Tone your body with our strength training exercises
Shutterstock When it comes to setting fitness priorities, toning exercises should be high on your list—and for good reason: Strong, shapely muscles give you a slimmer look by improving your posture and tightening your torso. Recent studies show that whole body strength training exercises help stave off stubborn belly fat, control diabetes, and reverse muscle aging. (Here are some secrets your weight-loss trainer won’t tell you.)
Get started with this 20-minute toning regimen. It targets muscles in your arms, chest, abs, back, butt, and legs. If you do these exercises twice a week or more, taking at least one day off between workouts, you’ll begin to see results in as little as four weeks.
Want to be more flexible? Try this one-week stretching program.
Strength training exercises: stair step-ups
Kagan Mcleod for Best Health
Works your butt, calves, and thighs
12 reps each side
• Stand facing the bottom step of a staircase or a step at the gym.
• Place your right foot on the step, straightening your right leg, and raising yourself onto the step. As you do, bend your left knee up, raising your left leg directly in front of you.
• Briefly balance on your right leg (your left foot is in the air) and slowly lower your left foot to the floor, squatting slightly, without moving your right foot.
Best Health tip: Resist leaning forward by aligning your shoulders over your hips.
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