Whether your wedding dress style is halter, strapless, off-the-shoulder, or spaghetti strap, your dress will more than likely show off your arms, shoulders and/or your back. Here are some quick workout ideas to help you tone and shape for your big day! Of course, don’t forget to eat healthy and add in cardio to get the best results.
Dumbbells (DBs) of around 3 pounds are desired for exercises listed. You can always grab heavier or lighter weights to fit your physical needs.
Do 2-4 sets of each of the following:
Bicep curls: Stand up tall with feet hip width distance, knees slightly bent. Grab a heavier set of DBs (if you don’t have heavier, double up in one hand and do one arm at a time). Palms face to sky, knuckles face in front of you. Anchor elbows at side. Full range bicep curls. Inhale extend, exhale curl. Do 16 reps, hold the last rep at the half way mark and pulse towards floor, 8 times, then pulse towards sky 8 times. = 1 set. (If you are working one arm at a time, do both arms to complete your set).
High Plank: Position hands shoulder width distance apart on floor or mat. Spread fingers wide and activate through tips of fingers. Ensure shoulders stack directly on top of wrists, arms are extended. Press through hands firmly and engage arms to lift shoulders away from floor. Feet are hip width distance. Press into balls of feet and engage legs. Heels reach toward the wall behind you, but remember to keep shoulders over wrists. Hips are in line with shoulders (not lower than or higher than). Hug belly into spine and draw tailbone slightly towards heels. Head is neutral so neck is in line with spine. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 2x = 1 set. (For more of a challenge, come to forearms and/or hold for longer duration).
Triceps dip: Find a sturdy bench or chair (without wheels) and position hands shoulder width distance apart. Booty is in front of bench or chair and legs are bent with feet placed on floor about hip width distance. Straighten arms about 90% of the way so that there is always a tiny bend in the arm (this will keep tension on the triceps, not elbows). Slowly bend elbows and lower upper body towards floor. Only bend until you reach a 90 degree angle (triceps parallel to floor). Keep your back close to the bench and chest upright for maximum results. Once you reach bottom of the movement, press down through your hands until you reach your starting point. Remember to keep a slight bend in the elbow at your starting point. Do this 16 times. Repeat 2x = 1 set.
Reverse fly. Stand with your feet hip width distance and your knees slightly bent. Hinge torso forward with long spine. Hands face one another and arms extend towards floor. Squeeze between your shoulder blades, engaging your arms and back muscles to lift arms (like you’re spreading your wings). Arms should be slightly bent at the top of the exercise. When you release to come back to starting position, keep your muscles engaged. Exhale when you squeeze and lift, inhale when you release and lower. Do 8 reps of full range motion, then pulse at the top for 8 counts. Repeat 2x = 1 set.
Scarecrow (wide row): Set up exactly the same way you did for reverse fly. This time, palms face your body. Elbows lead, like you’re creating an upside down field goal post. Squeeze between shoulder blades to lift arms up. Control the release. Exhale when you squeeze and lift, inhale when you release and lower. Do 8 reps of full range motion, then pulse at the top for 8 counts. Repeat 2x = 1 set.
Row: Step into a lunge. Left leg forward, knee over ankle. Right leg extends back, or option to come down to right knee. Rest left elbow on left thigh and square hips/body towards floor. Place both weights in right hand. Extend right arm in front of you, towards the floor. Use back muscles and triceps to pull back until hand meets rib cage. Keep elbow close to body. Return to start position. For more of a challenge, work your row from high plank pose (see High Plank above), and set feet at a wider stance. Do 8 reps of full range motion, then pulse at the top for 8 counts. Repeat 2x = 1 set. Then switch sides.
Front: Extend your arms in front of you with DBs in hand. Thumbs to sky, wrists in line with shoulders. Begin tiny pulses towards the sky, never letting the wrists come higher than the shoulders. From here, a series of movements will help to tone the shoulders. Do 8 tiny pulses, 8 tiny circles one direction, 8 tiny circles the other direction, 8 tiny pulses, hold for 8 counts. Repeat 2 x = 1 set. (Hint: Movements are so tiny, you should barely be able to see your hands move. Shoulders are doing the work, not hands).
Lateral: Do the same thing as above, with arms extended to the side. Thumbs to sky, wrists in line with shoulder. Do 8 tiny pulses, 8 tiny circles one direction, 8 tiny circles the other direction, 8 tiny pulses, hold for 8 counts. Repeat 2 x = 1 set. (Hint: Movements are so tiny, you should barely be able to see your hands move. Shoulders are doing the work, not hands).
You’ll find several of these workouts, plus some, in our barre classes. Plus! You’ll tone booty, thighs and abs as well. We’ll see you at the barre soon!