If you are looking to lose some unwanted body fat (ok, lose all unwanted body fat); if you want to tighten and tone your body or if you just want to know some great exercises then these are for you.
My best toning exercises for women aren't fad exercises or impossible moves. All of them can all be done, no matter your strength training experience.
What is important to know before getting started?
You do actually have to do these exercises. If you're tired of running on a treadmill and not getting results or if you have dabbled in strength training then obviously you need to change your workout.
Strength training with real weights is the way to go. Who ever says that women should lift heavy is a bunch of bull... did you know that for every pound of muscle you have your body burns an extra 50 calories (on average) per day? Without dieting or changing your food! That's awesome.
Also grabbing weights will decrease your risk of cancer, decrease risk of osteoporosis, improve mental health, improve joints, decrease back pain, improve posture... the list goes on and on.
Are you like most women? Scared of strength training because of the idea of bulking like a man?
Well stop. We have 10-30 times less muscle building hormones than men, so you won't get huge. Instead you will have great, sexy definition, a body you're proud to show off. AND you'll fit into your clothes better.
The Best Toning Exercises For Women
These are all compound movements, that's a trainer's way of saying all of these exercises work big muscles and little muscles, they work multiple joints AND they burn a ton of calories. Add a view of these to your women's workout to get results... fast.
1. Squat: stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees facing straight forward, hands on waist or holding dumbbells by your side. Make sure to have your weight on the heels and slowly lower down bending your knees until you are "sitting in a chair" with thighs parallel to the floor.
Great squat variations: Sumo squat, Bulgarian Squat, one-legged squat, barbell squat, squat jumps.
2. Push-ups: The classic push-up is a great move... it works the arms, shoulders, back, chest and abs. What more could you ask for? Have hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart, push up so your body is completely straight with no arch in your back and make sure your butt isn't sticking up in the air. Slowly bend at the elbows and lower until your nose is in between your hands and almost to the ground, return to start.
Push-up variations: Incline push-ups (beginners), decline push-ups, stability ball push-ups, pike push-ups and push-up hold.
3. Lunge: This is a huge exercise and can be changed up to fit any goal. The standard lunge is done with hands on head or hips, take a step forward with one leg and keep the front knee over ankle. Lower down until the back knee is almost to the ground, but not completely. Push off front foot back to original stance.
Lunge variations: Reverse lunge, side lunges, lunge jumps, step-up lunge
Adding these exercises to your workout is a great way to start implementing a great toning workout. For the best results, I suggest doing them 3 times per week for 3 sets of 13-15 reps.