Back to Blog

Workout The Tonal Workout Guide for All Body Sizes

Off the floor, low-impact, and easy on the joints, these workouts are truly for everybody and every body.

Coach Natalie working out on Tonal.

Fitness is for everybody, but some movements don’t feel great for all bodies. You might have trouble getting down to the floor or have knee pain during high-impact exercises. With a library of movement modifications and workouts designed for all body sizes, though, Tonal makes it easy for anyone to enjoy exercise. 

To get you started, Tonal Coach Natalie Carey, a NASM-certified personal trainer, put together this comprehensive guide to Tonal workouts and programs that fit the needs of larger-bodied athletes. Several were specifically designed to be more inclusive. Others are favorites among members in the Tonal XXL Community, a body-positive Facebook group, either because all the moves are accessible or the coach offers appropriate modifications.

Whether you prefer standing exercises or low-impact movements, modifications are key for making any workout safe, effective, and fun. 

“Modifications are a sign of wisdom, not weakness,” says Jenna Moore, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and Fitness Programming Specialist at Tonal. “You shouldn’t be struggling with making yourself fit the workout; the workout should fit you.” 

Moore emphasizes that modifying a move doesn’t mean you’re choosing a less intense version. Instead, she considers it empowering to make a smart decision during your workout. “The word ‘modification’ just means change,” says Moore. “You’re just changing it to work for you.” You can also change your setup to make an exercise more comfortable. For example, doubling up your mat while kneeling adds more padding under your knees. 

Movement replacement selection
Movement Replacement selection on Tonal

For XXL community member Austin McLeod, modifications make workouts more inclusive. “When we learn how to modify something, we still get to participate with everyone else and feel included. At the end of the day, the only one you’re really in competition with is yourself,” he says. 

On Tonal, many workouts offer Movement Replacements so you can choose a version of a specific exercise that works best for your body. Coach Natalie has even put together a series of additional modifications if the ones on screen don’t work. Check out her videos with versions of moves in the Guides section of the XXL Community

“The modification videos completely changed things for me,” says Reagan Rogers, an XXL community member. “I went from thinking I just can’t do this to I definitely can do this with modifications.” 

In this video, Coach Natalie demonstrates seven modifications for Bulgarian split squats.

Coach Natalie recommends joining the community for more advice and support from members with similar concerns. “If you’re finding yourself thinking these workouts are too challenging or you’re feeling discouraged, reach out in the community and ask for help,” she says. “A lot of people have been where you’ve been, and we have a lot of great suggestions to help you find a way to keep moving. You’re not alone in feeling like this is really hard.” No matter how tough it is to get started, Coach Natalie says she’s confident that anyone can make progress by being consistent. 

Rogers is one such member who thanks the community for her success. “When I started using Tonal, I had no idea what I was doing, and I felt very isolated,” she says. “Having a group I felt comfortable asking questions to really helped. Members are very supportive of one another.” One year after joining, she’s performed 250 workouts and recently completed her first advanced program. 

"“If you’re finding yourself thinking these workouts are too challenging or you're feeling discouraged, reach out in the community and ask for help. A lot of people have been where you've been, and we have a lot of great suggestions to help you find a way to keep moving." - Coach Natalie

The workouts and programs below don’t have to be done in any particular order. Choose ones that fit your goals and offer modifications that suit your needs. “Take a look at the exercises, take a look at the program previews, and see what exercises look like they’re most doable to you,” says Coach Natalie. “There’s no wrong answer.” 

Programs

Coach Natalie recommends starting out with a program in which workouts repeat each week. That way, you can track your progress over time and notice how you’re improving. Since you’ll know what to expect from each workout, you’ll also get more comfortable with the movements each week. 

“Even if it’s too hard for you to get through the entire workout or if there are some movements that you can’t do, just do what you can and then come back to it the following week,” she says. “Maybe you were able to do a movement you couldn’t do the first week, or maybe you were able to do a move on Tonal that you had to do the bodyweight version of before.” 

Goal: Get Lean

Beginner

Starting Out With Tonal - Coach Liz

Starting Out With Tonal – Coach Liz 
Coach Natalie says this beginner program is one of the most popular in the XXL Community. As Coach Liz guides you through a series of full body exercises, she also explains how to use all of Tonal’s features. Like in all Get Lean workouts, you’ll do high-volume sets with short rest periods to keep your heart rate elevated. 

Try Next: 
Beginner Heat – Coach Amy

Intermediate

20-in-20: Ignite - Coach Tony

20-in-20: Ignite – Coach Tony 
Even though it wasn’t created specifically for the XXL community, members are raving about this program with celebrity fitness trainer Tony Horton. “Coach Tony is very accessible and a lot of his stuff is designed to be off the floor,” says Coach Natalie. With each workout clocking in at just 20 minutes, these “exercise snacks” feel more approachable than longer sessions. 

Try Next: 
How Paul Built His Body – Coach Paul

Goal: Build Muscle

Beginner

Off the Floor - Coach Natalie

Off the Floor – Coach Natalie 
Coach Natalie created this full-body, muscle-building program for the XXL community, and anyone who has difficulty getting on and off the ground. “Some of the movements look like they’re on the floor, but I offer modifications during the program so that you can stay off the floor for all of them,” she says. 

