The best toning exercises are actually some of the easiest yet rewarding exercises you can do. Toning involves range of motion. You will build muscle, reduce body fat and look better as a result.
Toning versus Strength Training
There are different ways to think of muscle toning, but in this context toning refers to exercises that increase muscle definition. The key to the best muscle toning exercises is not to overload your muscles with weight. If you want your muscles to show definition through their form, it is necessary to challenge them. This means the best toning exercises are slow and controlled movements using manageable amounts of weight. Repetition is also key. You need to increase repetitions to fatigue your muscles.
If you are trying purely to build muscle mass through strength training, on the other hand, you will want to lift heavy weights in order to breakdown muscle tissue. This way, when the muscles rebuild, they will be stronger. As a result, you will be able to lift heavier weights. You will have to increase the amount of weight used to continue the cycle of muscle building in this way.
Toning and strength training both build muscle, but if you want that well-defined chiseled look, then toning is the way to go.
Before considering any of these exercises, initial cardiovascular exercise may be warranted to reduce body fat. Such exercise, in conjunction with a proper diet, will result in losing weight and feeling healthy. Often times this can be combined with toning exercises, but you may not see those results until you have shed that unwanted fat.
At-home toning is often the most convenient. All that is required is a couple of lightweight dumbells or equivalent weights. Any common strength training exercise will do as long as you keep the repetitions high, the movement slow and controlled, and the weight manageable.
Calisthenics are some of the best toning exercises you can do because they involve weightless toning. Calisthenics entail using only your body weight as resistance. No special equipment is required. Some examples include sit-ups, push-ups, tricep dips, squats and calf raises. It may not be easy at first, but you can gradually work your way up to more repetitions. Try doing as many of each as you can with the goal of eventually fatiguing your muscles for maximum results.
Some people find some of the exercises impossible at first. For example, doing more than one push-up or sit-up may prove to be too difficult. In that case, assist your body until it becomes possible. Try doing a push-up with your knees on the ground or crunches instead of sit ups. Just be sure to keep the basic movement and muscle groups engaged.
Some of the best toning exercises are quite basic and don't require any weight. By reducing fat and incorporating toning exercises, you will be on your way to a shapely and healthy physique.