Toning Exercise Routines for Women

Toning exercise routines for women can strengthen specific areas, elongate muscles and burn fat. Whether or not your goal is to lose weight, toning exercises will improve your appearance and mental attitude and build confidence. Remember to stay hydrated while exercising and to stop a toning exercise at the first sign of pain. Your goal is to work your body without causing an injury.


There are hundreds of toning exercise routines for women. One of the most popular routines is yoga–particularly the more cardiovascular Active, Fusion and Bikram yoga styles. Pilates, the fitness regimen that targets the major muscle groups as it builds the strength of your core abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, is a favorite of new mothers battling belly bulge. Toning routines that incorporate large inflated exercise balls are also effective for building strength and improving posture.


The key features of toning exercises is to target specific large and micro muscle groups. While this doesn’t burn fat in a specific area, it does build muscle and improve overall fitness. While doing a toning routine, it’s imperative to breathe properly to keep the blood flowing and to maximize the power of the movement. In yoga, the breathing pattern is often to tense the muscle or stretch on the inhale, and to relax on the exhale.


Adopting an effective toning routine can be simple, fast and free. You can follow an exercise program on television, check out a DVD from the library or consult a website such as Full Fitness (see Additional Resources). This site categorizes toning exercises by the fitness levels of novice, intermediate and expert. You can do a quick toning routine while the baby takes a nap, or incorporate the baby into your workout.

Time Frame

One of the greatest advantages of adopting a toning exercise routine is that you only need 15 or 20 minutes per day to see positive results. Some routines, such as Pilates, can even be split up into three or four different segments throughout the day. Although intense core muscle activities will have you sore for the first few days, you will begin to feel stronger within a couple of weeks.


Women who are pregnant or recovering from a cesarean section or complicated delivery should consult with a physician or midwife before adopting a new toning exercise routine. Because many of these routines are very focused on the core muscles, medical professionals may advise you to begin slowly and watch for adverse effects, such as bleeding. For some toning routines, it is vastly more helpful to learn them in an exercise class or with a trainer, because holding positions correctly is the key.

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