Fit Knowledge

The Best Way to Tone up Your Body!

Tone up the body – it’s something so many women out there are looking to do. You’ve been hitting the gym and you’re not seeing the results you want, so how is it done?!

We’ve laid out some key exercises, along with some diet advice and even some top tips on easy ways to alter your lifestyle to make the toning process even faster. 

How to tone up – The exercises

First up, let’s start with the exercises you can use. With these movements, you can focus on everything, you tone the upper arms, the stomach and legs too! 

We’ve specifically chosen these movements as they focus on working your muscles to provide definition, whilst getting your heart rate up to burn more calories and promote fat loss. That way, your muscles will be working, and with less fat on your body, you’ll be closer to achieving that toned look. 

So, if you want to tone up and lose weight, check out these eight toning exercises: 

1. Squats

The squat is a brilliant exercise for toning, as it’s a compound movement which utilises a large selection of muscles. And, when it comes to toning the legs, this is a bonus. Not only is it working more muscles to increase definition, this also means the more you use the more calories you burn too. 

So, if you want to tone up the body, then the squat should definitely be in your workout! 

2. Lunges

Similar to the squat, the lunge is a brilliant way to recruit lots of muscles and get your heart rate up at the same time, which is why the lunge is in so many body toning workouts. 

What’s more, the lunge puts a but focus on the glutes, so if you’re looking to work on building strength, size and shape in your butt, then the lunge is a go-to!

3. Jumping lunges

Once you’ve graduated from the gymgirlfit school of lunges, it’s time to up the heat with jumping lunges. If you thought lunges got your heart racing, you’re in for a treat with jumping lunges! 

Simply push up into a jump from the bottom of your normal lunge, hard enough so you can switch legs in the air. From there, land in the top of your normal lunge position, but now with your opposite leg forward. Then, once you’re stable drop into your next lunge. 

[Related Article: Calisthenics Chest Workout: 9 Amazing Exercises]

4. Push Ups

If you want to know how to tone upper arms, then the push up is your friend. It works the chest, the tricep, biceps, shoulders – pretty much a great selection of upper body muscles. 

If you can’t do push ups with your whole body weight, start on the knees and build up to a full push up. Once again, it’s another great one because it really gets the heart beating too! 

5. Dumbbell Rows

The back is something that can often be missed in a women’s toning workout, but it’s so important to focus on it, as it can help with posture, overall body strength and more. 

You don’t even need to buy dumbbells either. You can start off with a tin of soup as a weight and build yourself up! 

6. Sit ups

The humble sit up might be straight forward to a stomach toning exercise, but it’s super effective. What’s more, because of the range of motion you’re using to achieve the movement, it also gets your heart beating and your calorie burning potential raised! 

7. Step ups

Another one for your leg toning workout. You ever walk up a load of steps and feel like your lungs were going to explode?! Well that’s the calorie burning benefits of step ups working. 

What you may not have noticed is that they work a huge range of muscles in your lower body too, meaning they’re a great way to tone your legs and butt. 

8. High Knee Jumps

Jump as high as you can and bring your knees up to your chest, or as close as possible – it’s pretty simple! However, it uses a huge selection of muscles and can be used to tone your whole body. 

And, this is a really cardio heavy movement, meaning it gets your heart and lungs going and those calories burning! What more could you want! 

[Check it out – The Best 15 Minute CrossFit Workouts]

How to tone up your body – Don’t forget about diet! 

It’s one thing doing these body toning exercises, but if you’re not eating the right foods, then it may well all be for nothing. So many times, people do workouts and reward themselves with a ‘guilt free’ snack afterwards. And that’s absolutely fine if it’s what you want. 

However, if you really want to tone up your body, you’re going to have to focus on getting your diet right. And, to tone up, you don’t really have to think about cutting loads of calories either. 

Instead, if you want to tone up, you’ll need to concentrate on supporting muscle, through eating enough calories and protein to promote muscle, and drop fat. That’s the key to toning up after all! 

For more information on how many calories you should be eating and how much protein, check out the following articles: 

So, if you’ve looked at your diet, done your calculations and realized you might need some more protein in your daily menu if you want to tone the body, then take a look at some of these high protein foods: 

  • Whey protein
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Soy
  • Legumes
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Tofu 
  • Tempeh

As you can see, there are plenty of different foods you can include in your diet to give yourself a brilliant boost to help tone up the body – whether it’s arms, legs or stomach! 

Whatever you do, just don’t forget about diet. It’s one thing doing all the work in the gym, but if you’re not eating the right foods, it could all be for nothing.

[Related Article: The Best Muscle Building Supplements for Women]

5 Easy lifestyle tips to help tone up your body faster

How to tone up fast lifestyle tips

So you’re doing the workouts and the food you eat is supporting muscle, and dropping fat. You’re on the way to that toned body! But, if you really want to get things going faster, there are a few simple lifestyle changes you can make to ensure you reach your goal as quickly as possible! 

We’ve listed our top tips below: 

1. Walk more

Walking is a great way to increase your calorie burn, and it doesn’t feel as much of an effort as going to the gym. So, on top of your workouts, try to walk wherever you need to go! If it’s a quick trip to the store, take 20 minutes to walk there instead of driving. It all adds up to your overall calorie expenditure. 

What’s more, walking and being outside is so good for your mental health – it’s a great all-round body and mood booster! 

[Related Article: Cardio on Leg Day – Should You do it?]

2. Change up your routine

You might start off with the workouts and find that, after a while you start to plateau or get  a little bored. This happens all the time and, as fitness is something many of pursue for life with the aim of continual improvement, it’s so important to make sure you enjoy it! 

As such, why not try a different sport every now and then, or attend a new class at the gym to mix it up. When you find yourself getting stuck in a rut, take a step back and think of something you’d really like to do. 

3. Be kind to yourself

It’s so important to not give yourself a hard time when you don’t see results immediately or you have a break. Body recomposition or changing your physique takes time, effort and determination, and you’re only human – you’re bound to have a few off days! 

That’s absolutely fine too. Just take a break and get back to it when you’re ready. Sometimes your body and your mind need a break to refresh and revitalise. 

4. Take the stairs

Instead of heading to the lift each day, whether it’s at work or your apartment building, why not take the stairs. It’s just another quick and easy change that can help to improve your calorie expenditure. 

What’s more, as we mentioned earlier, steps and stairs are a great way to build muscle in your lower body too. It’s a win win. 

5. 20 Minutes of HIIT

If you really want to take things to the next level with your plans to tone up the body, you should try just 20 minutes after your workouts. 

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a super quick and effective way to get your body burning more calories during and after a workout. HIIT is also pretty unique as it targets fat quite specifically, and, add some weights in and it offers some fantastic toning benefits. 

Check out these HIIT workouts to see the benefits for yourself: 

The Final Word

So, if you’re looking to tone up your body, whether you plan to tone up your arms, legs, stomach or anywhere, we think the exercises, diet advice and top lifestyle tips will have you do so in the fastest, healthiest and most effective way! 

Why don’t you give it a go yourself and let us know how you found it in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you. 


gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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