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Does Toning Muscles Help You to Burn Fat?

author image Elisha Ryan
Elisha Ryan has been an NASM certified personal trainer since 1999 and a physical therapist since 2011. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science with a minor in journalism and a master's degree in physical therapy.
Does Toning Muscles Help You to Burn Fat?
A woman is training with weights in the gym. Photo Credit: sutulastock/iStock/Getty Images

"Toning" is a term that has long been used to describe exercise techniques that make your muscles more firm and fit. However, physiologically toning is no different than strengthening your muscles. If you consistently perform strength-training exercises that strengthen your muscles, it will help you to burn fat because it increases your metabolism and burns stored body fat, which gives your body a more toned, fit and firm appearance.

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The Miracle of Strength Training

No matter what kind of shape you're in now, you can reap the fat-burning benefits of strength training and see a significant difference in your physique in as little as 12 weeks. Strength training firms your muscles, burns calories and increases your muscle mass. Because muscles burn calories even while your resting, if you increase your muscle mass it helps you to shed excess body fat. In fact, just 1 pound of muscle can burn as much as 50 calories per day.

Strip the Fat, See the Muscle

Fat creates a soft, spongy layer that covers your muscles, and the more fat you have the less you can see your muscles. Strength training helps you to reduce your body-fat percentage, which makes your muscles more visible. When you can see and feel your muscles better, your body will feel more firm and fit and you will have a more toned appearance. Remember, you already have six-pack abs; you just need to uncover them.

It's All About Technique

If you want to tone your muscles to help burn fat, participate in strength-training exercises three to four times per week for 45 minutes. Choose at least two exercises for each body part and perform a minimum of three sets. Vary the amount of reps for each set from five to 15 and choose your weights to coordinate with the amount of reps you a doing. You'll know the weight is correct when you fail to complete the last rep or two of each set. This techniques helps you to improve both strength and endurance.

Keep it Safe

Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If your new to strength training, consider working with a fitness professional to learn the different exercises and their proper form. There are also many great fitness apps and books available on strength training. Warm up before your workout by doing a lighter set of each exercise for approximately 20 reps. Stretching is most effective during or after your strength-training routine.

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