I'd think the first question that would need to be asked is whether the person has a specific part of their body that needs to be toned or whether the person has a body that is evenly muscled to begin with. Certain activities will tone the muscle parts that are directly affected, so it you have, say, pretty toned abs but calves without much muscle, you'd have to work on the calves more than the abs to get that overall toned look. Aside from that, I don't know what the best exercises would be because there are so many, almost an endless number of ways to tone the body. As an example, bicycling or playing soccer will give you great thighs but won't do much for your arms. Weight lifting is just one way to tone -- pilates, yoga, and playing sports will give you a toned body too. There's also the question of whether toning means just having a lean body or do you mean having noticeable muscles that you can see through those plastic yoga pants women are wearing these days? I mean, if you want nice biceps, nothing beats curls, but there are a hundred different ways to do curls and all of them provide the requisite resistance. How big the muscles get depends on how much excess protein is consumed, whether you want to juice or not (remember, all those female Olympic athletes that looked so good, a whole lot of them were juicing. When they had to stop after getting caught, those flat abs went away). If you want big muscles you lift heavy weights or do a lot of reps. If you just want more muscle, not a lot of muscle, lifting an old phone book a bunch of times if you don't do anything now will increase your muscle tone. I think the better question, for whomever knows the answer to this question once we know which parts of the body we're talking about, is what's the safest way to do it without risking injury or muscles that are bigger than what the person wants and now has to maintain for the rest of her life or it will turn to loose skin. What I can say is, I managed health food stores for 18 years and sold some bodybuilding supplements and so I got a massive number of bodybuilding magazines sent to me for free and each magazine would have an article about the best way to tone, say, the biceps, and would have three completely contradictory articles by "experts" on how best to achieve it. Made me a bit dubious that there is a best out there. Anyone, these are just more questions, now folks, the answers, please.
Since the body gets used to doing the same weight or kinds of exercises you have to vary things a lot. To tone you usually do lots of reps and less weight. But I don't think you look big. I have lifted 100 lbs in deadlifts etc. and I am toned. It depends on body type etc. So try light weights 8-10 lbs with 15 reps x 3 sets. If it gets too easy either up the weight to 10-12.5 and do 12 reps etc.
1. Farmers carry
2. Overhead press
3.Lat pull downs,
5. Leg press
6. Leg curls
8. Kettle bell dead lifts. (really good for the core. Don't do KB swings they are dangerous if you don't get it just right. Bar dead lifts get a trainer. Keep your chin tucked, Don't let your knee go over your shin, feet hip width apart. Keep the Kettle bell close to you. Butt out as you go down. I would ask for a few training sessions for these with a master trainer. It is good to get some tips for form for any of these.
10. bench press 5-10 lbs 15 reps. Then increase and do less reps etc.
11. assisted chin ups or pull ups
12. stomach crunches or hollow hold
let me know if you have any questions.