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Heart Rate Training, Sustainable Fitness, science, "How to", home workout, Live-Streaming Classes

The best at-home workouts for toning muscle (and what does toning actually mean?!)

By Sophie Saint May 26, 2020
The best at-home workouts for toning muscle (and what does toning actually mean?!)

For those who wish to find fab at-home workouts for toning muscle, we’ve got the rundown of some of the best live-streaming workouts on Move At Home that’ll put you through your paces and help you achieve your goals.

But first, let’s dive into what ‘toning’ actually means. Like lots of people, you may well have come here by searching for ‘best toning workouts’ looking for the holy grail of workouts. But there is so much more to toning the body... It’s time to bust some myths!

What do you mean when you say ‘toning muscle’?

Toning muscle is basically strengthening and increasing muscle mass. You can do this through Barre workouts, using weights, bodyweight moves, running, cycling, yoga, swimming, bootcamps… the list is endless! 

You'd be forgiven for thinking, ‘Wait a second, I thought I’d have to do specific toning workouts to get toned results?’ Well, toning exercises can be applicable to a wide range of workouts and this is where we can begin to bust some myths: there is no single magic workout for toning.

What do you mean when you say ‘toning muscle’?

There is no specific workout to tone muscles - ALL workouts can tone! 

There is no trick or secret to getting toned, so you can stop searching for the quick hack right now! In a nutshell, when people talk about being "toned", they’re referring to a firm body with muscular definition and shape. You can increase or decrease your muscle mass - you cannot ‘lengthen’ your muscles. 

Many people can achieve stronger muscles through various workouts, but seeing the toned muscle boils down to the level of body fat you have. Without cardio and other high-intensity workouts which decrease body fat percentage, you won’t be able to see strengthened muscle as they’ll be hidden under a layer of fat. High-intensity activities are needed to impact that layer and reveal the strong muscle beneath. 

Which workouts should I choose to ‘tone up’?

You need to put in the work. Choose your activities wisely so you can target your weak areas, and above all, do not forget about cardio exercises to give your whole body a blast. But there are workouts out there which can do two things at once: increase muscle mass AND impact body fat percentage.

Workouts that get the heart rate up with short rests in between sets, are great choices! Think circuit training and BodyPump - these are great examples of classes that work your muscles and get your heart rate into fat-burning mode.

When looking for at-home workouts to tone up, note your weak areas and focus on movements that will increase the muscles in these areas. Just be wary of the “Spot Training” myth that focusing on a body part will give the toned results you’re after; it circles back to reducing body fat percentage all over in order to see the strong AF muscles underneath.

Bodyweight exercises can also still be cardio while focusing on building muscle - just be sure to keep your breaks in between reps a super short 30 seconds to ensure your heart rate stays up! Get creative and combine movements to maximise your workout to make it as efficient as possible. 

But won’t weights make me bulky?? I want to be toned!

Many get worried that they’ll ‘bulk-up’ if they do weights. Not true. You would need to do serious diet modifications and stick to a meticulous training plan to bulk up. And one of the many benefits of increasing your muscle mass is that post-workout, you’re still burning calories.

Training with weights means you’ll use up more of the sugar stored in your muscles and create muscle fatigue. This needs more energy to repair in your rest periods, and this energy comes from your fat stores. Providing you regulate your carbohydrate consumption, your down time will become your most effective fat burning time of the day.

But won’t weights make me bulky?? I want to be toned!

Why should you try at-home workouts for toning muscle?

You still need to actually increase muscle mass in the first place, and at-home workouts are brilliant for upping your strength and conditioning. 

Home workouts to tone your muscles are a fantastic way to maintain or smash your fitness goals. With 1000’s of classes on Move At Home being streamed from all around the UK, you can select from a wide variety for a time that suits you.  Happy days.

Whether it's a class which focuses on particular body parts, or a toning-based workout that utilises weights, they can all help you increase your muscle mass. From 30 min Barre workouts to an hour of strength training, there is something ready and waiting for you to book yourself into. Integrate these home toning workouts into your weekly routine and you will definitely see results.. (And feel the DOMs..!)

The very best at-home workouts for toning muscle

So now you know the truth behind toning, it’s time to check out which workouts can help you achieve the results you’re looking for.

Regular exercise, including specific toning exercises, is the best way to get streamlined and strong, so let’s delve into fantastic live-streaming workouts that will hone in on key muscle groups and give all round fitness so we can get those muscles visible after time.

Yoga and Pilates workouts for toning at home

Online yoga classes and Pilates can both build strength and flexibility in muscles and ligaments, and strengthen your core strength and posture. Just be sure to select the right class that can help your strength training, such as Power Yoga. 

“Various styles of yoga can be effective for building muscle, and moving more energetically through poses leads to more calories and fat burned, which means more visibility of those muscles.” - Adam Perlman, an integrative health and well-being expert at Duke University.

  1. Mollie MVMNT: Buti Yoga

Jump online and join Mollie for a live-streaming power yoga flow. Buti Yoga is a soulful blend of power yoga, cardio-intensive tribal dance, conditioning and deep abdominal toning. Immerse yourself in pumping music with intensive movements to create an electric energy. 