Try Next: 
Best for Beginners – Coach Natalie
Slow and Strong – Coach Liz
Great Glutes – Coach Allison
Find Your Strength – Coach Nicolette
Balancing Act – Coach Natalie

Intermediate 

Push + Pull Power - Coach Jared

Push + Pull Power – Coach Jared
If you’re just making the move from beginner to intermediate programs, Coach Natalie recommends Push + Pull Power. Unlike some intermediate and advanced programs, it doesn’t include barbell moves (you can learn how to use the barbell in Coach Natalie’s Strong is Beautiful program below), so it’s a little less difficult. Coach Jared splits up pushing exercises (think: bench presses and chest flys) and pulling moves (such as rows and lat pulldowns) on different days to work your muscles from all angles.  

Try Next: 
Strong is Beautiful – Coach Natalie
Side by Side – Coach Liz

Goal: Improve Fitness

Knees With Ease Challenge - Coach Liz

Knees With Ease Challenge – Coach Liz 
XXL Community members have had a lot of success with this intermediate program and many often repeat it, according to Coach Natalie. The movements in these workouts are gentle on the knees and—by strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee joint—protect against injury. 

Workouts

If you don’t want to commit to a full program—or you’re looking for an active recovery session to slot in between your lifting days—there are plenty of one-off workouts that are accessible to all body types. From quick strength workouts to gentle mobility sessions, you’ll likely find something on this list that meets your needs and supports your goals. All of the workouts below were created specifically with the XXL community in mind. 

Strength

Low Impact Muscle Builder - Coach Natalie

Low Impact Muscle Builder – Coach Natalie
In this all-standing workout, Coach Natalie leads you through low-impact moves, like pull-throughs and squats, that will fire up all the muscles of your lower body. As an added bonus, there are no Tonal arm adjustments during the workout so you can focus on your lifts. 

Try Next: 
Fit For All Bodies – Coach Natalie 
Low Impact Legs – Coach Liz
Quick Fit: Strong and Smart – Coach Nicolette
Full Body Startup – Coach Natalie
Quick Fit: Midday Strength – Coach Amy
Quick Fit: Chest in 10 – Coach Natalie
Quick Fit: Triceps in 10 – Coach Natalie 
Quick Fit: Glute Pump –  Coach Natalie
Quick Fit: Core Off the Floor – Coach Nikki 

Cardio 

Low Impact Cardio - Coach Amy

Low Impact Cardio – Coach Amy
You don’t need to do high-impact exercises to get a solid cardio burn. In only 20 minutes, Coach Amy will get your heart rate up with side lunges, bodyweight squats, standing crunches, and more joint-friendly moves. 

Try Next: 
Cardio Pump – Coach Amy
Level Up Cardio – Coach Allison
High Intensity, Low Impact – Coach Amy

Bootcamp

Level Up Bootcamp - Coach Natalie

Level Up Bootcamp – Coach Natalie
For each of the bodyweight exercises in this bootcamp workout, Coach Natalie includes a low-, medium-, and high-impact modification for you to choose from. “One movement might feel good at a low-impact version, and another movement might feel good at a higher impact,” she says. With lots of options, you can do this workout together with friends of different fitness levels. You can also use it as a benchmark in your fitness journey to see if modifications that were difficult at first now feel easier. 

Try Next:
Beginner Bootcamp – Coach Amy

High Intensity

Ease Into Intensity - Coach Amy

Ease Into Intensity – Coach Amy
There’s no need to fear the “high intensity” label with this beginner-friendly workout. Coach Amy keeps it low-impact and moderately paced, with movements including assisted reverse lunges and goblet squats. 

Try Next:
Total Body For All – Coach Natalie

Mobility

Mobility for All - Coach Natalie

Mobility for All – Coach Natalie
There’s no getting down to the mat in this mobility workout with Coach Natalie. She says it’s popular among XXL members who want to loosen up tight muscles. From the neck and shoulders to back and calves, you’ll get a full body release in this off the floor workout. 

Try Next:
Every Body Mobility – Coach Natalie

Barre

No Floor Barre - Coach Frances

No Floor Barre –  Coach Frances
If you’re curious about the benefits of barre—such as improvements in balance, stability, and core strength—this workout is perfect for dipping your toes in. Coach Frances goes over the basics of this ballet-inspired discipline while keeping you moving for added cardio. 

Try Next: 
Standing Cardio Barre – Coach Frances

Recovery

Pain Free Knees - Coach Liz

Pain Free Knees – Coach Liz
In this series of recovery stretches, Coach Liz demonstrates ways to strengthen your knees, address the causes of pain, and prevent future injuries. 

Try Next: 
Off the Floor Cooldown – Coach Natalie
Full Body Deload – Coach Natalie

Warm-Up

Off the Floor Warm-Up - Coach Natalie

Off the Floor Warm-Up – Coach Natalie
Before jumping into a workout, loosen up your body and get your blood flowing with gentle moves such as bodyweight lunges and leg swings in Coach Natalie’s off the floor warm-up session. 

Try Next: 
Standing Warmup – Coach Jake

Yoga

Hands Off Flow - Coach Jake

Hands Off Flow – Coach Jake
If you struggle with putting your weight on your arm and wrist joints in traditional yoga poses, you’ll love this flow with Coach Jake that gives your hands a break while still challenging your balance and flexibility. 

Try Next: 
Yoga for Everyone – Coach Nikki 


More Workout Stories