A toned, slender body that looks sexy in a little black dress can be achieved without a lot of weight training and exercise equipment. Although aerobic activities such as walking and jogging can be done to lose weight, strength-training exercises help you lift and define your muscles. There are plenty of muscle-toning exercises you can do using your body weight or a resistance band. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Work your entire lower body and get skirt-ready legs with walking lunges. This efficient, body-weight exercise lifts and tones your tush, while tightening the muscles of the thighs and calves. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with your right foot, making one exaggerated step. Bend your right knee and transition into a lunge so your thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold the lunge for one count, and then push off with your left foot to make an exaggerated step forward with the left foot. Perform eight to 24 lunges on each side every other day.
Abdominal Leg Raises
Tone your abs and engage your core muscles with leg raises. Lie on your back with your hands palms down under your tush. Draw your ab muscles in while you slowly raise your legs until your body forms a 90-degree angle. Lower your legs slowly and with control until they're about 3 inches above the floor. Do not let your legs touch the floor; repeat the exercises to perform eight to 12 reps every other day.
Pushups are an effective upper-body toning exercise that require no extra weight beyond that of your body. Whether you perform regular pushups or modified pushups, the most important part of the exercise is maintaining good form. It's better to do one perfect pushup than 10 sloppy ones. To do modified pushups, get on your hands and knees, walking your arms forward until your upper body and core form a diagonal to your knees. Position your hands just outside shoulder-width apart. Lower with control about 1 to 2 feet, and then push through your arms and chest to straighten your arms again. Aim for eight to 12 pushups every other day.
Sidesteps With or Without Resistance Band
Jiggly inner and outer thighs can detract from all the hard work you've invested in toning the rest of your body. Sidestep lunges -- performed with or without a resistance band -- will help you tone your inner and outer thighs to get them jeans-ready. Assume a squat position; if you're using a resistance band, place it around your ankles and position your feet far enough apart to pull the band taut. Step to your right about 2 feet with your right foot, and then step over with your left foot to meet it. Repeat the exercise for a total of 24 sidesteps to the right before changing directions and doing the same with your left foot in the lead.
- MayoClinic.com: Strength Training -- Get Leaner, Stronger, Healthier
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity
- BodyBuilding.com: Body Weight Exercises for Size and Strength
- Shape Magazine: Top 10 Moves for a Tighter Tush
- Fitness Magazine: Pushups That Will Change Your Body
- YouTube: Sidestep Lunges
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.