Ask Amy: What Actually Has to Happen For Toning to Occur?

We’re proud to have Amy Hoover on board as P.volve’s Doctor of Physical Therapy, where she’s able to consult the entire community about the method and how it impacts the body. In our Ask Amy series, she’s answering your questions first hand so you can get the most out of your work with P.volve. In our last post, she explained how our workout helps activate the pelvic floor, and this time around, she’s tackling the concept of muscle toning.

There are a few terms we throw around in class that you may have grown accustomed to hearing: p.sit, “catch the floor”, and elongate, just to name a few. The word “tone” is another word commonly used word in the fitness space, with very few of us actually knowing what it truly means. 

Our movements and workouts all contribute to total-body toning, but it’s important we learn what’s actually happening below the surface of the skin to better understand the way our bodies work. Below, Dr. Amy explains toning, how it happens, and everything in between. 

What is toning?
Toning is a term commonly referring to the act of conditioning a muscle by facilitating strength, efficiency and proper activation through resistance or body weight exercise. Most people use this term to describe muscle definition, or how muscles appear through the skin. Tone, in fact, is technically the amount of contraction of a muscle when it is at rest in order to support our posture, and has little to do with how a muscle works. 

How do “toned” muscles differ from other types of muscle?
Most people will differentiate between a “toned” versus “bulky” muscle, so we can look at the differences between those. To build muscle “tone” or definition, you are adding strength by working a muscle with resistance to build and then maintain strength.  The more resistance you use, the quicker you will add muscle. Low resistance exercise can help improve muscle definition by improving strength then maintaining it once you reach your goal. 

What’s the best action plan for total-body toning?
How quickly this happens depends on your individual body composition and physiology. If you keep adding more and more resistance, you will increase “bulk” or add muscle, and therefore build more and more strength (think bodybuilders). So if that is not your goal, then low-resistance exercise is perfect for you. P.volve focuses on low resistance and body weight exercise to help add muscle definition. It also works your muscles through their entire range of motion, promoting muscle length and efficiency. 

Read more about how to tone the thighs here, then check out some of our favorite total-body toning workouts on our streaming platform.

We are proud to announce Amy as P.volve’s  Doctor of Physical Therapy, consulting the entire community about their work with our method. She’ll be continually providing feedback and answering important questions for the P.volve community, so keep an eye out for her advice on the blog. Feel free to email community@pvolve.com for topics you’d like Amy to cover!