Best exercises for toning rather than weight loss



  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 32,540 Member
    What sort of exercises do you all do to help tone your body?

    I'm not necessarily talking about things that burn a lot of calories and help you lose weight, rather things that can help with the bingo wings and flabby tummies if you commit to doing them regularly enough.

    I'm not keen on weights because I'm feeble and accident-prone, and I couldn't do a sit up to save my life, but I wondered if something more sedate like beginner's yoga or tai chi would help...?

    There are forms of yoga that emphasize strength more (such as Ashtanga), but I'm not sure what the beginner on-ramp is for that. (I've known strong/fit Astanga practitioners whose primarily fitness modality was yoga, but I've not tried it or talked with beginners to know what the on-ramp is like.)

    I'd encourage you to (re-)consider strength training, either bodyweight or weights. It's fine to start at any strength level, even "feeble" - just use lighter weights to start, and progress at a pace that's sensible for your body. "Lifting heavy" just means lifting things that are a bit challenging to each of us personally, not some random giant weights. Classic-pace strength training is IMO a good thing for the accident-prone, in that the basic movements are done relatively slowly, and with control. (A trainer to get you started on good form would be a good thing, but if that's not do-able, use good video sources for instruction, and do careful self-monitoring.)

    There's a great thread about strength training here:

    Despite the title, it does include bodyweight programs, including beginner ones, that can be done at home with minimal or no equipment, and that can be a less intimidating way to start.

    For your goals, I wouldn't recommend Tai Chi. That's not a dis of Tai Chi at all: I did it regularly for around 8 years, and my late husband was a Tai Chi teacher. It's great, helpful for balance and body awareness, well-taught can build some leg strength slowly (often, sadly, it's not well taught :( and is more about getting in tune with the universe or other vague metaphysical sutt, and not about getting the kind of useful physical challenge that one needs to build strength). Solo practice without weapons is pretty devoid of upper body benefits, so it's not really on point for your goals.

    Best wishes!
  • netitheyeti
    netitheyeti Posts: 539 Member
    I started with the very basic low impact bodyweight workouts, I did do it in front of a mirror at first to check that it looked "right", then I got myself some resistance bands and adjustable dumbbells. I still don't necessarily "look" toned, but I feel much better than I did before. I'm 30 but I have some hypermobility issues so I find that I've had to build my strength up before doing anything more high impact/heavier weight (I've managed to pull/twist my wrists, dislocate a finger before etc - I'm still very careful with certain movements), but even the "easier" stuff helped overall. My first pair of dumbbells was only 2kg and I still felt it! Heck, my first few weeks I was working out with water bottles/cans of beans

  • a_candler
    a_candler Posts: 209 Member
    I do at home bodyweight exercise videos off YouTube. To start you may like the plethora of Walking videos that incorporate some extra little moves like squats, kicks, punches and go from there. No reason to start off super hard and get hurt or discouraged, any form of exercise is better then nothing.
  • djaxon1
    djaxon1 Posts: 82 Member
    " Any form of exercise is better then nothing. " - Agree totally .
    If you start to do something you like, and can do, then it's much more likely that you will carry on with it.
    You can progress onto different exercises later - there isn't a timescale.
  • rosegreen12
    rosegreen12 Posts: 35 Member
    I have read in numerous places of all the downsides to sit-ups. Reverse crunches seem to have more favor.