Muscle tone is essential in attaining balance, proper posture, and flexibility. Increasing muscle tone is not just for improving your physical appearance; it also improves the shape of muscles that look lax, floppy, or flabby. So, how do you achieve better muscle tone? Check out the key tips below.
Decrease Your Body Fat
It’s essential to decrease body fat first and foremost, because fat will just cover up the definition and muscular gains you obtain from resistance training.
One way to decrease your body fat is to eat a balanced diet with reduced carbohydrates and sugar content. Instead, consume more proteins and fats. In that way, your body reduces converting glucose or sugar to fat, and instead uses fat and protein for energy.
It’s also important to improve your digestion for better metabolism to eliminate fat from your body and improve muscle tone. Doing so will improve your body’s muscle-to-fat ratio. Some of the best ways to improve digestion include drinking herbal tea to get rid of bloating and taking probiotics to balance your intestinal microbiome.
Do Resistance Training
Resistance training or weight training refers to exercises that use resistance to contract the muscles—usually using weights, like dumbbells, weighted stacks, and weighted bars.
Weight training has two types:
- Isometric Resistance Training – involves contracting muscles against a non-moving object (e.g. floor push-ups)
- Isotonic Strength Training – involves contracting the muscles through weight lifting or any range of motion resistance exercise.
You may combine resistance training with taking muscle building supplements to help increase muscle size and aid in toning the muscles.
Weight training aims to build strength, skeletal muscle size, and endurance. With weight training, you’ll be able to use all your muscles to create a good neuromuscular connection between the muscles and the brain. Why is this important? Resistance training will help increase muscle size or muscle mass and density, because weight also promotes muscle contraction, which is a vital factor in toning muscles, despite the limited movements.
Here are the other health benefits of resistance training aside from improving muscle tone:
- Protects Bones: Weight training can help improve bone density, power, and structure.
- Burns Fat: While you don’t sweat much like with cardio exercises, resistance training can help reduce calories because of improved resting metabolism.
- Better Body Mechanics: Resistance training helps improve balance, coordination, and develop stronger muscles for proper body mechanics.
Combine A Cardiovascular Program With Weight Training
While most fitness experts would agree that strength training should be done first before cardio to gain enough energy, combining the two will give you the best results when it comes to building better muscle tone. This principle especially applies to endurance athletes.
You can alternate from a sustainable cardio program and strength training throughout your week. Just make sure you allot rest days in between.
Here are some tips when combining a sustainable cardio program and weight training:
- If your primary goal is to build or gain muscle, lift thrice a week, and incorporate two moderate-intensity cardio exercise sessions at 20 to 30 minutes twice a week.
- Don’t lift and run on the same day because doing so will just overwork your muscles.
Try Creative And Unique Ways To Tone Muscles
Resistance training can be a boring activity for many people, but you can make it more fun and challenging with some creative ways to tone your muscles. Two of these unique ways to tone muscles are yoga and dancing.
- Yoga: Yoga is a great exercise to help tone your muscles. It increases muscle definition, size, and tone. While yoga requires lifting and a lot of practice to attain a perfect yoga pose, the overall health benefits are amazing. Regular yoga practice can help eliminate body pain, and improve sleep, mood, and mental focus.
- Dancing: Dancing is a great activity that promotes better muscle tone. It’s also ideal for toning the glutes and muscles. Dancing can also strengthen your lower back, abdomen, and work your arms and hips. Aside from that, dancing is a form of aerobic exercise, which improves heart functioning and respiration while you shed off the extra pounds.
Here are the examples of dances that can help tone your muscles:
- Zumba – It’s a high-intensity aerobic workout that is good for the core, and it improves muscle tone.
- Flamenco – It’s a solid cardio workout that works your core stability muscles. Moreover, this dance can help tone and define your muscles, improve endurance, and improve posture.
- Salsa – The continuous movement of this dance promotes improved muscular tone, reduces weight, and improves bone density and strength.
Toning the muscles takes a lot of time so don’t rush it. Comply with your training plan and be patient. Eventually, you’ll reap the benefits of your hard work, and that is to achieve better overall health and fitness.
If you want to build better muscle tone, you should decrease your body fat, do resistance training, and develop a perfect combination of cardio and weight training exercises. You might also consider practicing yoga and dancing, which are fun ways to build, define, and strengthen your muscles.