In order to slim down and get toned, you have to focus on the basics: Strength training regularly, eating a diet high in protein while maintaining a calorie deficit, and also getting in daily steps and aerobic exercise.
Most people, however, focus just on the cardio aspect and ignore the weight training portion. When you’re on a fat-loss journey and looking to slim down and get toned, the most important thing you need to focus on is building and maintaining your lean muscle mass. This keeps your metabolism high, and having lean muscle will give you that exact toned look you desire.
With your strength training exercises, you want to primarily use compound lifts, which are movements that involve more than one muscle group at a time. This means a majority of your lifts should feature a variation of squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows. If you’re already strength training regularly, you can incorporate short circuits of lifts into your routine, which can help you burn extra calories and stimulate your muscles in different ways.
To show you exactly how to do this, here’s a sample 20-minute toning workout that features three superset pairings. Perform 2-3 sets of each pairing before moving on to the next superset. This will help you slim down and get toned fast! And for more, check out This 25-Minute Walking Workout That Will Get You Toned.
Superset 1, Exercise 1: Dumbbell Thrusters
Start by standing, holding a pair of dumbbells up by your shoulders. With your chest tall and core tight, squat all the way down until your quads are parallel to the ground, then drive through your heels and hips, using the momentum of your squat to press the weights straight up over your head toward the ceiling. Lower them back down to your shoulders before performing another rep. Perform 8 reps.
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Exercise 2: Lat Pulldown
Grip the lat pulldown bar with your palms facing away from you and spaced just outside your shoulders. Lean back slightly and pull the bar down towards your sternum with your elbows, squeezing your lats at the very bottom of the movement. Resist on the way up, maintaining tension in your lats. Get a good stretch at the very top by letting your shoulder blades come up before performing another rep. Do 10 reps total.
Superset 2, Exercise 1: Elevated Feet Dumbbell Pushups
Start by gripping a pair of dumbbells in front of you on the ground, then rest your feet on top of a stable, elevated surface. Keeping your core tight, hips high, and chest tall, use control to lower your body in a pushup, coming down until your chest is an inch or two above the ground. Then, push yourself back up, flexing your upper pecs and triceps to finish. Do 8 to 10 reps.
Exercise 2: Bulgarian Split Squat
Position your back foot up on a bench or couch and step out with your other foot about 2 to 3 feet. Once in position, hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides as you lower yourself down—using control—to bend your back knee toward the ground as you descend. Then, use your weight to drive through with your front heel to return to standing, flexing your quads and glutes as you rise. Repeat for 10 reps on each leg.
Superset 3, Exercise 1: Dumbbell Hammer Curls
Grab a pair of dumbbells with both hands facing each other in a neutral grip. Keeping your shoulders pulled back, curl the weight up, flexing your forearms and biceps the entire time. Squeeze hard at the top, then resist on the way down. Do 10 to 12 reps.
Exercise 2: Rope Triceps Extensions
Start by attaching a rope to the part of a cable pulley and grip it just above the knobs. Keeping your chest up with a slight forward lean, pull the rope down with your elbows, tearing it apart at the very bottom while flexing your triceps. Perform 12 to 15 reps.
And that’s it! A 20-minute strength workout that will toned you all over.
For more, check out the Secret Effects of Lifting Weights Just Once Per Week, Science Says.
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