It’s Spring, and Authentic PT is here to help you with our top exercises for toning.

Are you ready to look your best this Spring?

Short on time and want to make the most of your fitness efforts?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then read on, this article is for YOU!

With summer just a few months away, now is the time to get your health-kick into gear and make the most of the warmer weather ahead. Like most, you may have spent the winter glued to the couch or lacked the motivation to get moving and your body has faced the consequences. 

The good news is that we are able to bounce back quite quickly. As long as you are willing to put the effort in, and follow a good plan specific to your goals, you should start to see results in just a few weeks. Then, how far you want to take those results is really up to you.  

In this article, we will give you the best exercises to maximize your results and time spent in the gym. This will not only save you time, but will offer you the best chance in obtaining the physique and health you have always wanted. 



Focus your efforts on resistance exercises for toning up this spring!

Resistance training, also known as strength training, will build muscle tissue whilst burning energy simultaneously. Win win really. Toning often refers to losing body fat whilst increasing muscle mass in order to reshape our bodies. Tightening and toning requires a reduced body fat percentage and defined muscle bellies, forming those chiseled lines you see in often desired physiques. 

Resistance exercises can often take some time to include into our fitness routine. So to make the most of this incredible tool, you will need to select exercises that will provide the most benefit per set. The ones that do this are exercises that use multiple muscles and joints at once. Compound exercises do just that. 



Compound exercises for toning up this spring


Compound exercises force muscle tension through multiple muscles all at once. For muscles to be used, they require energy and therefore help you increase caloric output. Put simply, the more you use muscles, the greater energy required. Doing compound exercises with added resistance, further increases energy output. 

This is a great formula for muscle tone. Use your muscles under load and increase energy output. This will help your body lose stubborn fat and shape muscle bellies giving you a tighter and more defined appearance. 


Try including these 5 compound exercises into your fitness routine!




Exercise 1 – Barbell Back Squats


What is it good for?

The Barbell Back Squat is undoubtedly one of the biggest players in the resistance training game. It fires up your lower body, forces high engagement in the core, and builds strength which can be progressively increased overtime. It also has a great transfer across many sporting movements.


How to perform Barbell Back Squats:

  1. Start upright with a stance between hip and shoulder width apart, toes slightly turned out (0-30°), and looking straight ahead.
  2. Take a deep breath in before descending to brace through your core.
  3. Start the movement by shifting your hips back, then bend your knees until your thighs reach parallel to the ground. Be sure to maintain a concave lower spine with chest out and shoulders back and down. 
  4. Press your feet through the floor until completely standing back up again. 
  5. Repeat the above for the required number of repetitions and sets of your workout (see below). 


TIP: As you first begin you can use a box or chair behind you for depth. Touch your backside onto the box, and then stand back up. As you gain further confidence with the movement, you can then take the box away and begin going to thighs parallel to the floor. 

AVOID: Try to avoid rounding through your lower back, or letting your shoulders come forward curving through your upper back. This places unnecessary pressure on the spine, and will not help produce maximal force. 


bench press


Exercise 2 – Barbell Bench Press


What is it good for?

This is a great upper body strength builder and toning exercise. Strengthening through the chest, shoulder and arms, the bench press is a MUST for toning the upper body. 


How to perform the Barbell Bench Press:


  1. Lying with Back flat on the bench, start with your eyes under the Barbell. 
  2. Place hands just outside shoulder width apart on the bar.
  3. From here, un-rack the bar to starting position (bar over chest).
  4. Take a deep breath in and brace through your core. 
  5. Start the movement by bending your elbows, bring the bar down to touch your chest and return back to top. (Bar should touch the lower chest, not near the neck).
  6. Repeat the above for the required number of repetitions and sets of your workout (see below). 


TIP: The bar path should travel at a sight arc. See THIS diagram for next bar path angles for optimal strength. 


AVOID: Avoid cheating the exercise and yourself by raising your hips off the bench when the weight gets heavy. Proper form will offer greater long term benefits over short term strength gains. 



Exercise 3 – Barbell Overhead Press


What is it good for?

Much like the bench press, the overhead is a great upper body strength and toning exercise. This exercise also transfers incredibly well for sporting performance, and day to day activities. 


How to perform Barbell Overhead Press:

  1. Have the Barbell set on a squat rack at shoulder height or just below. 
  2. Standing feet hip width apart, grasp the bar 1-1.5x shoulder width apart with an overhand grip.
  3. Lifting the bar off the rack, be sure to brace through your core before taking a small step back out of the way of the rack. 
  4. Brace through your core and legs for a solid foundation to lift from. 
  5. Then, starting with the bar touching your upper chest, press the bar overhead until full arm lockout is achieved. 
  6. In a controlled manner, lower the bar back to the starting position and repeat for desired number of repetitions and sets. 


TIP: Contracting your core and quads will help emphasis a stable base to lift from. This is even more important as the weight gets heavier. 

