Toning Exercises for Women

I’m as guilty as the next woman at focusing on my cardio exercise needs and forgetting about my strength-training. Since I primarily exercise outdoors (running, walking, and biking), the only time that weights stare me in the face are when I visit the gym during the cold months of the year. It’s no excuse and I have my “waving the flag” arms to show for it.

The benefits of strength-training are too numerous to count but include reducing the risk of osteoporosis, improving joint health, improving posture, and decreasing back pain. Women often choose not to strength-train for fear of “bulking up” but that is probably just another excuse not to sweat a little. Merely from a vanity standpoint, strength training can help burn calories, provide sexy definition of your body, and make your clothes fit better (or maybe require you to buy a smaller size!).

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.

Here are some of the Best Toning Exercises For Women

  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 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.

For the best results, I suggest doing all these exercises 3 times per week for 3 sets of 13-15 reps.