12 Simple But Effective At-home Body Toning Exercises For Women (2024)

According to a 2020 survey of more than 50,000 fitness enthusiasts across India, 84% of people participated in live-streaming fitness classes at least thrice during the lockdown. It was also seen that female users were more open to virtual classes than their male counterparts.

Gyms might be shut down ever since the pandemic began, but not our drive to work out, right ladies?

And what’s not to love about working out from home?

It is cheap, there’s no commute involved, you can have your privacy, and most importantly, you don’t have to worry about nasty germs!

But maybe you’re wondering, “Can I really get a super toned body just by working out at home?”

The answer – Sure, you can!

We’re going to share with you 12 insanely good toning exercises for women plus an awesome 5-day workout plan that’ll help you get that toned body you’ve been dreaming of!

Let’s go!

So, what exactly is toning?

Simply put, toning means losing body fat while also gaining visible muscle to improve your body shape and definition.

Lifting weights is the best way to achieve a toned body. And no, you won’t look like the Hulk because women don’t produce enough testosterone to get bulky.

When you lift weights, you build muscle and boost your metabolism, which in turn burns more calories.

A common misconception people have about toning is that you need to do at least 20 to 25 reps of each exercise using low weights to get the toned look. But all that is going to do is improve your muscular endurance.

Instead, focus on doing sets of compound movements (squats, bench presses, etc.) with weights that cause you to reach momentary muscle failure within 6 to 12 reps. Momentary muscle failure means the point where your muscle is fully fatigued that you can no longer do another rep while maintaining good form.

Toning exercises with equipment

1. Banded Clamshell


Equipment used: Resistance band

Muscles worked: Thighs, glutes, hips.

How to do:

  • Loop a resistance band around both thighs, just above your knees.
  • Lie on your left side with your head resting on your left arm.
  • Place your right hand on your hip, right leg on top of your left one, and your knees bent at 90 degrees.
  • Keeping your abs engaged and feet together, lift your right knee toward the ceiling, without rotating your hip or lifting your left knee off the floor.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the move, and hold for a second.
  • Bring your knee back to the original position and repeat this movement.
  • Perform the exercise for 30 seconds on this side and then switch sides.


Banded clamshells can strengthen your gluteus medius (butt muscles that lay on the outer edge of your buttocks) that is important for hip stabilization, balance, and power.

Strong medial glutes protect your knees and lower back from unnecessary strain, by taking up most of the workload involved in lower body movement.

2. Banded Lateral Step-Out Squat

Here's how you do it.

Equipment used: Resistance band

Muscles worked: Quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and glutes.

How to do:

  • Loop a resistance band just below your knees.
  • Begin by placing your feet directly beneath your hips and hands clasped in front of your chest.
  • Take a big step to the left. Bend your knees, sit back and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Engage your glutes and then go back to your initial position.
  • Repeat this movement on the other side.


This is a great strengthening and toning exercise for your lower body. It can also improve the stability of your hips and knee joints.

3. Walking Lunges


Equipment used: Dumbbells

Muscles worked: Gluteal muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, core muscles, and back muscles.

How to do:

  • Stand with your feet together. Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height with your elbows bent.
  • Step left foot forward. Bend knees into a lunge position and stop when both legs form 90 degree angles.
  • Press through the left heel to stand and step your right foot forward into the lunge position.
  • This is one rep.


Walking lunges tone your thigh muscles, enhance hip and core stability, and increase your flexibility, balance, and athletic performance.

4. Dumbbell shoulder press

via Gfycat

Equipment used: Dumbbells

Muscles worked: Deltoids (posterior, medial, and anterior shoulder), triceps, traps, upper chest.

How to do:

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your shoulders with your palms facing forward.
  • Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
  • Extend through your elbows to lift the weights above your head. (Don’t lean back while you do this).
  • Slowly return to the original position.


Dumbbell shoulder pressing is extremely effective in building hypertrophy and increasing muscular activation as the dumbbells engage new muscle fibres. It also trains the body to increase movement coordination thereby increasing joint and movement integrity.

5. Dumbbell rear delt fly

via Gfycat

Equipment used: Dumbbells

Muscles worked: Rear delt muscles, traps, rhomboids, quadriceps, and core muscles.

How to do:

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Push your hips back behind you.
  • Slightly bend your knees and lean your body forward with a flat back. Retain this position throughout the exercise.
  • Let the weights hang down toward the floor. Ensure your elbows are slightly bent and palms are facing each other.
  • Keep your shoulders down away from your ears and lift the dumbbells out to your sides until they're aligned with your shoulders.
  • Slowly lower your dumbbells.


Dumbbell rear delts work several upper-body muscles simultaneously and thus increase your strength and endurance.

