10 Best Muscle Toning Workouts For Females

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Last updated on September 5, 2022

Are you looking for muscle toning workouts for females? To be strong and healthy as a woman, you need to hit the gym and lift weights. Strength training is no longer about weight loss or getting a flat tummy – it is essential for overall body health. Furthermore, when you tone your muscles you look better. All the health and emotional issues that you face as a woman can fade away if you purpose to tone your muscles. That’s why we provide you some of the best muscle toning workouts for females.

It is more important for women to hit the gym and tone muscles as they age past their 40s. Muscle mass is essential to your overall health – it is directly correlated to your whole body health. When your muscles are well-toned, your metabolism gets faster, you get tighter, and it becomes easier for you to lose weight. Better still; a well-toned woman is less likely to suffer from conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Again, she is less likely to fall and get injured as she grows old.

Best Muscle Toning Exercises and Routines


To ensure all body muscles develop equally, engage in a full-body strength training routine. Aim to repeat this routine for at least two or three days a week. Besides the strength training, women should engage in other fitness moves such as walking, swimming, yoga and a healthy diet to keep fit. The best plan is to complete all the moves in one session and then repeat them during the next session. However, if you are pressed for time, you can split the moves. The key to toning your muscles is staying consistent. You can carry out your workout routines at the gym. However, if you have hand weights, a mat, and a chair, you can carry out these exercises at home.


1. Squats

Squats are excellent when you need to increase bone density. When you squat, your entire lower body is involved in the exercise. For you to tone your muscles, you need your bones to be dense to accommodate the muscles. Again, this will help you prevent fractures as you get older.

To do this move, stand in front of a chair as if almost sitting on it with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes slightly turned outwards. Extend your arms forward, keeping them parallel to the floor. Ensure that the hands stay at that position throughout the moves. Bend your knees slowly as if prepping to sit until your butt nearly touches the sit. Ensure your butt touches the chair but do not fully sit. Press on your heels and slowly rise. You will have completed one rep – aim to do 14 more.


2. Reverse Lunge

This move, just like squats, aims to strengthen your lower body (glutes, hamstrings and quads).

You may want to stand next to a chair or a bar that if you want to use support. Take a step back with your right leg and then bend your left knee slowly until your right knee almost touches the floor. Press on the heel of your left leg and slowly rise to your initial position. You can also do this exercise with a dumbbell or bodyweight vest to increase difficulty. Do this for ten times and interchange the legs.


3. Overhead Presses While Seated

If you want to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat around your shoulders, you have to press upward overhead. This move is challenging for most women, even those who are very determined to tone their bodies.

Sit on a sturdy chair that supports your back, make sure to engage your abs so you don’t put any force or weight on your back, hold 5 or 8-pound dumbbells on your shoulders. In that position, sit up tall with your elbows wide to your side and resting below your wrists (your elbows should be visible in your periphery). Press upwards, directly over your head, elbows should be fully extended but never lock them. Release down slowly to get back to the initial position and do at least nine more reps for each set. Aim for 3 sets.


4. Standing Calf Raise

This is another move that increases strength and tones your lower body. The move gives you great control and power over your entire lower body, making it easier for you to exercise and tone the lower body.

To do the move, place your left hand on a chair while holding a dumbbell on your right hand. Keep all your weight on your left leg and lift your right foot. Keep your spine straight as the dumbbell hangs at your side. Slowly rise upwards on your toes. Ensure that your left knee is fully open and not locked. Press on the ball of your left foot as high as possible and give your calf muscle a little squeeze, then slowly lower your weight to the starting point. Do 3 sets of 15 reps on the left foot and then on the right foot.


5. Bent-Over Row

If you want to improve the bone density of your spine and build your back muscles, this move is ideal for you. The move also helps you prevent your bones from decreasing as you age.

Pick 8 – 15-pound dumbbells on your hands while standing behind a chair. Bend forward until your back is almost flat but keep your chest a little high and engage your back to protect your lower back, hips and thighs. Feet should be shoulder width apart and knees bent slightly. Relax your neck, ensure your hands are facing each other beneath your breast and your shoulders are rolled back. Hold the dumbbells at that raised position and give a squeeze to the shoulder blades for about two minutes and then slowly lower them. Repeat the rep for about 12 to 15 times and aim for 3 sets.


