Getting fit for the summer: training tips for a toned body
The most important aspect to achieve the toned body you’ve always wanted is what you eat. If your diet, together with supplementation, is not appropriate, exercising won’t be enough to achieve your goal.
This article, however, does not aim to help you with your diet, but with your training plan. Let’s focus on the most significant aspects of your training plan to ensure the best possible results!
You can find healthy eating tips to get a toned body in the second article of the Summer Fit series.
Training tips for body definition
1) Include compound exercises
Compound exercises involve more muscle groups (such as bench presses, squats, pull-ups, rows or deadlift), increasing calories burnt and, consequently, promoting fat mass loss and muscle definition.
2) Increase cardio training
Cardio training is a great way to increase body definition, as it contributes to fat mass loss. However, when too much cardio is added to your training plan, it no longer brings the expected results!
The best is to gradually increase the duration of your training session. Don’t start by doing 45 minutes of cardio. If you can achieve good results with only 15/20 minutes, that’s the way to go!
Try shorter training sessions, switching from moderate- to high-intensity. A 15-minute HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout is great to reduce training duration, promote body definition, retain muscle mass and increase calorie burn for several hours after training, even at rest!
3) Do your cardio after weight training
You should do your cardio after weight training because the latter uses glucose as its primary energy source, mainly as muscle glycogen. By doing this after weight training, you ensure that glycogen reserves are already considerably depleted and that you are burning more fat during your workout. This way, it becomes easier to get cut.
5 exercises to burn fat and get cut
Now that you have some tips on how to prepare your training plan, I’ll show you 5 exercises you can do to achieve muscle definition!
1) Squat + military press with dumbbells
Combining two exercises into one is a good idea if the goal is to increase calorie burn because these exercises can be performed one after the other. While squatting, lower the dumbbells to your shoulders. Then, as you stretch your legs, start the military press movement, ending with your arms fully extended. Make sure your motion is as fluid and smooth as possible.
2) Bench press + row with barbell
Another way of combining exercises is through supersets, that is, combining two exercises with opposite movements. This will help you maintain a high-intensity level and will also help you in the recovery process.
In this particular case, you should perform a set of bench presses and then a set of rows with a barbell.
3) Cardio HIIT – jogging with sprints (4+1)
One of the methods I like the most on HIIT trainings is combining running at a moderate pace, or jogging, for 4 minutes, with 1 minute of sprints at maximum intensity – 4 minutes of jogging plus 1 minute of sprints.
During those 60 seconds, try doing as many sprints as possible, for as long as possible. If you want to make 15 minutes of HIIT, you can repeat this method 3 times: 4+1 + 4+1 + 4+1.
4) Cardio HIIT – burpees and rope jumps
Here is another alternative for HIIT training: combining burpees with rope jumps. You should perform rope jumps for 4 minutes and then 1 minute of burpees, rope jumps for 4 minutes and 10 burpees or 100 rope jumps and then 10 burpees. If you want to increase training intensity, there are two options:
- Increase training duration by repeating the scheme as many times as you want
- Increase the high-intensity period, reducing the period of moderate intensity (perform 3+2 sequences)
5) All-body circuit
If combining 2 exercises into one is already good, combining all muscle groups is even better! You can try this circuit, as an example:
- Jump squats: 10 reps
- Fixed bar pull-ups: maximum number of reps
- Arm extensions (commonly known as push-ups): maximum number of reps
- TRX rows: same number of push-ups
- Deadlifts: 10 reps
- Crunches: 20 reps
- You can rest 4 to 5 minutes in-between rounds.
Now that you have some examples of exercises for fat loss, you can get to work and start working towards a Beach Body and that enviable six-pack! After burning all that fat, you’ll want body definition! And there are 5 excellent exercises to get that six-pack!
5 exercises for abdominal definition
1) Hanging leg-raise
If your goal is to work your abs, you don’t need (nor should) start each rep with your legs hanging. Start each rep with your legs on a horizontal position and then bend your body as if you want to touch your hands with your feet. There are two degrees of difficulty:
- Beginner: bend the legs and start each round with your thighs hanging horizontally
- Advanced: extend your legs and start each round with your legs hanging horizontally; when finishing the movement, stop before your legs reach a vertical position
You will feel your abdominal muscles working, mainly the lower portion!
2) FitBall side crunch
This exercise is great for working the transverse abdominis, responsible for core stabilisation, and obliques.
Lie down on your side and lean into the FitBall, trying to reach the floor with your shoulder. Then bend your body laterally, as if you want to touch the ceiling with the other shoulder. Keep your body straight while doing this exercise.
3) Sliding plank
This exercise is great for working the entire abdominal muscle. You just need a towel and floor place! Start in a plank position with a towel or a slider under your feet. Then, from that position, slide your feet in towards your hands. Keep your feet touching the ground and don’t bend your legs.
4) Russian twist
In this exercise, you hold a bumper or a kettlebell in front of your chest, in a crunch position with your feet slightly off the ground. You then rotate the bumper/kettlebell from side to side without touching the ground. Use your abs to stop the movement.
5) Bench crunch
This exercise is similar to the FitBall crunch. The bench provides more stability, but you won’t have the support you would have in the FitBall when doing the exercise. Don’t forget to lock your feet in position using some heavy bumpers to avoid falling back.
This is a very demanding exercise, so be extremely careful to avoid lumbar damage. If you’re just getting started, try a core-strengthening training before moving to more challenging exercises.Keep Reading