Increasing your muscle mass isn’t only about achieving a certain body aesthetic, as it offers many benefits. Toned muscles, for example, can improve your posture, minimize your risk of chronic pain, improve your physique, and enhance your body’s ability to perform daily tasks. Building a toned body and defined muscles is a goal for many people, but not everyone can stick to a disciplined workout routine. Thankfully, there are many ways you can get more muscle definition, sculpt your body, and build your strength. With that said, here are some helpful tips for building muscle mass.
- Stretch as often as possible
Not many people consider stretching in their efforts to build muscle mass and strength. But believe it or not, stretching can play an important role by improving flexibility and range of motion. When you incorporate yoga and pilates into your workout routines, your body becomes more balanced as muscles are elongated, creating a lean and toned appearance, and a greater sense of well-being. Stretching can also help to increase blood flow to the muscles, promoting recovery as a result. It can also reduce soreness after working out. Stretching also improves posture and alignment, creating a more aesthetically pleasing physique after some time. It also allows you to target specific muscle groups by allowing for a wider range of motion during exercises. And this creates more defined muscles.
- Use resistance bands
Resistance bands are versatile and offer an effective way to tone body muscles, as they offer tension and resistance through an entire range of motion. You can use these items to target muscles in specific body parts to create a more focused workout. For example, resistance bands can work on your biceps, triceps, core muscles, neck muscles, thighs, calves, etc. You can also incorporate them in various home workouts, including bicep curls, squats, rows, and lunges. While they are not massive muscle builders, resistance bands provide just enough constant tension to increase muscle activation, making those muscles more defined or toned.
- Try interval training
Interval training involves a series of repeated rounds of exercise, alternating between fast and short bursts of intense exercise and slower low-intensity ones in one workout session. The slower-paced, low-intensity exercises act as the recovery phases between the high-intensity ones. For example, if you love running, try a high-speed sprint for about one minute to increase your heart rate. Next, slow down your running pace for another minute until your heart rate returns to normal, and then go back to high-speed running for another minute. Repeat this for as long as you can throughout your running course. Doing this can boost your muscle mass and strength.
- Make your muscles multitask for a longer calorie burn
While general cardiovascular workouts are important, you should also add exercises that target different muscle groups. As mentioned previously, resistance bands are a great way to do this, but you can also try other workouts, such as pilate push-ups with leg lifts and lunges with bicep curls. Doing this allows you to employ many more muscles while ensuring that you don’t exhaust any individual or specific muscle group too quickly. Another benefit of letting your muscles multitask is that your body will release more hormones to stimulate the burning of more calories throughout the day. And this will leave your muscles looking more defined.
- Try shadowboxing
Shadowboxing is an excellent way to tone your body muscles at home. No punching bag? No problem. Just throw your punches in the air. While you may think the air offers no resistance, the repetitive movement in shadow boxing can help define your muscles and improve endurance. The combination of quick movements, footwork, and punching engages the arms, shoulders, chest, back, and core muscles, resulting in a more defined and toned upper body. Many people see the benefits of shadowboxing on the upper body muscles alone. But with the right leg movement, you can easily extend its benefits to your calves, legs, and thigh muscles. To make your workout even more effective, you can shadowbox while holding onto lightweight objects like small water bottles. You can also wear ankle weights to give your leg movements more resistance. You can watch videos online of the best shadowboxing techniques to ensure you’re doing the right thing.
- Adopt an active lifestyle
An active lifestyle promotes regular physical activity and encourages the body to build and maintain muscle mass. You can walk, jog, swim, hike, or cycle to force your body to work against resistance. Doing this can stimulate muscle growth and increase your overall muscle tone. Living a dormant, sedentary, or inactive lifestyle can quickly cause fat to build up, leading to unhealthy weight gain. But adopting an active lifestyle helps you shed fat and improve body composition, enhancing muscle definition and tone. Also, regular physical activity promotes healthy blood flow and nutrient delivery to the muscles. And this can help support muscle definition and recovery.
- Consider medical alternatives
Different medical procedures are available to help tone your muscles and define them better. But it would be best to speak with your doctor before considering them. Usually, these medical alternatives are reserved for those with medical conditions that impact their muscle tone. But you can also consider them, especially if you’ve tried all the above tips but have seen no results. Medical options include liposuction, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), and botulinum toxin injections. You can have a liposuction procedure done on specific parts of your body. For example, if you want to tone or define your thighs a little, you can consider liposuction on thighs.
Liposuction removes fat from specific body parts, especially areas you struggle to target with regular exercise and diet. The fat removed can make muscle definition a lot easier. NMES involves the application of electrical currents to the muscles to induce contractions and is particularly beneficial for people with conditions such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis. Botulinum toxin injections can treat muscle spasms and involuntary contractions that interfere with muscle tone.