They also strengthen your backside and help improve your posture.

6. Romanian deadlift

Equipment used: Dumbbell

Muscles worked: Glutes, lower back, core, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, trapezius, forearm flexors

How to do

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your thighs.
  • With a neutral spine and your shoulder blades squeezed together, hinge at your waist sending your hips back.
  • As you do so, lower your dumbbells so that they are right in front of your shins.
  • Maintain a neutral spine as you return to the initial position, squeezing your glutes at the top.


One of the best benefits of Romanian deadlifts is that with one swift movement you can strengthen your core and lower body simultaneously. This exercise builds your strength for other workouts such as running, jogging, etc.

In case you suffer from lower back pain, Romanian deadlifts are one of the safest exercises for you as they provide support and strengthen your back muscles.

Toning exercises without equipment

7. Glute bridge

via Gfycat

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, transverse abdominis.

How to do

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your feet hip-width apart, flat on the ground, and your heels around 8 inches away from your glutes.
  • Keep your arms at your side with your palms facing upward.
  • Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips, and shoulders form a straight line. Draw your abs in so that you don’t overarch your back.
  • Maintain this bridged position as tightly as you can for a couple of seconds.
  • Now, slowly lower your hips back down, while keeping tension in the glutes and abs.


Hunched up in front of your laptop all day? Glute bridges can help you with your posture as they activate and strengthen your glutes and lower back muscles.

It also improves your core stability and hip strength, thus making it an effective low-impact exercise for those who have knee or hip issues.

8. Single-Leg Deadlift

Muscles worked: Hamstrings, glutes, ankles, core.

How to do

  • Stand with your feet together and arms by your sides.
  • Shift your weight to the left leg.
  • With control, tilt your torso forward while lifting your right leg behind you and extending your right arm forward until both are parallel with the floor.
  • Return to the initial position.
  • Perform this exercise for a few reps on one side before switching sides.


As you perform single-leg deadlifts, your balance is improved as you’re standing on one leg instead of both. This means your glutes get super activated thereby giving you that perfectly toned butt.

It also helps you with your posture and increases general athleticism.

9. Dead bug

via Gfycat

Muscles worked: Transverse abdominis, pelvic floor, erector spinae muscle group.

How to do

  • Lie back on the ground with your arms raised over your chest.
  • Raise and bend your legs at 90 degrees. Your knees should be above your hips and shins parallel to the floor.
  • Brace your core and ensure your back is as flat against the floor as possible.
  • Slowly and simultaneously, lower both your left arm behind your head and your right leg forward to hover just above the mat.
  • Pause and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


Dead bugs don’t just have a cute name, they are excellent for stabilizing and strengthening your spine, core, and back.

They also aid in improving your posture, balance, and coordination and can help reduce lower back pain.

10. Sit-ups

via Gfycat

Muscles worked: Rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques, hip flexors, lower back, glutes, chest, neck.

How to do

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Pull your legs in and bend your knees to 90 degrees.
  • Keep your hands by your ears and your elbows out wide.
  • Tighten your core by drawing your belly button down towards the floor and rise up to a seated position.
  • Return to the original position and repeat.


Sit-ups are particularly good for women as they loosen your hip and spine muscles, making them flexible and responsive.

They also tighten and tone your core, lowering the chances of back pain and injuries.

11. Planks


Muscles worked: Transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, obliques.

How to do

  • Start in a kneeling position with your toes tucked and butt resting on your heels.
  • Move your hands towards the front of the mat with knees under hips and wrists under shoulders.
  • Raise your knees to ensure your body is in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Squeeze your abs and keep your hips high.
  • Maintain this position for 30 seconds before returning to start.


Planks promote isometric strength in your core muscles that help you avoid hunching.

Being a weight-bearing exercise, they help in creating new bone tissues that translate to stronger bones. They also help strengthen your back and boost your metabolism.

12. Superwoman

Muscles worked: Lower back muscles, glutes, hamstrings, abs.

How to do

  • Lie face down on your stomach with arms and legs extended and your forehead down on the mat.
  • Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs.
  • Keeping your neck in a neutral position, lift your arms, legs, head, and chest a few inches off the floor.
  • Hold for around 5 seconds.
  • Slowly return to start.


Superwomans strengthen and increase the flexibility of your erector spinae muscles (the muscles that surround your spine from your head to your hips). This means better posture and reduced risk of injury.

5-day workout plan for the perfect toned body

Here’s a full-body toning workout plan that you can try!

  1. Do each variation for 30 seconds each back-to-back without a break.
  2. Take a 30-sec to 1-minute break after doing all the variations.
  3. After your break, repeat from the beginning and do this for a total of 30 minutes.

12 Simple But Effective At-home Body Toning Exercises For Women (1)

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