Tone: what it is and what are the best exercises

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We talk a lot about losing weight and very little about how important it is to tone and tone for an iron health and a body of scandal, do you want to know more?

What machines and elements of the gym are the best to tone?

First, I would like to define what we mean by toning. We can consider the action of toning as the ability of a muscle to increase its muscle tone.

On the other hand, from an aesthetic point of view, we understand that a muscle is toned when we see it as it is, that is, without the water or fat that covers it limiting the vision of the fibers of which it is composed. It is what can commonly be considered as “marked or defined” muscle.

Technically the ability to tone obviously goes further. It is the ability of a muscle to contract faster and stronger.

If we combine both technical and aesthetic considerations, we could conclude that toning is the removal of any barrier (fat and water) between the skin and muscle, thus helping to perceive its volume; and the ability of a muscle to contract quickly and strongly.

It is important to differentiate these aspects, since two people can have the same muscle and the same strength but, nevertheless, present differences due to a greater or lesser percentage of water and body fat.

With these considerations in mind, we should focus our training work on 4 objectives:

  • Reduction of% of body fat and% of water.
  • Increase in muscle mass (hypertrophy).
  • Increase in contraction speed (explosive force).
  • Increased muscle elasticity.

Therefore, when asked what machines and gym elements are best to tone? We can affirm that ALL. The difference is in how we use them to achieve our goals.

How should the exercises be? (With little or a lot of weight, many repetitions, etc.)

In FORUS there are many types of training that will help us achieve some of these goals. But the main thing, in this aspect, is to find the training program appropriate to your physical and physiological characteristics, your level of experience, your sports history and, as always, your time and availability.

To achieve this you should always seek the technical advice that you will find in your sports center and, from there, get going and be constant.

The four objectives set will be consistent with each other and will balance each other, so training should go along that line.

Some time ago we would consider analytical training methods, with which we would work cycles with a specific objective (hypertrophy, explosive force, etc.). Trainings that are effective in the long term but that involve a lot of time in training sessions. The results take time to arrive and the exercises are complicated and not very funny.

Currently, thanks to new training methods, the introduction of exercises that come from Swedish gymnastics, sports gymnastics, military training and the search for exercises focused on functionality, things have changed and we can carry out training programs that are characterized for having short sessions with global exercises of great muscular involvement, with intense cardiovascular work and an improvement in basic physical skills.

Answering the question, if we chose the first option, we would be talking about circuit work in machines or free weight, with 3/4 series and 15/20 repetitions with an intense feeling at the end of each repetition. We would combine with cardiovascular exercises (tape, bike, elliptical) and end with a good and extensive stretching session, essential to avoid injuries and to improve the capacity for muscle contraction. It is the most recommended option for people with physical difficulties of some kind and without much experience in sports.

If we choose option two, we would be talking about global exercises with or without material, with great muscular involvement in the execution of the exercise. If it is with material, we can use fitball, kettebel, core bag, vipr, medicine balls, bosu, TRX, etc. After a warm-up, we would work 5-6 exercises with 3/4 series per exercise, with a duration of 30 seconds and 10 seconds rest between sets. Toning workIt is implicit in performing the exercise, but the really important thing is the cardiovascular work, so we will work at medium / high intensities of HR, with rest between exercises of approximately 1 min. It is very important to use a heart rate monitor. This is the most recommended option for more trained people with more experience in sports, since many of the exercises require a good technical execution.

If we choose option two, we would be talking about global exercise with or without material, with great muscular involvement in the execution

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