Best exercises for toning rather than weight loss

thelastnightingale
thelastnightingale Posts: 725 Member
edited June 2020 in Fitness and Exercise
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...?
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Replies

  • SnifterPug
    SnifterPug Posts: 746 Member
    Yoga would probably be good. Pilates, too. Resistance training is key, but that can involve body weight or resistance bands rather than weights.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,382 Member
    You need to differenciate between fat and weak muscles. A muffin top is fat and all the strength training in the world will not do anything against that (though less tight pants might help). If you think that various muscles are poorly developed then strength training is what you need.
  • thelastnightingale
    thelastnightingale Posts: 725 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    You need to differenciate between fat and weak muscles. A muffin top is fat and all the strength training in the world will not do anything against that (though less tight pants might help). If you think that various muscles are poorly developed then strength training is what you need.

    I would say I have fat and weak muscles. I'm working on the fat already through weight loss, so I'm now looking to address the other part of the problem. I know you can't see muscles through fat, but I'm trying to get ahead of the game for when the fat comes off.

    Forgive my ignorance, but isn't strength training all sit ups and lifting? That just doesn't sound like something I can safely teach myself at home.
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
    edited June 2020
    I can totally understand being scared of lifting at home, but sit-ups? How can a sit-up be dangerous?
    Anyway, perhaps start with the basics? Walk, to start getting into the routine of exercise and once you are comfortable doing that look into bodyweight routines, there are lots of them for beginners. I would avoid anything that requires really good form, like e.g. yoga or pilates, and focus on basic exercises everyone is familiar with so you will not feel intimidated, like crunches, wall push-ups, glute bridges etc. Google bodyweight routines for beginners, and pick one that makes you feel comfortable.
    Unless you plan to join a gym and do a class? Than you can try a few beginner classes and see whatyou enjoy.
  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,286 Member
    If you don't have weights at home, look up calisthenics. Proper form, with or without weights is what keeps you safe and injury-free with any exercise.

    Yet if you like yoga (which has various levels of intensity some of which are definitely not for someone who would describe themselves as feeble), then start there. Pilates, Essentrics, gryrotronics, etc are all in a similar vein.

    Also, strength training is more than just sit ups and lifting... for sure 😉
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,097 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    You need to differenciate between fat and weak muscles. A muffin top is fat and all the strength training in the world will not do anything against that (though less tight pants might help). If you think that various muscles are poorly developed then strength training is what you need.
    Muscles are muscles and fat is fat.

    There is no such thing as fat muscles.

    That is equivelant of saying green light-stop sign. They co exist, but are two separate things.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,097 Member
    If you want the appearance of a tone body, you have to lower body fat percentage and display muscle mass.

    A calorie deficit is the only thing that will rid yourself of fat, not a sit up on its own.

    Resistance training,(if appropriate for you as a individual) can help retain muscle as you lose fat.

    While yoga night have some slight benefits and might be something you enjoy, I would rather have you resistance training and yoga if possible.

    What kind of resistance training would depend on equipment availability and what you would adhere to meet your goals.

    Unfortunately there isn't a great answer to your question with the info you've given.

    I encourage you to seek appropriate resistance training and eat in a deficit.

  • Shortgirlrunning
    Shortgirlrunning Posts: 1,020 Member
    There are SO many body weight exercises you can do at home for strength training. You can also use resistance bands/loops. I use both in my fitness routine and they aren’t hard to use and the worst that can happen is a loop snaps which isn’t a big deal, you won’t hurt yourself you’ll just be annoyed that your loop broke.

    FitnessBlender is my favorite free online workout site (they are also on YouTube) You can sort through their videos by fitness level, time, equipment you have available. It’s a great resource for if you workout at home.

    I also like PopSugarFitness. They have a ton of videos that don’t use any equipment. And Yoga with Adrienne is also great if you are interested in Yoga.
  • thelastnightingale
    thelastnightingale Posts: 725 Member
    edited June 2020
    FitnessBlender is my favorite free online workout site (they are also on YouTube) You can sort through their videos by fitness level, time, equipment you have available. It’s a great resource for if you workout at home.

    Thanks so much for the recommendation - I've just started having a look and I think there are some fab ideas on FitnessBlender that even I can use without doing myself an injury. Really appreciate it!
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    LKArgh wrote: »
    I can totally understand being scared of lifting at home, but sit-ups? How can a sit-up be dangerous?
    Anyway, perhaps start with the basics? Walk, to start getting into the routine of exercise and once you are comfortable doing that look into bodyweight routines, there are lots of them for beginners. I would avoid anything that requires really good form, like e.g. yoga or pilates, and focus on basic exercises everyone is familiar with so you will not feel intimidated, like crunches, wall push-ups, glute bridges etc. Google bodyweight routines for beginners, and pick one that makes you feel comfortable.
    Unless you plan to join a gym and do a class? Than you can try a few beginner classes and see whatyou enjoy.