  1. theLodge.Space: Strong Yoga

Building fitness, flexibility and endurance through yoga postures and breath work. A great workout to compliment gym or sports training, and to fix posture imbalances we create from our daily work habits. This class is designed to challenge and help you find a strong, powerful yoga practice.

  1. Mampara Dance: LAMDA: Body Sculpt Online

Maximise results in every class with a combination of Pilates, floor barre, yoga and body weight conditioning.  Cut deep into your core, glutes, arm and back muscles and kickstart your metabolism with a powerful, yet relaxing, bodyweight conditioning flow.

  1. Yoga on the Square: Move Strong Pilates

Tone up with this live-streaming Pilates class - it combines classical Pilates and functional fitness with a dash of yoga for a fun and energising workout. The strength and skill gained will support the rest of your pursuits, whether it's climbing, running, raving, yoga-ing or just living life to your fullest!! Expect to sweat, smile, feel your core and learn about your body.

Toning Home Cardio Workouts

These workouts are fantastic at keeping your heart rate pumping whilst also focusing in on key body parts that many wish to improve. From using roller skates to bodyweight home workouts, try one of these live-streaming classes and feel the BURN.

  1. Play Tone: Skate Tone

Are you ready for a legs, bums and tums class with a difference!? This is an entirely new way to work out... but you better be ready to sweat. Workout at home using traditional bodyweight moves… with rollerskates on to provide extra weight in your moves. Don’t have skates? Replicate these moves with socks or paper plates. Skate Tone is a low impact and high intensity class, guaranteed to get the heart racing. 

Check-out a taster of this class over on our IGTV.

  1. Brave Move: Brave Tone

Expect a low-impact, full-body strength workout aimed at hitting all muscle groups to tighten and tone from tip to toe. Using diverse body-weight exercises to boost your strength, with influence taken from Yoga and Pilates to build an epic core, control and flow.

  1. Girl Can Do

Girl Can Do provide quite a few fabulous toning workouts! Not only do they put you through your paces and focus in on different body types, and switch between fat-burning sequences and strength-building movements. Try out their Abs-olute Core class to torch that core or their Upper Body Tone class.

  1. Skylab: ONLINE FLOOR CORE

A floor based conditioning class designed to keep your body aerial fit. Enjoy kick ass conditioning sets such as power crunches, death quads, turbo presses and loads more.

  1. ProTom Fitness

Try out ProTom’s 30-min QuickFit HiiT sessions and his Strength Training to work your whole body and hone muscle. ProTom Fitness Strength Training is designed to use fat for energy by raising your resting metabolic rate. The bodyweight workout powers the body to burn calories for up to 12 hours post-workout! Within weeks, you will shed excess fat and tone the whole body.

Live-streaming Barre Classes

When it comes to getting strong, perfecting posture and working up a sweat, Barre workouts are pretty darn good! Many think Barre isn’t effective for building muscles as it’s quite a pretty, graceful workout… but you couldn't be further from the truth.

Barre workouts focus on tiny, one-inch increments called isometric movements. These movements are killer as the one-inch increments are enough to fire up the muscle and make it more elastic, but not too big to tear the muscle. It also makes for an efficient workout as you’ll target multiple body parts at once.

“The cardiovascular elements of the barre class work to get the heart rate up as well as having the added bonus of improving your body's flexibility.” - Sarah Gorman, Founder of BlendFit. 

 

You can find so many Barre workouts online with Move At Home as it’s a great at-home workout - you can do it barefoot with only a chair to help your balance. No other equipment is required, but you can integrate light weights to maximise the impact of your moves. We recommend you to mix in live-streaming Barre classes with cardio workouts to ensure you still get a high-intensity blast as you condition your ballerina muscles.

  1. Balance Fitness: Barre Fit at Home

This Barre class combines elements of ballet, Pilates and yoga. It focuses on working legs, buttocks and abdominals. Get prepared for repeated standing plies, lunges, squats, leg rises as well as lying exercises to help you shape and tone your lower body and abdominals. 

Class includes a variety of standing exercises at the barre (kitchen sink, door handle or a chair seem like a good substitute at home), and lying Pilates and Yoga exercises and stretches.

  1. Kind Living Yoga - Hove: Barre Express

Barre Express is a fun and safe workout that helps you strengthen your whole body. Main focus of each 45 mins session is upper body, arms, bum, thighs and lots of core!!

  1. Live to Dance EU: Blitz & Barre

This class integrates Barre moves to provide strength and conditioning for those who love to dance! It strengthens ankles, thighs, bottoms & core to maintain a healthy body ready for social dancing. It’s for those who want to improve general cardio fitness levels & stamina.

  1. Sussex Zest: Barre Fitness

The class comprises of three segments: Supported ballet-inspired moves, free standing dance fitness and mat work to target the core and booty. 

 

This is just a small sample of the 100’s of live-streamed home workouts you have at your fingertips to get stuck into through Move At Home. And, remember, next time 'toning' is on your mind or crops up in conversation, think about workouts that focus on strength and cardio first.

 

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Sophie Saint

Written by Sophie Saint

Exercise used to always terrify me, until I was forced to face it head-on with an impending surfing trip. I entered the world of MoveGB and never looked back.... Yoga, gym sessions and the odd round with a punchbag opened up my eyes to getting active and feeling awesome from it! Travelling, social media and blogging are what I love both in and out of work. And Turn'd Up dance has become a serious obsession now...

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