15 Weightlifting Routines That Will Get You Even More Toned Than Cardio


A lot of women shy away from resistance training and stick to cardio because they think lifting will give them "manly muscles."

But in reality, this is one of the biggest workout myths.

When it comes to achieving the ultimate #fitfam-worthy physique, you need to incorporate resistance training into your fitness routine instead of solely relying on cardio.

As a marathon runner and former spin instructor, I've always been a major cardio bunny.

I was thin and in good shape, but didn't understand why I wasn't getting a super-toned physique even though I was running around 50 miles a week.

It wasn't until I decided to ditch the treadmill and pick up some dumbbells that I finally started seeing results.

Don't get me wrong, aerobic exercises are great for your overall cardiovascular system and stamina. But if you're looking to get a rock-solid beach bod, putting an emphasis on strength training is your best bet.

Studies show strength training can boost your metabolism for an hour after your workout, so you'll burn an additional 25 percent of the total calories from your sweat session after you leave the gym.

Plus, you have a better chance of maintaining your bod with a lifting regimen. The more muscle you build, the more calories you'll burn by doing absolutely nothing, since lean muscle tissues take more energy to sustain that fat.

The second major benefit of strength training is that it allows you to completely reshape your body.

Cardio tends to make you to lose a combo of both muscle and fat, so you'll end up being smaller but not necessarily toned, so basically you'll be "softer" looking than someone who does resistance training.

Lifting weights, on the other hand, promotes the loss of fat while building lean muscle, so in addition to shedding pounds, you'll end up with defined muscles that enhance the natural curves of your body.

Rest assured, lifting won't turn you into the Incredible Hulk, either, since women don't have enough testosterone in their bodies to build the same muscles mass as men.

It can be a bit overwhelming to leave the comfort of your cardio machines and start lifting weights, so we set out to show you some resistance exercises that will give you way better results than coasting on the elliptical.

For toned arms, you can't go wrong with some dumbbell rows...

Or a bunch of bicep curls.

To chisel the back of your arms, you can try some tricep dips...

Or some bench presses to work both your arms and chest.

Pull-ups are a great way to build arm muscles while also toning your shoulders.

When it comes to working out your legs and butt, you can start with some good, old-fashioned squats...

Do a few sets of deadlifts...

Perfect your plié squats...

Get leaner legs with lunges...

Or bang out some of these booty-building moves.

You can tone your lower abs with some of these simple exercises...

Grab a Bosu ball and bust out a bunch of these six-pack moves...

Rock out with Russian twists...

Or blast your obliques with side plank exercises.

There's an endless amount of resistance training workouts out there, so don't be afraid to switch up your routine and try new things.