6. Superman Pose

There are 3 different variations to this exercise, the stand-up Superman aims at strengthening your back muscles which are essential in all workout moves you make. By strengthening these ‘posterior chain’ muscles, you can exercise other muscles, including glutes, core, lower back and shoulders. It also helps keep the shoulders and hips open.

Start with feet hips distance apart, knees bent slightly, bend forward until your back is almost flat , engage your abs, your hands below your shoulders. In that position, shift your weight to your left knee and extend the right-left behind you as far as possible. As you lift your left leg , extend your left arm hand out in front as far as possible. Stay in that position for about two or three seconds and then slowly release. For this exercise you can start by doing 2 sets of 10 reps on each leg.


7. Chest Fly

Chest muscles in women need constant exercise, seeing that they are weak. When you exercise these muscles and add muscle mass around them, you will be enhancing your overall health and appearance.

To do this move, lie on your back with your knees bent to 90 degrees. Keep your feet flat on the ground. Keep your shoulders relaxed and pushed downwards towards your hips. Hold five or 8-pound dumbbells, palms facing up, arms to the side. Contract your chest muscles and slowly lift the dumbbells up with full extension (not hyper extended), bend elbows slightly, hold and squeeze at the top for a fews seconds. Lower your arm to the sides until your upper arms are touching the floor. Do not relax your arms even after reaching the floor. You can do 3 sets of 10 reps.


8. Dumbbell Pullover

This is a great move to increase overall upper body strength, flexibility and the ability to lift heavy items. With this move, you will increase the strength of your chest, triceps, and back.

To make this move, lie on your back with your core engaged and feet flat for stability. With your arms fully extended, lift the dumbbells off the floor and to make an arc over your chest. Lower the weights slowly to your side along the same arc. Ensure the weight of the dumbbells is not fully released to the floor. Do 3 sets or 8 to 10 reps.


9. Biceps Hammer Curl

At the age of 30, women start losing muscles of the upper arm. As such, it is essential that you exercise your biceps to ensure you can comfortably carry heavy objects.

To make this move, stand straight holding between 8 and 10-pound dumbbells. Your palms should be facing inward. Bend your elbows to lift the dumbbells towards your chest. The dumbbells don’t need to touch the front of your shoulders when fully raised just make sure you feel the squeeze when you curl. Hold the position for 2 seconds to keep your muscles contracted and then slowly lower dumbbells back to the starting position. Aim to do 3 sets of 10 reps.


10. Basic Ab Exercise

This move helps you burn belly fat and tone the stomach and chest muscles. When done correctly and consistently, the move brings your abdominal muscles towards your spine to keep your abs tight and robust.

To do the move, lie on your back and slightly bend your knees. Keep your upper body relaxed, core engaged and place your hands near your face or across your chest, whichever is more comfortable. Slowly raise your chin and upper back towards your chest and continue moving it up until your shoulders are completely off the floor or until the tips of your fingers reach your knees. Pose in that position for about two seconds then slowly lower your head to its initial position. Do not fully relax your abs and chest muscles, keep everything tight and repeat. You can start with 3 sets of 8 reps, but if you feel you can do more, you can increase to 10 to 12 reps.

Repeat the rep for about 15 times.




Exercise needs to go together with a healthy diet to ensure optimal results. Eat enough calories and healthy fats to have the energy you need to push through the workout. Eat enough proteins to repair your muscles and build lean muscle mass. If you want to push yourself even harder an expand your workout routines, you can check our article with quick home workout routines for women.

Karla Isaac is an ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) Certify Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach (ISSA CNC) with over 10 years of experience in Fitness and Nutritional one on one personal coaching. She has lived, work and study in California for 14 years. Karla’s passion for fitness began when she was 22, due to feeling unhealthy and overweight. Ever since she’s been passionate to change her life and help others transform their lives by making health and wellness accessible, so they can achieve their goals for a healthier and a more active life style.

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