Are you always busy? If you work a standard eight hour a day job and drive to work, chances are, by the time you get home, you are not interested in doing much of anything. However, incorporating an exercise routine into your day-to-day life is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. Below we have compiled a list of the top toning exercises perfect for busy people. These exercises target a wide range of body parts and can be performed with little to no equipment. Keep reading to find the perfect fit for you!  

 

Toning Exercises FAQ

Are you confused on what a toning exercise is? Do you not know the significance of toning? Don’t worry; you are not alone. Below we have put together some of the most common questions that pop up when discussing toning exercises. We’ll cover everything from finding the right exercise for you to what toning actually does. Keep reading below to find the answers to your questions!

 

1. What Is A Toning Exercise?

A toning exercise is a type of exercise that works to tone the muscles in the body. There are many different forms of toning exercises. Some toning exercises are more cardio based meaning they get your blood pumping and are bound to make you sweat. Other toning exercises can be slow moving and all about holding and precision.


2. What Does Toning Do? 

Toning, as you learned above, is meant to tone the muscles in the body. A toned body can be equated to a lean and fit body. If you want to increase tone, it often means you want to increase the definition of your muscles.

 It is important to note that toning does not necessarily equate to building muscles. Many people want to tone parts of their body where they have excess fat or skin. Common areas to tone are as follows: 

  • Buttock
  • Stomach
  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Back 

 

3. What Body Parts Can You Target? 

There are many common parts of the body that you can target using toning exercises. The most common location to want to tone is your core or stomach. Many people gain and store weight around their midsections which is especially true for the female gender. If there is a part of your body that you wish were more svelte you can most likely find a toning exercise to target it.


4. What Equipment Do I Need? 

With our list below of the top ten toning exercises for busy people, we tried to keep equipment needs down to a minimum. The best part about working out at home, or even in your office, is that it saves you time and money. A lot of our exercises are based on using your own body weight as resistance.

If you enjoy exercises that do not require a lot of equipment to perform we suggest looking into methods such as pilates. Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on your own body as your workout tool and nothing else. That being said, we always think using a yoga mat for floor-based exercises is more comfortable than the bare floor. If you have carpet, we definitely recommend avoiding rug burn and using a dedicated exercise mat.  


5. Which Exercise Is Right for Me? 

When deciding which exercise is right for you, you will want to consider a number of factors. First and foremost you will want to think about your ability level. If you have any injuries that may prevent you from putting weight on different parts of your body you will want to consult your doctor before beginning. Keep an eye out for exercises that target problem areas, fit your lifestyle, and are easiest for you to complete and modify as needed.


How We Reviewed Toning Exercises

When you are busy, the last thing you want to do is spend time researching instead of taking action. That’s why we took the time to create a comprehensive list of the best toning exercises for busy people. Selecting our list of top ten moves took a lot of time, effort, and research across a wide range of sources.

The toning exercises on our list were selected based upon strict parameters. Not only did we want to bring you methods that would be easy for a plethora of ability levels but we also wanted to ensure that none of these exercises required extensive materials. Each of these exercises was selected with your busy schedule in mind. This is why we included exercises that can be performed at your desk for ideal multitasking!

 

What We Reviewed

  • Planks
  • Tricep Dips
  • Burpees
  • Seated Bicycle Crunches
  • High Knees
  • Regular/Seated Skaters
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Lunges
  • Push-Ups
  • Squats

Planks

Planks

Details

The plank, aside from being an old internet sensation, is a popular exercise move to engage your stomach muscles. Planking is done by placing your forearms and feet on the ground. Raise yourself up, until you are on the balls of your feet, and try to keep your back as level and flat as possible. We always try to imagine a plate balancing on our back to keep things steady.

If you are doing this move correctly you will feel your core engage. If your stomach doesn’t feel tight, try lowering yourself slightly. Keep holding and feel your stomach tighten with each passing second. If you are looking for easy toning exercises, try this move out each day and see how long you are able to increase your hold time.

                              Pros

  • Strengthens and engages the core
  • Does not require any equipment 
  • Works to tighten the stomach 

 Cons

  • Requires floor space to lay down 
  • May be uncomfortable to perform without a mat
  • Not a source of cardio

Tricep Dips

Bench-Dips

Details

The tricep dip is one of the toning exercises that requires equipment. All we recommend is a sturdy enough chair or bench to work with. This exercise is great because you can tweak it in many different ways to target different zones and ability levels. To engage more of your stomach muscles use a chair that is armless and pull in your stomach while squeezing your glutes. If you are already an advanced student, try this move by raising one leg up while performing as normal.

