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Exercise and maintaining muscle tone are important life aspects for men and women alike, especially as people age. Building long, lean, and sculpted muscles without the bulk can be a challenging feat. This is particularly true for those individuals who are pressed for time and need to get the most out of their fitness routine. Especially for women over the age of 40, building muscle is a necessity for strong bones and a healthy metabolism. Here are five tips for building long, lean, and stronger muscles without the bulk.
- Try Toning Up With the One-Leg Rear-Delt Raise–Use light-to-medium weights in each hand with palms facing in. Then, bend forward at the waist and let the arms hang. Next, lift the left leg back so it is in line with the torso. Then, begin flexing the shoulder muscles to loosen them up and raise the weights out to the sides until the person’s arms are parallel to floor. Finally, lower the arms. Exercise routines should vary depending on the individual. A person should start out with 10-15 reps, switch legs, and then, repeat the exercise. This exercise is effective in toning and strengthening several muscle groups including the shoulders, triceps, back, biceps, hamstrings, and glutes, as well as the all-important core muscles.
- Give the Opposite Arm and Leg Lift a Try–Begin this exercise down on all fours with the hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Next, reach the right arm forward, while simultaneously extending the left leg back. Hold that stretch for five seconds, then release and repeat using the left arm and right leg. That cycle counts as one rep. A person should start out with 10-15 reps. This exercise is effective in toning and strengthening areas including the upper and lower body, triceps, biceps, glutes, and shoulders, as well as the upper and lower back.
- Mix It Up With the Triceps Down Dog–Starting from the plank position, a person should bend their elbows to lower their body down as far as possible, then straighten them. Next, lift the hips up and push back into a downward dog position, while pressing both heels toward the floor. Then, return to the plank position. A person should try starting out with 10 entire sequences. This exercise is effective in toning and strengthening the upper body regions including the triceps, shoulders, and biceps.
- Condition the Core With the Chair Twist–Begin this exercise by standing with both feet together. Next, bend at the knees and position the hips back with knees behind toes. Then, lower the body until a person’s thighs are nearly parallel with the floor while raising both arms up and forward. After that, rotate the torso to the right and secure the left elbow on the outside of the right knee. Try to hold this position for 3-5 breaths, then return to the starting pose. Repeat this cycle on the left side for one complete rep. A person should try starting out with three reps. This exercise is excellent for toning and strengthening the body’s core, which includes upper and lower abdominals, obliques, glutes, and thighs, as well as the hips.
- Bring an Exercise Routine Full Circle With the Dancing Half-Moon Kick–Begin this exercise in a straddle stance with both knees bent and feet wide. The toes also should be pointed slightly outward. Next, a person should shift their weight onto the right leg while straightening the left leg. Then, round the arms in a circular formation, as if holding a large ball. Finally, bend sideways from the waist over one bent knee, and then, repeat in the opposite direction. A person should try starting out with 3-5 reps. This exercise is effective in toning and strengthening areas such as the obliques, back, glutes, hips, and arms.
As people age, exercise and maintaining muscle tone are important life aspects for men and women alike. In fact, building long, lean, and sculpted muscles without the bulk can be a challenging feat. This is particularly true for those individuals who are pressed for time and need to get the most out of their fitness routine. Especially for women over 40, building muscle is a necessity for strong bones, core strength, and a healthy metabolism. Hopefully, these tips will not only help to tone and strengthening the body’s core, but also build long, lean, and stronger muscles without the bulk, as well as improve energy levels and general overall health.
By Leigh Haugh
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