Exercise isn’t just about wanting to lose weight. A big part of working out for a lot of people is having the chance to tone their body. It’s for that purpose that strength training exercises, workouts that focus on shaping as much of the body as possible, and toning the muscles are such an important aspect of working out.
If you want to build up your body and tone it in the way you’ve always wanted, all in an easy way that doesn’t require you to go to a gym or spend too much time doing it, then these 5 exercises are definitely for you. Don’t underestimate them though, as doing them right will truly give you the workout you deserve, so make sure you grab your mat and are ready to push yourself to the limit.
Bored of your daily runs? Well Jumping Jacks act as a good alternative if you want a quick aerobic workout. Jumping Jacks work wonders for your cardiovascular system, but they stand out by being a move that requires you to move your whole body in order to make the highest jump and the best landing possible, which works wonders when you want to tone it.
The exercise itself is relatively simple but requires more repetitions. Simply lean back and bend your legs before jumping up as high as you can while raising your arms and putting them together. Once you’re in the air, spread your arms and legs wide for a successful landing, putting pressure on your abs to properly control the way your body moves. Repeat for as many times as you’re able to do within a minute and your core, deltoids and calves will start to feel that amazing burn. Remember to rest for about a minute in between sets.
Want to pretend you’re Floyd Mayweather and get toned doing it? Well Shadow Boxing is the perfect move for that. Shadow Boxing stands not just as a useful exercise, it’s one that all professional boxers utilise to stretch out their muscles and practice their moves. When done properly, Shadow Boxing can benefit and tone quite a few muscles, such as your forearms, biceps, triceps and even your deltoids, core, quads and calves.
Shadow Boxing’s best feature is that it’s pretty much a freestyle exercise. It gets you to move your body around and the motion of throwing punches and shifting your weight will not only train your reflexes but also work your whole body as you go, which can turn it into a pretty tiring exercise if you’re not conditioned enough. That being said, you may want to attend some Kickboxing classes first to get used to the moves before doing some Shadow Boxing. After which, we then recommend doing the Shadow Boxing in five minute intervals (increasing it as you get accustomed to it) and not sit down at all as you go.
We all know about Push Ups – it’s one of the most common exercises and many jokes have been made about it. Unfortunately, for as common as it is, it’s really hard to do them right. Push Ups work your core muscles, triceps and placement of your arms can even be shifted to work on different muscles.
The perfect way to do a push up is to take up a plank position, keeping your head, body and heels completely straight. Once you’re there, slowly lower your body, putting your gaze forward in order to keep your neck straight, until your chest grazes the floor. The most important thing, and what people tend to ignore, is that you should draw your arms and shoulder blades in a T formation, not letting them push away too much. Proper breathing is also critical as is preventing your butt to dip or stick out. The burn should be felt in your triceps and not your biceps as this is to ensure that your shoulder joints are not injured.
Want to get a quick work out in but don’t have enough time? Then the Mountain Climber is perfect for you. The Mountain Climber is an exercise that targets your abdominals muscles as well as your hamstrings, deltoids, quads and calves, meaning that everything from your lower back and below will get some much needed exercise.
That being said, the Mountain Climber is not an easy exercise. While you must exercise it carefully, you also have to take into account not to push your body more than it can. Start off by taking a plank position (you should be familiar with that now) and keep your abs pulled in as you begin to bring your knee forward to your chest. Make sure to put more pressure on your abs so that you don’t fall out of the plank position as you bring the knee forward before moving it back and bringing your other leg forward.
Repeat this while increasing in speed, always making sure to keep a proper position and your breathing steady. You should not be slipping off and if you find yourself doing so, use your core muscles to control. Remember though, don’t ask your body for more than what it can handle.
Burpees are easily one of the hardest exercises to get right, mainly because of the specific way in which they have to be executed. The effort pays off however, as burpees focus on your deltoids, glutes, core and quads, strengthening and shaping them in unison. One other big factor for the Burpee is the ability to burn more calories as you go, with every movement methodically calculated to form an important part of the exercise.
To do a perfect burpee that’ll get your body pumping, you must first start by standing with your feet at shoulder width apart. Start by putting your weigh ton your heels and arms then push your hips back and bend your knees in order to lower your body into a squat before placing your hands on the floor, make sure to put them directly in front of your feet and shift your weight onto your hands.
Now that that’s taken care of, push your feet back and take up a plank position, making sure to form a straight line with your body without any part of your body sticking out, since not lining it up properly could loosen the effect of the exercise on your core.
We’re not done just yet, once you form the plank you have to throw your feet back, this time so that they land just outside of your hands so that you can jump back into your original position. If this is too difficult, you can do a half-burpee where you do not need to jump up but merely stand up before falling back into your plank position.
Try out either of these five exercises (or all five) and we can assure you that you’ll be on your way to having the toned body you want, as long as you stick to it at least. Special thanks also go to Joel and Zackiee who gave us their guidance in picking these moves.
Photo Credits: HIIT Academy, PopSugar, Indie Times, Man vs Debt