More Results, Less Time
Get full-body toning with a few simple exercises.
Whether you're trying to get ready for swimsuit season or are just wanting to sculpt and tone your body, you want to see the most results possible in the shortest amount of time. After all, nobody wants to waste time doing ineffective exercises that yield small results.
What you need for full-body toning are compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once. So don't spend your time focusing on one single bicep muscle when you could work your upper and lower body muscles at the same time. Get twice as many results in half the time by combining two exercises into one.
For a total body workout that saves you time and provides results, try the following exercises.
Gymnastics uses every single part of your body, every little tiny muscle that you never even knew. - Shannon Miller
Big, Bad Burpee
Work nearly every muscle in your body with a burpee. No equipment is needed for this funny-sounding body-weight exercise that targets your arm, chest, abdominal, glute, and leg muscles. To do a burpee, stand with your arms by your sides and your feet placed hip-width apart. Squat down and put your hands on the floor in front of your feet. Then kick your feet back behind you into a push-up position and lower your chest down toward the floor. Raise back up, pull both feet forward into the squat position again, and then jump up and raise both arms above your head. Repeat.
Another exercise that torches calories while working multiple leg, glute, back, core, arm, and shoulder muscles is the deadlift. To do this exercise you'll need a regular or Olympic barbell with weights on either end. (The amount of weight depends on your strength). With the bar on the floor, stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width and place them under the bar. Next, slightly bend your knees and grab the bar with a mixed grip (one hand overhand, the other underhand), slightly wider than your legs. The bar should now be by your shins, your head up, chest out, and back straight. Exhale, keep your glute and core tight and lift the weight up past your knees as you straighten your legs and arms. Pause, bend at the hips and knees, keeping your back straight, and lower the bar back to the floor. Repeat. Work different muscles by widening your feet or by bending your knees more or less.
A third compound exercise that targets your legs, abs, and back is the squat with weights. Adjust a barbell on the squat rack to the correct height and add the desired amount of weight. Then hold the bar so your arms are at 90-degree angles. Keep your head up and your back straight the entire time. Lift the bar and place it across your shoulders. With your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and pointed out slightly, inhale and perform a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are over your feet. Exhale and stand back up. Squats can also be performed while holding dumbbells.
Powerful Overhead Press
A full-body toning exercise that especially works your shoulders, chest, and arms is the overhead press. Stand with your feel shoulder-width apart and place a barbell from the rack across the front of your shoulders. Holding the bar next to your shoulders with your elbows pointed forward, look straight ahead, lift up your chest, and keep your legs straight as you raise the bar above your head using your arm and shoulder muscles. Lower the bar back to your front shoulders. Repeat.
Many types of cardio exercise work multiple muscles at once and are great for toning. For example, the arm and leg movements of swimming engage the muscles of your core, upper body, back, and lower body. Running, tennis, jumping jacks, and jumping rope also work multiple areas at once.