The right exercises will give you strong but lean muscles.
The bodybuilder look may be impressive to many observers, but others prefer a sleek, toned appearance without bulky muscles. If you're into the slimmer look, you can still exercise and strengthen your arms and legs without swelling to the size of a pro-football lineman. Perform the right exercises with the correct techniques to shape up without bulking up.1.
Warm up before you work out by walking or performing a similar cardio activity for five to 10 minutes. Even if you're not trying to bulk up, exercising with cold muscles can lead to an injury.2.
Assume a pushup position with your palms and toes on the floor to do a monkey push, which works your triceps, as well as your shoulders, abs and back. With your body straight, push down on the floor with your toes and flex your knees and hips to bring your feet forward. Land your feet just outside of your hands and then hop your feet backward to resume the pushup position. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions.3.
Combine a plank with the Downward-Facing Dog yoga position to work your upper arms. Begin face down to the floor in a plank position with your arms extended and the rest of your body straight. Lower yourself close to the floor, as if you were doing a pushup. Extend your arms and raise your hips as you push yourself up until you're in the Downward-Facing Dog stance with your body positioned in an upside-down V shape, with your hips at the point of the V. Return to the plank position to complete one rep. Do 10 reps.4.
Exercise your arms, legs and core by performing a large-range leg extension. Begin in the plank position with your arms extended. Lift your right foot, flex your right knee to about 90 degrees and then extend the leg while you lift your foot as high as possible. Return to the starting position and perform 25 reps with each leg.5.
Perform lunge kicks to target your leg and hip muscles. Stand straight and then lunge forward with your right leg so your knee is bent at about a right angle and your left knee touches the floor. Place your hands on the floor to the left of your front foot and straighten your arms. Kick your right leg back so the top of your right foot points to your left foot. Return slowly to the starting position and perform a total of 10 reps. Switch legs and do 10 more reps.
- In addition, you can perform cardio exercises, high-rep and low-load resistance training plus static stretches to tone your arms and legs without bulking up.