While working out regularly can deliver tons of benefits that go beyond a fabulous figure, most of us still like to have a visible proof of our efforts in the form of a toned body. Attaining this goal super quickly isn’t always feasible, however, there are plenty of things you can do to make your routines more effective and see the results of your efforts a lot easier. Here are a few simple tips to incorporate in your routines:

Amp up the difficulty Cross fit and high intensity interval training have gained a tremendous popularity lately and for good reasons: they enable you to challenge your limits, they help you shorten your workout sessions without sacrificing the burn and can fit well into the schedule of busy people. Include shorter, more difficult sessions into your routine to avoid plateau and boredom and to get closer to your goals in less time.

Increase sets, not weight The solution for making a strength training routine more difficult seems straight-forward: change up your dumbbells for heavier ones. But, while changing weights is a wise strategy at times, if your goal is to tone rather than gain additional muscle mass, the best choice is to increase the number of sets instead of the weight you are lifting. Also, avoiding fast movements will ensure you use your muscles rather than relying on momentum.

Focus on the perfect technique It might be true that poor technique beats inaction every time but if your focus is on increasing the number of sets rather than executing a move perfectly you will miss out on a lot of the benefits you would otherwise gain and the trade off is more likely not in your favor. Don’t skimp on warm up and cool down either.

Work large muscle groups Body area specific exercises might hold attractive promises as far as toning is concerned, however, the idea of spot reducing has been proved to be more wishful thinking than actual possibility. That’s why focusing on large muscle groups is always a better alternative to accomplish your goals and why old-fashioned exercises like lunges, squats and calf raises have remained so popular.

Pay attention to diet No matter how fancy our exercise routine is, poor dietary choices will inevitably slow down our progress or even eliminate much of the toning benefits gained during training. Especially when it comes to toned abs, clean eating is vital for uncovering the muscles you worked hard for. Focus on real food like fruits and vegetables, lean protein and complex carbohydrates and keep your indulgences well scheduled and purposeful.

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