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How to Tone a Skinny Body

author image Beth Rifkin
Based in San Francisco, Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis," "American Fitness" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.
How to Tone a Skinny Body
Increase the resistance level to tone up the muscles. Photo Credit zaew28/iStock/Getty Images

Ectomorphs -- those that are naturally thin with small features and a light build -- can have trouble gaining weight of any type, including muscle. Toning the body can be a challenge and often requires a different approach to working out than that of their endomorph and mesomorph counterparts. Rather than relying on cardio, ectomorphs can benefit from focusing on a comprehensive strength-training program.

Step 1

How to Tone a Skinny Body
Train all your major muscle groups to tone and add shape to your body. Photo Credit LUNAMARINA/iStock/Getty Images

Train all the major muscle groups, including the back, arms, chest, abs, glutes and legs, to add shape and tone to your body. Include compound exercises, which work more than one muscle at a time; options include squats, clean and presses and pullups.

Step 2

How to Tone a Skinny Body
Increase the intensity level of your workouts. Photo Credit kzenon/iStock/Getty Images

Increase the intensity level of your workouts to improve your muscle-building results by bumping up the weight size. Use resistance levels that allow you to perform at least six, but not more than 10, repetitions with proper form.

Step 3

How to Tone a Skinny Body
Complete at least two exercises of three sets for each muscle group. Photo Credit LUNAMARINA/iStock/Getty Images

Complete at least two exercises of three sets for each muscle group. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

Step 4

How to Tone a Skinny Body
Overtraining may impair your results. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Perform full-body workouts every other day. Allow at least 48 hours between sessions for rest and recovery. Your muscles grow during the recovery phase; overtraining can actually impair results and may even lead to overall fatigue or an injury.

Step 5

How to Tone a Skinny Body
Hit the pool for cardio sessions. Photo Credit petesaloutos/iStock/Getty Images

Hit the pool for cardio sessions. Swimming can help you to keep your heart healthy while the resistance of the water will lend to toning muscles because of the resistance the water naturally provides. Perform two to three 30-minute cardio sessions per week.

Step 6

How to Tone a Skinny Body
Spread your protein consumption evenly throughout the day. Photo Credit Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

Spread your protein consumption out throughout the day so that you are eating protein with every snack and meal; amino acids are the building blocks of muscle. "Men’s Fitness" recommends consuming 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weight 130 pounds, you would eat between 78 and 104 grams of protein in a day.

Step 7

How to Tone a Skinny Body
Consume healthy fats. Photo Credit HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images

Consume healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil, nuts, avocados and fatty fish like salmon. The calories can help you to gain weight and build and tone lean muscle.

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