                              Pros

  • Strengthens the arm muscles
  • Visibly tightens arms
  • Easy to add steps to engage your core as well 

 Cons

  • Requires a chair or stable surface to perform 
  • Not a very discreet exercise 
  • Requires an armless chair for the advanced method

Burpees

Burpees

Details

Burpees are a great way to engage your arms and legs all the while getting a great source of cardio. Anytime you can perform an exercise that makes your heart pump you are ensuring that you are working your hardest. Burpees are one of the harder exercises to do but they work many parts of the body. Start with five and work your way up from there by practicing every other day.

                              Pros

  • Engages many parts of the body
  • Can be modified based on ability level 
  • Great form of cardio

 Cons

  • Difficult to perform 
  • High-intensity workout 
  • Can cause profuse sweating

Seated Bicycle Crunches

seated bicycle crunches

Details

The seated bicycle crunch is a great choice if you are looking for toning exercises that can be performed at your desk. All you need to do is roll your chair out, lift both legs up until you feel your core engage, and pedal like you are on a bike. This is a great way to tighten your core and work toward a crop top-ready stomach!

                              Pros

  • Engages the core
  • Discreet exercise that can be performed at work 
  • Easy to do

 Cons

  • Requires a chair
  • Easy to do incorrectly 
  • Not a great source of cardio

High Knees

High-Knees

Details

You have probably heard of a high knee before but did you know that when doing this move correctly it can be one of the most effective toning exercises? Make sure that your knee never touches your chest and that you are keeping it parallel to the floor. Just like the plank exercise, we like to imagine balancing something on the top of our thigh to keep our form perfect.

                              Pros

  • Easy to perform 
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Great way to get your blood moving during the day

 Cons

  • No easier modification 
  • Not a discreet exercise 
  • Does not engage a lot of muscles

Regular/Seated Skaters

seated skaters

Details

A skater exercise is where you start in a squat and then jump to the opposing side and foot. Keep switching sides and you’ll look like an ice skater. The reason this is such a great exercise is it a great source of cardio but be careful when performing this during the day. You are bound to work up a serious sweat!

                              Pros

  • Great source of cardio   
  • Beginner variations available 
  • Great way to engage your legs and glutes

 Cons

  • Requires a good amount of space to do
  • Can make you sweaty 
  • Not a discreet exercise

Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers

Details

Looking for quick toning exercises that get your heart pumping? Mountain climbers are a great exercise to add to the busy person’s schedule because of the number of muscles they target. The best part is, this exercise can be modified to fit beginners and those with a limited range of movement. 

                              Pros

  • Great source of cardio
  • Engages many muscles 
  • No equipment required

 Cons

  • Can be hard on the wrists
  • May make some people sweaty 
  • Not very discreet

Lunges

classic lunge

Details

The classic lunge is often forgotten when discussing toning exercises but is one of the easiest to perform. Lunges are a perfect way to tone up your buttocks and legs. The best part about lunges is they can be modified by not completing the full lunge for beginners.

                              Pros

  • Engages the core 
  • Engages the glutes 
  • Easy to perform 

 Cons

  • Easy to perform incorrectly 
  • Not a discreet exercise 
  • Requires a sizeable amount of space

Push-Ups

push up

Details

A push-up is one of the most perfect toning exercises that you can do. Push-ups are fast and only require a small amount of space to perform. Although this is not a discrete exercise that you can do at your desk at work, it’s an easy exercise to incorporate into your lifestyle.

                              Pros

  • Builds strong chest muscles
  • Engages the arm muscles
  • Can be modified for beginners

 Cons

  • Can be hard on the wrists
  • Difficult for beginners 
  • Easy to do incorrectly

Squats

squats

Details

A squat is one of the most discreet toning exercises that you can perform. Although this exercise is easy to do incorrectly, when you engage the muscles correctly you are doing your body a world of good. Not only do squats engage your legs and buttocks, but squats can also engage your core. Just make sure that your motion is similar to sitting back in a chair with your knees moving over your feet evenly. The technique is key here! 

                              Pros

  • Ideal for almost anyone 
  • Can be much more discreet than other toning exercises
  • Easy to increase each day

 Cons

  • Easy to perform incorrectly 
  • Not a great source of cardio 
  • More effective with weights

The Verdict

Out of the exercises above, we have to say that our favorite move is the seated bicycle. The reason the seated bicycle crunches win out over the competition is due to a number of factors. First and foremost, this exercise is, in our opinion, one of the most effective and discreet moves you can do. Simply roll back your chair at work and perform this exercise without anyone knowing. The second key reason the seated bicycle crunch is the best toning exercise for busy people is that it is so easy to perform.

This exercise move does not take a lot of precision or practice to be done correctly. You will know when you are doing this toning move right because you will feel your core tighten. Once your core engages you can start pedaling to engage a number of muscles. No matter what your concern is regarding exercising, you can find a quick and effective method that works for your abilities and lifestyle. Now, what are you waiting for? Get exercising!