Questions & Answers

From determining which exercises are the best for toning your body to working out how long you should hold a stretching position for – discover all the answers to your questions.

How long should a stretching position be held?

According to Bob Anderson's principles, a stretch position must be maintained for 15 to 30 seconds - but the current ACSM guidelines say it can be up to one minute. You need to train the major muscle groups at least three times a week.

Are exercises that involve large muscle groups better than ones for specific groups?

The most effective exercises are those that involve large muscle groups such as squats, pull-ups or jerks with the barbell on the bench. Exercises that isolate muscle groups are very important when you go from being a beginner to an expert.

What is the ideal speed for strength exercises?

There are various ways of timing the concentric (thrust) and eccentric (return) phases. For body toning, reps that are done in five seconds are good: two in the thrust phase and three during the return phase.

Is diet or exercise more effective in muscle toning?

Both exercise and diet are important if you want to get a toned body. The diet will help in losing weight and to balance the ratio between lean body mass and fat mass; while training will produce significant effects in the muscles, helping to improve their appearance – giving you a more toned body.

What does it mean to tone up a muscle?

‘Toning’ a muscle means to make a muscle firmer. The ‘firmness’ is due to a dual effect: Weight loss that decreases the fat and subcutaneous connective tissue layer; while exercising the muscle makes it larger and become stronger.

What is the ideal workout for toning your body?

The ideal workout provides a combination of aerobic activity, such as running and strength exercises with equipment and free weights. The balance between aerobic and strength exercise stimulates fat burning and creates the right build of muscles to make your body toned.

What are warning signs that should make us stop a training session?

You should stop a session if you feel very tired, experience dizziness, shortness of breath, perceived lack of heartbeat or any other worrying feeling. Before you train, if you feel tired, or unwell, don’t exercise – reschedule for another time. Always consult a doctor if you feel unwell or want any medical advice before training.


Read An introduction to tone your body
Read How to tone your body effectively
Read The benefits of toning your body