    The way it loads your spine.
  • moonangel12
    moonangel12 Posts: 971 Member
    I am one that can’t do traditional sit ups thanks to a slight spina bifida (hurts to lay on my back on a firm surface) and more “recently” diastasis recti from pregnancies starting 13 years ago. I do Classical Stretch - fantastic low impact strength and stretch for the whole body (tai chi based). I also am starting to test the waters with calisthenics using gymnastics rings. I am not a fan of weights and much prefer body weight exercises... For core strength youcould start with something like planks. Or even do a search for 7 minute workouts, my husband enjoys those (and the goober can see fast results with them, so jealous!)
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,382 Member
    There's so much variation in bodyweight exercises, and so much progression: once something gets too easy there's always something that's more difficult. The Convict Conditioning series isn't too bad (there are posters online) or You are your own gym. Done properly, various versions of squats, pushups, lunges and more specific core exercises (back and front) cover a lot of muscles. Just avoid anything with the label HIIT. It's a misnomer and doing fast exercises is probably not what you want in the beginning.
  • suzyjmcd2
    suzyjmcd2 Posts: 266 Member
    I love Bar-less Barre classes and Pilates Mat classes online for strength and toning workouts.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,974 Member
    Rowing
  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,179 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    LKArgh wrote: »
    I can totally understand being scared of lifting at home, but sit-ups? How can a sit-up be dangerous?
    Anyway, perhaps start with the basics? Walk, to start getting into the routine of exercise and once you are comfortable doing that look into bodyweight routines, there are lots of them for beginners. I would avoid anything that requires really good form, like e.g. yoga or pilates, and focus on basic exercises everyone is familiar with so you will not feel intimidated, like crunches, wall push-ups, glute bridges etc. Google bodyweight routines for beginners, and pick one that makes you feel comfortable.
    Unless you plan to join a gym and do a class? Than you can try a few beginner classes and see whatyou enjoy.

    Situps are actually a horrible exercise. Really, the only people that should be doing them are people who have to do them for some kind of physical fitness test. There are so many better ways to train your abs and core.

    I have no idea why they are horrible, but I cannot see how they can be scary. Or why one would do them if he/she does not like them.
  • ritzvin
    ritzvin Posts: 2,860 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    LKArgh wrote: »
    I can totally understand being scared of lifting at home, but sit-ups? How can a sit-up be dangerous?
    Anyway, perhaps start with the basics? Walk, to start getting into the routine of exercise and once you are comfortable doing that look into bodyweight routines, there are lots of them for beginners. I would avoid anything that requires really good form, like e.g. yoga or pilates, and focus on basic exercises everyone is familiar with so you will not feel intimidated, like crunches, wall push-ups, glute bridges etc. Google bodyweight routines for beginners, and pick one that makes you feel comfortable.
    Unless you plan to join a gym and do a class? Than you can try a few beginner classes and see whatyou enjoy.

    Situps are actually a horrible exercise. Really, the only people that should be doing them are people who have to do them for some kind of physical fitness test. There are so many better ways to train your abs and core.

    Ditto this, especially for someone with very weak abs... it's a difficult exercise to do with remotely decent form that won't strain neck, etc before a preexisting level of strength.

    Personally, the biggest difference in core strength when I was weaker came from doing bent over rows.

    For the OP, many who were hesitant but eventually started weight training have not regretted it.. you may want to look into it once the gyms reopen back up. It's the most efficient way to get what you want. You can yoga until the cows come home for years and never see remotely the same muscle development weight training can give in a few months that will lead to nice muscle definition ("toning") when the weight is off.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,953 Member
    LKArgh wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    LKArgh wrote: »
    I can totally understand being scared of lifting at home, but sit-ups? How can a sit-up be dangerous?
    Anyway, perhaps start with the basics? Walk, to start getting into the routine of exercise and once you are comfortable doing that look into bodyweight routines, there are lots of them for beginners. I would avoid anything that requires really good form, like e.g. yoga or pilates, and focus on basic exercises everyone is familiar with so you will not feel intimidated, like crunches, wall push-ups, glute bridges etc. Google bodyweight routines for beginners, and pick one that makes you feel comfortable.
    Unless you plan to join a gym and do a class? Than you can try a few beginner classes and see whatyou enjoy.

    Situps are actually a horrible exercise. Really, the only people that should be doing them are people who have to do them for some kind of physical fitness test. There are so many better ways to train your abs and core.

    I have no idea why they are horrible, but I cannot see how they can be scary. Or why one would do them if he/she does not like them.

    They tend to be hard on one's back, and aren't very effective in that they recruit a limited set of core muscles. Other options are safer and more effective. That's why they're horrible. Well, suboptimal, at least. ;)

    One of many random articles from mainstream sources explaining in more detail:

    https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/want-a-stronger-core-skip-the-sit-ups