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Listen Up!: Toning Requires Weight Training

All of us want to “tone” our muscles to achieve a cut, fit look. But what exactly is “toning”? Let me clarify a little: The word “toning” has nothing to do with the size of a particular muscle; it refers rather to making a muscle lean by burning intramuscular fat, and conditioning the muscle for better performance.

You can’t actually build muscle mass unless you’re eating more calories than you’re burning, but you can tone a muscle to make it leaner. To tone your muscles, you should weight-train four days a week, working each muscle group twice a week. After you work a particular muscle group, you should give it two days of rest before you focus on it again.

Here’s a sample toning program that works each muscle group without overdoing it:

Monday: Work the chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, upper abs, obliques.

Tuesday: Work the back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower abs.

Wednesday: Rest.

Thursday: Work the chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, upper abs, obliques.

Friday: Work the back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower abs.

Saturday: Rest.

Sunday: Do a cardio-only workout.

Remember: Exercise is the architect, but recovery is the builder. You have to give your body adequate recovery time to heal itself and grow stronger. If you work out too often without resting, you’ll just break your muscles down.

 

JILLIAN’S TIP OF THE DAY

Afraid of Bulk?

Women always tell me that they feel hesitant about toning exercises that require weights because they’re afraid of building bulky muscles. Hear me out, ladies: It’s extremely difficult for women to gain muscle mass simply by doing toning exercises — we don’t have the testosterone that guys do that lets them build mass. Using weights to tone your muscles will make you look trim and terrific, not big and bulky.

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5 Fixes For Flabby Problem Areas

 

We’ve all got a soft spot that bugs us. One of these moves will firm it up.

Here’s a fact about flab: It results not only from lack of muscle tone but also from excess body fat. “You could do 1,005 crunches, but if you don’t do enough cardio, you’ll just have very toned muscles under a blanket of fat,” says Johanna Subotovsky, learning manager at Equinox Fitness. You need at least 30 minutes of cardio, three times a week. Then try this spot-specific advice.

HELP FOR:
Bra bulge

To get rid of the little roll that spills over your bra strap in the back, try bent-over rows.

  • Stand next to a chair with a dumbbell in right hand. Place left knee and hand on seat and extend right arm toward floor. Bending elbow out to side, slowly bring weight up to chest.
  • Do two sets of 15 reps on each side.

HELP FOR:
Inner- and outer- thigh mushiness

The hips and thighs are the first place most women tend to store fat and the last place they lose it. In addition to lots of cardio, try the four-way lunge.

  • With hands on hips, step forward with right foot and lunge (don’t let knee go past toes); return to start. Lunge backward; return to start. Lunge right (keeping left leg straight); go back to start. Then with left foot, lunge to left side. Repeat, leading with opposite foot.
  • Do two sets of 15 reps on each side.

HELP FOR:
Underarm flab

Triceps respond fast to exercise and fat loss, which means that you could see a change here in just a few weeks with chair dips.

  • Place your hands on the edge of the seat of a chair and walk your feet out. Slowly lower butt toward floor, bending elbows to about a 90-degree angle; press back up.
  • Do two sets of 15 reps.

HELP FOR:
Armpit overhang

The flesh that peeks out over the top of a strapless gown can be tightened with push-ups. But the issue may be the dress, not you.

  • “It’s all about the cut,” says stylist Cristina Ehrlich, who’s worked with Penélope Cruz. “Look for a dress where the top is high enough that it doesn’t dig into your armpit skin. It should come up and over the area.”

HELP FOR:
Belly pooch

Along with plenty of cardio, you can flatten your lower abs with planks.

  • Get in a raised push-up position, except with forearms on the floor; hold the pose with back flat and belly in for 30 to 90 seconds. For more definition, try the bicycle.
  • Lie on floor, knees bent, hands behind head. Lift shoulder blades and twist right elbow to left knee; then twist left elbow toward right knee. Do two sets of 15 reps.

Source: http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/2007/03/flab-fix#ixzz21hPfwmyZ

 

 

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