If you want to start a new workout routine or enhance your own routine to achieve a leaner, more toned physique, a great way to do so is by incorporating workouts that help promote the growth of long, lean muscles. If you want a long, lean body with great muscle tone that you can show off as the weather warms, here are some exercises that you definitely want to start incorporating into your workout routine as soon as possible. Instead of bulking up, your muscles will be slimmer and more defined, so that when you lose weight, you’ll look even thinner than you thought possible.
1. Incorporate More Pilates Moves
A lot of people get Pilates confused with yoga, but Pilates is actually really great for both women and men who want to build long, lean muscles without the bulk that comes from lifting weights and doing traditional strength-training routines.
The reason for this is because, in Pilates, as you are working the muscle, you are also stretching and extending the muscle so you are building it up from the inside. On the other hand, when you do traditional weight-training moves, you are adding bulk to your muscles and actually reshaping them because they are constantly contracted against the weight and they do not quite achieve that full extension that you get from Pilates workouts.
2. Use Cardio to Lose Weight and Build Strength
Cardio is a great way to do two things at once that are vital for achieving long, lean muscles: losing weight by burning calories and fat, and building strength through muscle-endurance training. Using cardio routines that involve intervals is the best way to lose weight and condition muscles quickly.
In interval training, you alternate between low-intensity and high-intensity moves, such as jogging for a few minutes, then bursting into a full run for a minute or two and then backing down to a jog again for another few minutes. This will teach your cardiovascular system and your muscles to handle the stress of bursts of activity and your endurance will build quickly, too, which is a bonus.
3. Try Some Yoga
Believe it or not, yoga routines actually build strength in the form of long, lean muscles, along with the flexibility that it is known for developing lean tone. Whenever you get into a yoga posture, if you want to really get the most out of the move and begin building muscle and endurance, just hold that posture for a longer period each time.
These isometric contractions are great for quickly building muscles without the bulk. In yoga, the key is that you are holding up your own body’s weight without relying upon heavy dumbbells to build strength and tone muscles. And the flexibility that you achieve from your yoga routine will also help you with longer extensions on your muscles during strength training and cardio.