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By Lisa Carroll


Sunday, May 13, 2012.


Summer is finally here and it’s the time when everyone wants to look their best. You may have a wedding or maybe you just want to get bikini ready for your summer holiday. Even if you haven’t been exercising for some time it's really easy to tone your body for summer. By incorporating some simple exercises into your daily routine you will start to see and feel the benefits in a matter of weeks.


When starting an exercise routine it’s important to have your goal in mind and the time frame you want to achieve this goal in. A 4 week programme is a great place to start. After the 4 weeks, you can look back at what you achieved and start a spanking new programme, helping you to reap better results. An easy way to get going would be to tell yourself ‘I will do three 20 minute brisk walks this week’. This is a good starter if you have not been exercising for a while. You can break these 20 minute walks into two 10 minute walks throughout the day. It's really important to include a cardio element to your programme as this will get your heart rate pumping and your body losing fat while you tone your body. After the first week you should increase your walks by around 5 minutes per week, this will build you up to a really good cardio programme after the 4 weeks.


As we are focusing on toning up, the next element to your programme should be weight training. Most females get a little scared when they think of weight training, but don’t worry we aren't trying to transform you into a budding body builder! A set of simple, easy to complete weight exercises will tone up all those problems areas; arms, legs and tummy. You can buy a set of weights but household items such as tins of beans and large bottles of water will work just as well and won't break the bank.


By aiming to complete this workout 3-4 times per week along with your cardio exercises you will start to see results and be looking fabulous for summer. Warm up with 5-10 minutes of cardio, such as walking or jogging on the spot at home. Start with one set of 8-16 reps of each exercise using your weights, adding extra sets gradually. Cool down with some stretches. All the below exercises will help to strengthen and tone your arms, stomach and legs.

 The bicep and tricep curls will banish the dreaded bingo wings and tone your body. 

Bicep curls

·         Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your weights held in each palm, arms by your side.

·         Concentrate on keeping your tummy pulled in tight and your knees slightly bent.

·         Bend your arms at the elbow and bring your palms up towards your shoulders – a ‘bicep curl’.

·         Return to the starting position and repeat (8-16 reps).

Tricep curl

·         Stand with your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder width apart (you can also sit on a bench if you feel more comfortable).

·         Holding one weight between both hands raise your arms straight above your head, bend your elbows and then slowly lower the weight to just behind your neck.

·         Straighten your arms and return to the start position.


The two exercises below will not only tone your body but also work your stomach muscles, so you can say au revoir to a flabby tummy.


Sit ups

·         Lie flat on your back and knees bent.

·         Keep your hands to your temples and slowly raise your chin towards your knees.

·         Make sure the small of your back (just above the bum) is kept flat on the ground at all times.

·         While performing the movement make sure you are engaging your core and pulling in the tummy muscles.


Back extension

·         Lie flat on your stomach facing the floor with your hands at your temples.

·         Slowly raise your torso upwards, while pulling in the stomach muscles and engaging your core.

·         Keep your head in line with the rest of your body and don’t face outwards.


The leg area can be a problem for a lot of us, but lunges are an effective way of toning them.


·         Stand tall with your feet together (you can hold dumb bells in your hands if you want to add to the workout).

·         Step forward with your right foot, taking a slightly bigger step than normal.


·         Bend your right knee and lower yourself towards the floor until your left knee almost touches the ground.

·         Your left thigh should be in a straight line with your back. Push backwards off your right leg to return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg.


These top tips for toning will have you looking fabulous for the summer time. By combining these toning exercises with some cardio such as walking you’ll lose weight and tone up your body. Remember to keep variety in your work out and make changes every few weeks. Best of luck with your top toning summer workout!


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