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This 5-Move Workout Is Perfect for Toning Your Figure Fast

Want a firm body? Here's how to use compound moves that target your larger muscle groups.

As with so many things in fitness, achieving a toned figure—a firm body with some muscular definition—isn't exactly rocket science. It's hard work. You need to eat the right diet (see here for more), and you definitely need to hit the gym.

However, some exercise routines are better than others when it comes to getting that firmer, toned physique. If getting toned is your goal, you need to do a proper training program that is largely composed of compound movements that target your larger muscle groups. After all, compound movements will work more muscle at once, result in more calorie burn, elevate your heart rate, and improve your flexibility while ultimately building muscle mass.

With that in mind, what follows is a simple five-exercise workout—all incorporating compound moves—that will set you on the path to a toned body. Best of all, you can perform this routine essentially anywhere—the only equipment you need is a single resistance band (one of the most affordable exercise items you can buy on Amazon).

Now, to get the most out of this routine, I advise you to perform each of the following movements back-to-back without rest, and aim for four-to-five sets total. And for more great workouts you should try now, don't miss The Secret Exercise Trick for Flatter Abs After 40.

Band Thrusters (x10 reps)

band thrusters

Start by stepping on a resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding it at shoulder height with both hands. Squat down by sitting back onto your heels and hips until they're parallel to the ground. Stand back up and use the momentum to press the band up. Lower the band back to shoulder height before performing another rep. And for more great workout advice, see why Science Says This Is the Single Best Abs Exercise You Can Do.

Plank to Pushup (6-8 reps each arm)

 plank to pushup

Get into a forearm plank position with your back and core tight and your glutes squeezed. Start the exercise by pushing yourself up with one hand, and then finishing with the other. Return to the plank position, and then start the movement with the other arm.

Band Rows (15 reps)

3 band rows

Take the resistance band and wrap it around a sturdy surface, such as a beam or a pole. Grip the band and take a couple of steps back to get some tension on it. Keeping your core tight, drive your elbows back, squeezing your shoulder blades together to finish. Straighten your arms fully to get the full stretch before performing another rep.

Split Squats (10 reps each leg)

4 split squats

Get into a split stance with one foot forward and one foot back. Lower yourself under control until your back knee touches the ground, then push yourself up using the heel of the front foot. Perform 10 reps on the same leg before switching over to the other.

Cross Body Mountain Climber (15 reps each leg)

5 cross body mountain climber

Begin by getting into a pushup position with your feet fully extended and shoulders in line with the wrist. Keeping your core tight, take one knee and drive it towards the opposite elbow, flexing your obliques at the end. Bring your leg back to the pushup position before doing it again with the other leg. Alternate back and forth, maintaining tension in your core the entire time. And for more great exercise advice, see here for the Secret Exercise Tricks for Keeping Your Weight Down for Good.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim