Toned in ’12

So, as I mentioned in one of my firsts posts of the new year I was poised to become a runner, and I was going to keep you all updated on my progress. Clearly I have not been updating you…primarily because there has been minimal progress. After a bout with shin splints I decided, perhaps, running was not for me, as such injuries also prevented me from doing other forms of physical activities that I actually like, such as dance class. However, unlike my former lackadaisical self, I found other ways to make sure I was getting in some form of exercise at least 5 days a week. So far this has been working swimmingly. I took advantage of my gym membership I have been paying for and not using and found some other exercises to do for strength and toning at home, which I will definitely share with you! I am definitely feeling much better just because I know I am working toward my goal of being healthy and more fit this year. Here are some excellent exercises for Abs, Arms, and a little bit of legs that I do about 3 days a week.

These exercises are great, super easy and you can do them really quickly in the morning or at night before you take a shower, takes about 20 minutes. All you need is a set of small hand weights (I use 5lb) and a resistance band!

For Toned Abs do this core series:

  • 25 regular crunches
  • 60 second plank
  • 30 second side plank on each side
  • 25 regular crunches
  • 50 bicycles
  • 25 reverse crunches

For Toned Legs do this workout:
The first portion of this is the Rockettes Long Lean Leg workout from Shape. They have a ton of great exercise tips. Check it out! I am including the pictures and descriptions from Shape’s website, this workout series is taken from a portion of the actual leg workout series that the Rockettes do during their rehearsals, and who doesn’t want those legs, if its you, you’re lying.


Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent. Bend forward from hips and place elbows on knees with palms together [A]. Straighten legs [B], then bend knees. Do 10 reps.


Stand with feet hip-width apart and elbows bent, hands clasped in front of chest. Step right foot back and to the left, and squat [A]. Rise up as you lift right knee to hip height in front of you, toes pointed and touching left knee, and extend arms out to sides [B]. Return to starting position. Do 12 reps; switch sides to complete set.

Stand with heels together and toes turned out, and place hands on hips with fingers pointing toward floor. Lift your heels, rising up onto the balls of your feet [shown]. Lower to starting position. Do 8 reps, then jump feet out to shoulder width, feet parallel. Rise up onto balls of feet and lower. Do 8 reps.

Stand with feet together, knees slightly bent, and place hands on hips with fingers pointing toward floor [A].
Jump up as you kick left leg high, toes pointed [B]. Return to starting position and immediately repeat on opposite side to complete 1 rep. Do 8 reps.

Tie a resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees, and lie on your left side with knees bent and legs stacked, left arm extended and right hand on floor in front of chest [A]. Keeping feet together, lift right leg [B]. Return to starting position. Do 12 reps, then switch sides to complete set.

Tie a resistance band just above your ankles, and stand with feet together and hands on hips, fingers pointing toward floor. Extend right leg in front of you, foot flexed [A]. Then bring it to the right [B], and finally, behind you. Reverse motion to return to starting position to complete 1 rep. Do 10 reps, then switch legs to complete set
Start in standing, hands on hips, feet at least shoulder width apart. Bend knees out over the toes, tucking in your rear and keeping your back straight. Go as low as you can, then rise back to starting position. Do this 25 times.

Do 30 little pulses. Remain the the squat position, legs as wide as or wider than your shoulders, rear tucked, back straight, knees out over toes. Pulse slightly up and down 30 times.

For toned arms do this series of exercises:
This is a series of arm exercises from Self. Another great resource for workout and fitness tips, definitely recommend it!

All of these exercises are a great way to build strength and stamina in the privacy of your own home and on your own schedule. The availability of tips and workouts is awesome, so theres really no excuse. Find 30 minutes to do these exercises everyday, in the morning before work, at night after dinner, or break them up and do them during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show! Keep up with it and I am sure you will be well on your way to being toned in 2012! I know I want to be. Do work!

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