Wellness & Fitness

Exercises for shapely, well toned body


Yonah Omollo a personal and toning group class trainer demonstrating how to perform cycling on November 30, 2021. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

No one likes a flabby, fatty-looking body. So how do you achieve a toned physique? To trim a flabby body, you must cut the body fat to low levels and have a lean mass. This then will ensure muscles are more defined and your body is shapely.

Yonah Omollo, personal trainer and group toning class trainer, explains that toning is the process of losing body fat to achieve leanness.

According to Mr Omollo, the first step to achieving any fitness goal is to eat right because diet contributes to 80 percent of whatever happens in the body. Start by ditching refined carbohydrates for complex ones, eat healthy saturated fats, increase protein intake and stay hydrated.

After getting this right then the next step is exercise. Exercise the whole body so you must target the chest, shoulders, legs, and abdominal area.

To get lean muscle, use light weights and do the exercises repetitively.

Mr Omollo recommends that the three big muscles of the legs, back, and chest should have dedicated days for training for between three and four days a week.

When toning, you may want to bulk up or firm and shape the body. Before starting toning classes, assess your body mass index (BMI).

“Tone after shedding the fats because we don’t tone fats but muscles. Start with cardio workouts to first shed the fat before graduating to toning exercises,” explains Mr Omollo. Some toning exercises include:

Dumbbell shoulder press


Yonah Omollo a personal and toning group class trainer demonstrating how to perform shoulder press on November 30, 2021. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

This workout targets shoulder muscles. Get lighter dumbbells and do the exercise while seated or standing with many repetitions of between 15 and 20 reps of three sets with intervals of less than 30 sets between the sets.

“If you want to bulk, take the heavyweight with fewer reps and long breaks in between,” says the trainer. One-arm dumbbell row

Bend while arching your back and with one arm on the bench for support and maintaining the right posture. With the other arm, hold the dumbbell and do between 15 and 20 reps of three sets. This exercise targets the upper back muscles.


Mr Omollo says deadlift is a compound exercise with many variations targeting multiple groups of muscles at once. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, bend the legs keeping the back in a straight line then grip the bar while keeping your head up and back straight as you drive through your legs, with your chest pointing up.

Fully extend the legs and pull the bar up ending up standing straight with the barbell held at waist height. Squats

There are front and back squats. The back squat targets the glutes and upper hamstring while the front squat targets the glutes mostly and the quadriceps or front thigh muscles. He explains that doing squats strengthens the lower body and core while also increasing one’s flexibility in the legs and hips.

“An added benefit is that squats help you burn quite a few calories because they work out some of the largest muscles in your body.”

Bench press


Yonah Omollo a personal and toning group class trainer demonstrating how to perform flat bench press on November 30, 2021. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

This workout comes in three variations including an inclined bench press that targets the upper chest, a flat bench press for the middle chest, and a decline bench press for the lower chest.

To target triceps muscles, do triceps extension where you hold a dumbbell with both arms and extend it upwards behind your head. For biceps, use the barbell and curl your arms with the right posture.

“Any exercise you are doing standing you have to slightly bend the knees and have the chest out to avoid back injuries,” says the trainer.

The core area

Mr Omollo recommends three exercises to tone the core area including cycling while lying on a mat, leg raises, and sit-ups. While lying on the mat, bring the right elbow to meet the left knee and the left elbow to the right knee and keep on moving until you are tired.

For leg raises, lie down, bring your legs up and down while holding for support if not fit enough.

This targets the lower abs. For upper abs, the sit-up is the best as it involves moving the entire torso while lying down with the bodyweight aiding in strengthening and toning the abdominal muscles.

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