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Cruising to Mexico

By, Mallory Haldeman Cruising to mexico ! As you all know, I began my prep two weeks ago now for my firs show in may. This Sunday, we are taking off on a five day cruise to mexico. Into past, this may have had me in quite the panic mode by now but not this year. I've kept my body in check during my off season and while I may have only 8-9 pounds to drop I still need need to be conscientious of my food choices and training while aboard! I won't be bringing any of my own food, but skipping out on the alcohol will really allow me to make the best food choices, food is available to you 24 hours a day on these ships but use it to your advantage. three big meals a day just won't work for me at this point in my prep. I'm hungry all day long... But no worries I can always find some chicken, fish, and salad. The sitdown dinners can provide a clean source of carbs in the form of rice or potato along with usually a plain broiled fish option. Aside from that I stick to what I know, salad veggies and eggs and anything that obviously hasn't had much work done to it lol. To help with the extra sodium that I'll be taking in I'll be packing my "shrink wrap" diuretic from muscle foods to help keep down any water retention . Training. On the cruise is always a fun experience. The ships always have a full gym, and although it may not be like the one at home , there is plenty to do. I'll be keeping up with my cardio and turning up the intensity with my "ab-fx" and "tone-fx". I never do much running but one or two sessions is OK and switches up my regular routine. So I'll be doing a few laps on the outdoor track! Don't forget to take advantage of the free yoga and multiple steam rooms and hot tubs. We also signed up for a meditation class! I may be passing on the free ice cream and booze but I'm sure to come home feeling refreshed.

Exercise for Better Sleep

The amount of physical exercise that you exert during the day is one of the key ingredients to helping you get a good night's sleep.  The more active your body is during the day, the more likely you are to relax at night and fall asleep faster. With regular exercise you'll notice that your quality of sleep is improved and the transition between the cycles and phases of sleep will become smoother and more regular.  By keeping up your physical activity during the day, you may find it easier to deal with the stress and worries of your life! Research and studies indicate that there is a direct correlation between how much we exercise and how we feel afterwards. You should try and increase your physical activity during the day.  The goal here is to give your body enough stimulation during the day so that you aren't full of energy at night. Your body requires a certain amount of physical activity in order to keep functioning in a healthy manner.  It is also important to note that you should not be exercising 2-3 hours before you go to bed. The ideal exercise time is in the late afternoon or early evening.  You want to make sure you expend your physical energy long before it is time for your body to rest. You should attempt to exercise at least 3-4 times a week for a period of 30 minutes or so. You can include walking or something simple.  If you prefer, you can include strenuous activities such as running as well. The goal here is to increase your heart rate and strengthen the capacity of your lungs.  By adding a regular exercise activity to your daily schedule, this will help you to improve your overall health and emotional well being. Along with running and walking there are several other physical activities that you can add to your daily life to increase your level of physical activity.  If you are battling not sleeping, you'll find aerobic exercise to be the most beneficial. Your goal with exercise is to increase the amount of oxygen that reaches your blood stream.  Overall, there are many types of aerobic exercise for you to choose from.  The activities include running, biking, using a treadmill, dancing, and jumping rope. Yoga Yoga is an exercise that has a stimulatory effect on your nervous system, especially the brain.  Yoga utilizes breathing techniques and yoga postures to increase the blood circulation to the brain, promoting regular and restful sleeping patterns.  The regular practice of yoga will help you to relax as well as relieve tension and stress. Tai Chi Tai Chi is an ancient art of breathing and movement that was developed by the Chinese monks.  The movements involved are slow and precise, which is ideal if you have joint pains or you are unable to participate in high aerobic exercises.  Research has shown that Tai Chi can help with insomnia by promoting relaxation. If you discover that you don't have any time to exercise on a regular basis, you should try to sneak moments of activity into your schedule.  Whenever possible, you should take the stairs instead of the elevator, as little things like that will do wonders for your body. Your overall goal here is to have a healthy and well-balanced life with plenty of sleep.

Physical Benefits of Yoga

By, Jen Delgado Yoga training can be of enormous benefit to anyone pursuing a fitness regime. Yoga tones and strengthens your body uniformly, unlike some fitness training regimens that can lead to overdevelopment of particular muscle groups. Yoga exercises , meditation and postures also improve your balance, strength and overall flexibility, making you more capable of pursuing a weight loss regimen.   Performing yoga postures regularly offers a number of physical benefits, including: - Increased flexibility - Increased lubrication of joints, ligaments and tendons - Massaging the body's internal organs - Detoxifying the body - Toning the muscles   Yoga postures and exercise focus on all of the joints of the body, including joints you probably don't use regularly. Yoga exercises can strength problem joints such as the knees, hips and ankles. Yoga training also leads to increased spinal flexibility and core strength, both of which can reduce chronic problems such as lower back pain and increase your overall physical strength. Because yoga also exercises ligaments and tendons, your joints will lubricate more effectively, reducing joint pain. Yoga training may be the only form of exercise that stimulates your internal organs. This helps prevent disease by maintaining organ health. It can also help make you more aware of potential health problems Many of us forget about the importance of stretching. When we don't stretch we are more prone to injuries, stiff muscle, no flexibility, spasms, and much more.   Yoga stretches and stimulates the muscles and organs of the body in a uniform manner. This allows increased blood flow to all parts of your body, which helps to flush out the toxins that can accumulate in your body's tissues. Increased detoxification can increase your energy levels, making you more likely to follow an exercise program designed for weight loss. Yoga training also offers a number of emotional and psychological benefits. Yoga exercises, postures and meditation increase your powers of mental concentration and can significantly reduce levels of stress and anxiety. Yoga can also help you feel better about your body and your self, by increasing your strength and flexibility, and by allowing you to feel more in touch with your body. Not all types of yoga can help you lose weight. There are many forms of yoga, and many of them don't raise your heart rate enough to contribute to weight loss. However, some forms of yoga can raise your heart rate and help burn fat.   I did some research and found a type of Yoga  that will definitely increase your heart rate while also help you with some weight loss. It's called Vinyasa, or flow yoga. This form of yoga is based on a series of postures known as the Sun Salutations. If you'd like to use yoga training to help lose weight, try one of these forms of vinyasa yoga: - Ashtanga yoga is a very strenuous type of yoga practice. Practitioners are encouraged to sign up for series courses, which can increase your motivation by giving a financial incentive to keep returning to classes. The postures are also easy to learn, so once you're finished with your course, you can continue doing them at home. - Power yoga is an intense yoga workout that provides cardiovascular training - Hot yoga is done in rooms heated to around 101 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you sign up for one of these course, expect to sweat. They are popular among those with joint problems. It's called Birkram Yoga.  I've done this type of yoga and it felt like a summer day in Las Vegas.   If you are overweight or suffer from any physical disabilities or illnesses, tell your yoga instructor at the beginning of the first class; she can help you practice safely.

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