine throughout each exercise.

What level are you?

Level 1 (beginner) - You haven't done any serious exercise for at a year. Just follow the basic instructions for each exercise.

Level 2(intermediate) - You exercise about once a week and lead quite an active lifestyle. Try the additional options as specified.

Level 3(advanced) - You exercise regularly (at least two or three times a week). Try the additional options as specified.

1. Press-ups

Great for: Shaping the chest and arms.

Basic: Kneel on the floor with your knees directly under your hips. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart under your shoulders, fingers pointing forwards. Keeping a straight line through your torso, bend your arms until your nose almost touches the floor. Aim your chest between your hands. Straighten your arms back to the start position. Repeat for ten to fifteen reps.

Level 2: Do extended press-ups; this time make a straight line from your knees to head and raise your lower legs to 90 degrees.

Level 3: Do full press-ups keeping your legs and body straight and feet hip-width apart.

2. Crunches

Great for: A toned tummy.

Basic: Lie flat on your back on the floor with your knees bent over your hips and ankles touching. Place your hands lightly by the sides of your head or across your chest. Press your lower back to the floor and use your abdominal strength to raise your head and shoulders from the floor. You should only come up about 10cm and your lower back should remain on the floor. Hold this position for a movement then let your body uncurl slowly back to the starting position. Do ten to fifteen repetitions.

Level 2: Fifteen to twenty repetitions.

Level 3: Twenty to twenty-five repetitions.

3. Plank

Great for: A flat tummy.

Basic: Lie face down on the floor with your hips and legs in contact with the floor, your upper-body raised and supported on your forearms. Your elbows should be in line with under your shoulders by the sides of your body, palms down.

Lift your hips so that only your forearms and toes are on the floor. Keep your spine in neutral alignment - your head, back hips and ankles should be in one straight line. Hold for ten to fifteen second and then slowly lower back to the start position.

Level 2: Hold for thirty seconds.

Level 3: Hold for forty-five to sixty seconds.

4. Triceps dip

Great for: Toned arms.

Basic: Use a sturdy bench or chair for this exercise. Place your hands shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forwards, on the edge of the bench. Place your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your back straight and close to the bench, bend your elbows and lower your body until your elbows make an angle of 90 degrees. Straighten your arms to bring you back to the starting position. Do ten to fifteen repetitions.

Level 2 and 3: Place your heels on another bench so that your legs form a straight bridge between the two benches.

5. Back extension

Great for: Strengthening the lower back.

Basic: Lie face down on the floor. Place your arms behind your back. Slowly raise your head, shoulders and upper chest from the floor. This will be just a short distance. Pause for a count of two; then lower slowly to the floor. Keep your head facing downwards to the floor in line with your spine. Do ten to fifteen repetitions.

Level 2 and 3: Place your hands by the sides of your head, elbows out of the sides.

6. One-arm dumbbell row

Great for: Shaping the upper back and good posture.

Basic: Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, palm facing your body. Bend forwards from the hips, placing your left hand and knee on a bench to stabilize yourself. Your back should be flat and almost horizontal and your right arm fully extended. Pull the dumbbell up towards your waist, drawing your elbow back as far as it can go. Keep the dumbbell close to your body. Allow the dumbbell to touch your ribcage lightly. Pause for a count of one; then slowly lower the dumbbell until your arm is fully extended. Repeat for ten to fifteen reps then perform the exercise with your left arm.

Level 2 and 3: Use a heavier weight.

For more information on how to tone up and lose weight Click Here

Article Source:

Sookie Sing - EzineArticles Expert Author

View the original article here


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