Information is abundant in the health, fitness, and wellness space, and sorting through muscle toning and building best practices are time-consuming. Moreover, you will often not find the correct answer that you are seeking. Luckily, we are here to help!
Here at Sunny, we try and give it to you straight. So, as always, let me debunk the heavily adopted term of "toning" muscle and discuss the difference between toning and building muscle, and guide you with better ways to achieve results.
Doing exercises for only your core like planks, bird-dogs, and dead bugs will not lower your body fat just in your torso. This myth is called spot-reducing. Spot reducing does not exist naturally as body fat decreases globally, meaning throughout the whole body.
Our bodies tend to favor certain areas of the body for storing fat which is influenced by our gender, sex, age, and genetics. Consequently, body fat is lost in a similar order to where it's initially gained
The second element of muscle toning is targeting the actual muscle itself. Muscle hypertrophy increases the muscle cell size. The image above shows all the different components of muscle. The smallest strand pictured is called the myofibril, which increases in size when properly training.
Muscle will respond and grow whenever it is challenged and given the appropriate nutrients. It is common to hear expressions like long and lean or shape without bulk. But unfortunately, these phrases are simply marketing buzz words to change the narrative around building muscle.
Adults, who are no longer growing, cannot increase the length of their muscles. The human body naturally has long lean muscle as muscle itself typically runs the length of the bone.