Good Exercises to Tone the Body at the Gym

by Danielle Clark, Demand Media
    Dumbbells are an excellent way to tone your body at the gym.

    Dumbbells are an excellent way to tone your body at the gym.

    If underarm wiggle is getting you down, take a break from your day and head to the gym. Your local health club membership gives you more than a fancy key chain or card, it gives you a place chock-full of equipment that’s great for toning the body. Training with weight and equipment isn’t just for guys. Women benefit from lifting weights and using equipment. By building muscle you not only tone muscle, but also you increase your metabolism and burn more fat. So give the treadmill a break and take advantage of all that your gym has to offer.

    Weight Machines

    Weight machines are easy to use, which is ideal for beginners learning specific movements, according to the American Council on Exercise. Weight machines aren’t just for beginners, but even advanced lifters can take advantage of the equipment. Performing exercises on weight machines can aid in isolating a specific muscle group or muscle. Get a total body workout by locating and using machines for both upper-body and lower-body exercises. Machines for triceps extensions, preacher curls, lateral pulldowns and shoulder presses will effectively tone your upper body. Try leg extensions, calf raises, leg curls and leg presses to tone the muscles of your lower body.

    Free Weights

    There are different types of free weights to use at your local gym. A popular free weight is the dumbbell, but two others that are beneficial are weighted barbells and kettlebells. There are several advantages to free weights compared to weight machines. Weight machines have one path of resistance, but free weights can have several movement patterns, which allow you to work more than one muscle or muscle group during an exercise. You can use free weights during squats and lunges to work the upper and lower body at the same time. You can also target several muscles in the upper body by performing shoulder presses, chest presses and deadlifts.

    Other Gym Equipment and Body Weight

    If weight machines and free weights still make you nervous, there are other exercises you can perform to get a good workout and help you lose the extra jiggle. Fitness balls are excellent for toning your midsection and improving balance. Resistance tubing is another alternative that is both lightweight and inexpensive, according to MayoClinic.com. Use your own body weight to tone your muscles and perform pullups, pushups and crunches.

    Tips

    Strength training will help you tone and build muscle, but without proper nutrition and adding in cardio your efforts won’t be as visible. Include at least 150 minutes of cardio workout every week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s also important to eat healthy foods such as such as lean meats, veggies, fruits and whole grains and stay away from processed and sugary foods. If you’re goal is to tone and lose fat, aim to decrease your intake of calories alongside your workouts. Just a 500 caloric deficit per day will yield a 1-pound fat loss per week, helping you see those beautiful toned muscles that much sooner.

    About the Author

    Danielle Clark has been a writer since 2009, specializing in environmental and health and fitness topics. She has contributed to magazines and several online publications. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology and environmental science.

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