Top 10 Exercises To Tone Your Entire Body
We all know daily exercise is crucial for maintaining optimal health, but the amount of information and options can be overwhelming. We’ve compiled our list of the 10 simple yet effective exercises that will work and tone every inch of your body.
Bonus — all of these exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home, with only a bit of space and a set of dumbbells!
A well-rounded fitness routine isn’t just about challenging your muscles — it is important to challenge your balance too! Lunges increase glute and leg strength while also promoting functional movement, making them a key part of an effective fitness routine.
How to do a lunge:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms resting naturally at your sides
- Step forward with your right leg, bending your right knee as you do and stopping once your thigh is parallel to the ground
- Always make sure that your knee never extends past your forward foot
- Push off your right foot to return to the starting position
- Repeat with your left leg to complete one rep
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps
2. Glute Bridges
Glute bridges work the entire posterior chain, adding strength and lift to the area.
How to do a glute bridge:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground, and arms at your sides with palms down
- Push through your heels to rise your hips off the ground, keeping your core, hamstrings, and glutes engaged
- Maintain contact between the ground and your upper back and shoulders
- Maintain a straight line from your core down to your knees
- Hold for one to two seconds at the top before returning to the start position
- Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps
Thanks to all the muscles needed to successfully execute a pushup, few exercises are as effective.
How to do a pushup:
- Begin in a plank position with a tight core, neutral neck, and shoulders pulled down and back
- Bend your elbows to slowly lower your body toward the floor until your chest grazes it
- Focus on keeping your elbows close to your body
- Complete 3 sets of as many reps as you can
If you aren’t quite able to perform a regular pushup with good form, you can do a modified stance by resting on your knees instead of your toes. Even in this modified position, you will still reap many of the same benefits.
Squats challenge the lower body and core, along with increasing flexibility in the lower back and hips. Because they involve some of the largest muscles in the body, they also burn an impressive amount of calories.
How to do a squat:
- Stand straight with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and arms hanging naturally at your sides
- Engage your core, keep your chest and chin up, and push your hips back as you bend your knees as if lowering yourself to sit in a chair
- Do not let your knees bend inward or outward
- Continue lowering yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground
- You can bring your arms straight in front of you to a comfortable position to assist with balance
- Pause for a second before returning to the starting position
- Complete 3 sets of 20 reps
5. Standing Overhead Dumbbell Presses
Compound exercises utilise multiple muscles and joints, making them perfect for busy individuals looking to maximise their workout time. A standing overhead press is an excellent example of a compound exercise, working the upper back, core, and shoulders.
For this exercise, you will need a pair of dumbbells. We recommend starting light and progressing to heavier weights as you get stronger and more comfortable with the move.
How to do a standing overhead dumbbell press:
- Start by standing — feet can either be shoulder-width apart or staggered
- Holding the weights at your side, move the weights up so your upper arms end up parellel to the floor
- Keep core fully engaged
- Push up to fully extend arms above your head
- Keep the head and neck stationary
- Pause briefly before bending at the elbows to lower weights back down until your triceps are parellel to the floor
- Do 3 sets of 12 reps
6. Dumbbell Rows
Dumbell rows are another excellent compound exercise. Choose a pair of dumbbells you are comfortable with (no more than 10 pounds for beginners) and be sure to squeeze at the top of the movement and keep your core engaged at all times.
How to do a dumbbell row:
- Begin with a dumbbell in each hand
- Bend forward at the waist so your back ends up at a 45-degree angle to the ground
- Do not allow your back to arch
- Let your arms hang straight down and ensure your neck is in line with your back
- Begin with your right arm, bending at the elbow to pull the dumbbell straight up toward your chest and stopping right below it
- Return your arm to the starting position and repeat the move with your left arm to complete one rep
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps
7. Single-leg Deadlifts
Like lunges, single-leg deadlifts are another great exercise to challenge your balance. Grab a light to moderate weight dumbbell for this move.
How to do a single-leg deadlift:
- Stand with a dumbbell in your right hand and knees slightly bent
- Hinge at the hips and begin kicking your left leg straight back behind you as you lower the dumbbell toward the ground
- Once you reach a comfortable height with your left leg behind you, return to the starting position in a slow, controlled motion while squeezing your right glute
- Ensure that your pelvis stays square to the ground during the move
- Repeat for 10 to 12 reps before switching the weight to your left hand and raising your right leg behind you while balancing on the left foot
Few exercises pack more of a punch than burpees. With no equipment required and minimal space needed, burpees are a true powerhouse move that provides both a strength and cardio workout in one.
How to do a burpee:
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides
- With hands in front of you, squat down toward the floor until your hands reach the ground
- Once your hands are firmly on the ground under your shoulders, pop your legs back onto your toes, bringing you into a plank position (pictured above)
- To really amp it up, do a pushup
- Jump your feet back up to your palms, hinge at the waist, and remove palms from the floor as your return to standing upright
- Jump up, bringing your arms overhead as you jump
- This completes one rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps
9. Side Planks
A strong core is a crucial aspect of a healthy body, making the side plank a true power move to include in your fitness routine. Focus on keeping your movements controlled and your core tight to make sure you are doing this move correctly.
How to do a side plank:
- Lie on your left side with your right leg and fott stacked on top of your left foot and leg
- Prop your upper body up by placing your left forearm on the ground with your elbow directly under your shoulder
- Engage your core to tighten your spine and body and lift your hips and knees off the floor to form a straight line with your body
- Return to starting position in a controlled, slow manner
- Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps on one side, then switch to the other side for another 3 sets of 10 to 15 sets
10. Standing Crunches
Why just work your core with situps when you can work several muscle groups with standing crunches?
How to do a standing crunch:
- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with toes facing forward and hands on hips
- Engage your core as you tilt your pelvis forward as if trying to bring your belly button to your spine and hips to your chest
- Tilt your pelvis backward and stick your butt out while bringing your chest forward and shoulders back
- Return to starting position to complete one rep
- Complete 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps
Want To Amp It Up Even More?
These tried and true exercises are a great start, but there is always room to grow and push yourself further. If you notice the routine getting too easy, try making some of the folowing adjustments to up the challenge:
- Add more weight
- Add more reps
- Add a jump to moves like lunges or squats
- Rather than aim to complete a certain number of reps, aim to do an exercise continuously for a certain amount of time (i.e. 1 or 2 minutes)