How to Get Toned

Want a toned and lean body? Learn how.

Ben Greenfield
3-minute read
Episode #036

The Best Exercises to Get Toned

No matter how good your toning workout is, you won’t move fat off your body if you’re eating too many calories, or eating too much of the wrong foods.

Believe it or not, there actually are exercises that can both give you tight, dense muscle fibers and also cause a higher calorie burn. These exercises incorporate big muscle movements that use multiple joints, and are typically performed until you are breathing very hard.

Toning Exercise #1: Swing: One example of such a toning exercise is a swing. To perform a swing, you simply hold a heavy object, like a dumbbell or medicine ball, between your legs in a deep squat position. You can hold with one arm or two. Be sure to stick your butt out and avoid slouching your back. Then simply stand as fast as you can and use the momentum of standing to swing the weight overhead. For the growth of muscle cells and a fat burning effect, perform 10-20 swings.

Toning Exercise #2: Pull-up: Another good toning exercise is a jumping pull-up. Even if you can’t do a regular pull-up, you might be able to do a jumping pull-up. For this exercise, stand underneath a pull-up bar and jump, using the momentum of your jump to pull yourself as high as possible. Then lower yourself as slowly as possible. The jumping burns calories, and the lowering stimulates those muscle cells! Similar to swings, try 10-20 jumping pull-ups. If you can’t do one jumping pull-up, try a pull-down exercise, which will allow you to gradually build the strength necessary for harder toning exercises.

Toning Exercise #3: Lunge: Finally, for an especially good leg toning exercise, you could try a walking lunge, in which you step forward with one leg, drop into a lunge position, then take one big step forward and transition into a lunge with the opposite leg. As you lunge, you move across the room. Hold weights for extra difficult, and if you really want more bang for your buck, try curling, twisting or pressing as you do your lunges.

A Workout to Get Toned

So, let’s put this all together and look at a perfect sample workout for getting toned.

  1. Warm-up, using the Get-Fit Guy tips on How To Warm-Up

  2. Do 10-20 swings, then, with minimal rest continue to step 3.

  3. Do 10-20 jumping pull-ups or pull-downs, then with minimal rest, continue to step 4.

  4. Do 10-20 walking lunges, then with minimal rest ,continue to step 5.

  5. Pick a cardio machine, or grab a jump rope, and do one minute of cardio as hard as you can. Then recover 2-3 minutes, and go back to the beginning to start again with the swings. Attempt for 3-5 circuits of steps 2-5.

Finally, remember that no matter how good your toning workout is, you won’t move fat off your body if you’re eating too many calories, or eating too much of the wrong foods. So be sure to pair this toning education up with a steady diet of the Nutrition Diva.

Be sure to tune in next week, where you’ll learn all about Pilates, and whether or not it is worthy trying.

Muscle image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.

The Quick and Dirty Tips Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.