Post # 1
Recently, I have come to the conclusion that I need more muscle tone. I am in my early thirties now so not being overweight is not enough to keep me healthy, and I totally understand that muscle and bone health is going to be a big determinate in how I feel. Here is the problem, it is only recently that my health has improved to the place that I can worry about building muscle. I am definitely experiencing the results of lack of use from being unwell for the last 10 years. I tried to do a single squat this morning and thought I was going to fall on the floor! I am not sure what to do to get the muscle I want. Ladies who have good lean muscle, how did you get it? What should I be doing? What classes or videos should I try? I am considering pilates but am unsure if I could keep up in my obviously atrophied condition.
Post # 3
Just start slow. You will not be able to change your body over night!
Go for a walk every day. Park as far from the store as possible wherever you go.
Do basic stretches to start, too. Look at VERY BASIC pilates and yoga moves to see what is helpful but super easy.
I would also try to do a push up. Start with “girl” ones and work your way up to real ones. They work out basically your whole body.
Oh and swimming.
Post # 4
Can you afford a trainer?
A trainer would take you through the most basic of movements and he/she would use their expertise to modify exercises to help balance out your imbalances and strength issues.
I only suggest this because if you can’t even do one squat I would hate for you to take some advice from the boards and do more damage to yourself – which is very possible with traditional workout routines for a healthy but sedentary individual.
Post # 5
Weight training is one of the best things for building muscle.
Post # 6
I do The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I love it!
Post # 7
I’ve found that lifting weights is the key to muscle. I’ve been doing the New Rules of Lifting for Women routine. I started out squatting by just holding 10lb dumbbells and using my body weight for pretty much everything, and I’m up to over 100lbs squat now and use at least 20lb dumbbells for other moves.
However, you may want to start slow like peachacid said. Pilates or yoga is a great start to get you used to moving your body again. I wouldn’t worry about not being able to keep up. I was HORRIBLY out of shape at my first class and I made it through. Bodyweight exercises like squats, pushups, crunches are a great start to ease into the heavier stuff.
Post # 8
Check out “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” and do a combination strength and cardio routine. Don’t be afraid of weights. Start super light. If you can do 8-10 reps, increase your weight. If you struggle, keep working at it. Stop when you feel pain, but push yourself through that “uncomfortable” stage.
I completely agree with FMM about getting a trainer if you can afford one! They will absolutely have the best information for your specific situation!
Post # 9
I really did LOL at this title! Made me think of someone saying “I need to grow a pair” for some reason!
Do you eat protein? Are you sure that you get the recommended amount your body needs each day? I bulked up my protein, along with my workouts and I have gained muscle tone. I am not talking body builder muscle, just the lean stuff I was looking for. The protein helped a lot.
Do you belong to a gym? A lot of places have trainers that will do some sessions with you. They can show you the best exercises for your body and to build muscle!
Post # 10
Yoga is an amazing way to tone muscles, as well as get in cardio and meditation. Also, I second push-ups — I can’t believe how quickly my arms, back, and shoulders toned up once I started doing them!
Post # 11
@FMM: & @soyjoy222: I don’t currently belong to a gym. I may consider a trainer if my own efforts don’t work. I used to run and was active before I got sick, so I am hopeful that now that I m feeling better, a little bit of movement will lead to more and more naturally.
I am uping my protein lately and feeling even stronger, so I will definitely continue with the protein.
Post # 12
If you’re trying to build muscle tone without a gym, body weight exercises are the key. Think push-ups, squats, walking lunges, etc. Like PPs have said, just start with what you can do and keep building. Push yourself to do one more push-up (start with your knees on the floor, or leaning against the wall if you can’t do one from the floor), one more lunge, one more squat each day, and eventually you will see results.
There are a number of good at-home programs on the internet if you look around. Women’s health magazine and Self often have great at-home routines you can use.