AVOID: Try to avoid arching excessively through your lower back. If you have to do this in order to get the bar overhead, the weight may be too heavy, or you need to work on your shoulder and/or thoracic spine mobility. 




Exercise 4 – Barbell Deadlifts


What is it good for?

The Barbell Deadlift is the best posterior chain exercise. Having a strong backside of the body will help keep you upright and pain free. If you tend to spend most of your day in a chair hunched over the keyboard, then this exercise is especially for you. Lastly, the Deadlift works dozens of muscles all at once, offering the greatest opportunity for energy expenditure per repetition and greater muscle tone.


How to perform Barbell Deadlifts:

  1. Stand with your midfoot under the barbell
  2. Bend over and grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip
  3. Bend your knees until your shins touch the bar
  4. Lift your chest up and straighten your lower back
  5. Take a big breath, hold it, and stand up with the weight


TIP: As you bring the weight up past your knees, begin to focus on pressing your hips forward into the bar. Squeeze your glute muscles as much as possible. 

AVOID: Lifting with a rounded spine. Keep your back flat throughout and chest up as much as possible. 


walking lunges


Exercise 5 – Dumbbell Walking Lunges


What is it good for?

Walking lunges are a great leg toning exercise. They also provide a large cardiovascular benefit as the dynamic movement pattern will place greater load on your oxygen demands. Adding the dumbbells will push your body out of its comfort zone providing a greater chance for adaptive change. 


How to perform Walking Lunges:


  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Your hands and dumbbells can stay by the side throughout.
  2. Step forward with your right leg, putting the weight into your heel.
  3. Bend the right knee, lowering down so that it’s parallel to the floor in a lunge position. Pause for a beat.
  4. Without moving the right leg, move your left foot forward, repeating the same movement on the left leg. Pause as your left leg is parallel to the floor in a lunge position.
  5. Repeat this movement, “walking” forward as you lunge, alternating legs.
  6. Increase the resistance by using heavier dumbbells.


TIP: Make sure you have a stable flat surface to use while walking with weights. The added weight will place greater emphasis on core stability, knee, ankle and hip strength.

AVOID: Avoid leaning back or too far forward during the movement. You want to keep an upright posture throughout and maintain chest out, shoulders back and down. 


Put these all together in your fitness routine, to tone up this spring!



Full Body Toning Workout Routine:


Perform workout A and B in an alternating format 3x per week. Leaving a day’s rest between.

Example: Monday (Workout A), Tuesday (Rest), Wednesday (Workout B), Thursday (Rest or Mobility/Cardio), Friday (Workout A), Weekend (Mobility/Cardio).


Workout A


1 – Barbell Back Squats – 3 sets for 6-10 repetitions (moderate to heavy weight)

2 – Barbell Overhead Press – 3 sets for 8-12 repetitions (moderate weight)

3 – Dumbbell Walking Lunges – 3 sets for 12 repetitions each leg (moderate weight)

4 – Chins Ups/Assisted Chin Ups – 3 sets for maximum repetitions each


Rest 60-90 seconds between sets, complete all sets before moving on to the next exercise. This workout should take 30-45 minutes to complete. 


Workout B


1 – Barbell Bench Press – 3 sets for 6-10 repetitions (moderate to heavy weight)

2 – Barbell Deadlifts – 3 sets for 4-8 repetitions (moderate to heavy weight)

3 – Dumbbell Walking Lunges – 3 sets for 20 repetitions each leg (light to moderate weight)

4 – One Arm Dumbbell Row – 3 sets for 10-12 repetitions (moderate weight)


Rest 60-90 seconds between sets, complete all sets before moving on to the next exercise. This workout should take 30-45 minutes to complete. 


We hope you have found our ‘Top 5 Helpful Resistance Exercises for Toning up this Spring’ an informative read.


If you would like more help in your fitness efforts, please complete the form below and we will be happy to help.



Want To Learn More?


Since COVID-19 entered our lives, we have aimed to deliver some great weekly information as to how you can remain healthy, productive and in good spirits. This blog post is the latest addition to a growing library of information. Click to read more on our dedicated COVID support blogs.


Over the last 6 years Authentic Personal Training has established itself as a leading health and fitness studio on the Lower North Shore. We are incredibly proud to announce that we have been voted The Best Fitness Business on The North Shore for 2019.

Join us on our Facebook page:

To take advantage of our current offer with Sydney’s most experienced Personal Trainers, simply fill out the form below

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Authentic Personal Training

Personal Training
Group Exercise
Nutritional Advice
Weight Loss
Muscle Tone
Core Conditioning

Studio Hours

Mon - Thurs: 5:30am - 8pm 

Fri: 5:30am - 3pm

Sat: 7am - 12pm

Sun: Closed

Contact Us

Call (02) 8040 5892


Level 1, 22 Willoughby Rd,
Crows Nest NSW 2065 Australia

View map