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Your Wedding Dress Workout

How to shape-up to suit your frock!

You’ve found your dress-of-dreams! Congratulations. Now, how do you look in it?

Personally, I’m beyond stressed at the thought that from the second I make my arrival, everyone’s attention will be focused on little ole me. And during the ceremony, 104 pairs of eyes will be staring straight at my bum. No pressure… None at all…

I’ve got wobbly bits in dire need of blitzing but suffer from what I like to call gym-pho- bia. Me and my starter dumbbells feebly working out next to Bobbi Big-Arms is my idea of hell. But my bum-jiggle not going to jog off on it’s own. I need to take matters into my own home – fast.

I’ve decided to customise my workout to compliment my dress and I have to say, my motivation is currently at an all-time high. So, I thought that passing on some other shape-up strategies to suit dress styles, whether you’re going backless, strapless or short, might be helpful. It’s not about getting stick-thin, it’s about toning up to look and feel your best ever. Just pick your style from the list below and follow the instructions to becoming a buffer bride! Good luck!

Your dress is STRAPLESS

… so work your arms

My mum calls those annoying jiggly bits angel’s wings. Unfortunately they don’t look as nice as they sound, and threaten to scupper any hopes of a strapless dress come the Big Day. So tone them!
Bridge Chest Press: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hips lifted. Grab hold of dumbbells at shoulder level with your palms facing forwards and only your upper arms on the floor. As you breathe out press the dumbbells up- wards, then lower them back to the floor. Keep going for two sets of 12-15 reps. Press-Ups: Lie face-down with your hands on the floor at chest level, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Little Miss Sporty’s can do their press-ups with a straight body but I have to put my knees down. So cross your feet and lift them off the floor. As you breathe out, push up with your hands then lower back down, pause, and push up again. Try to keep your back flat by pulling in your abs and aim for two sets of 12- 15 reps. (sorry)

Your dress is HALTERNECK

… so work your shoulders

Slouching won’t only spoil the look of your dress. Perfect posture – and toned shoulders – will help you look slimmer and ooze more confidence too. So tone them! Dumbbell punch: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees soft. Holding dumbbells, bend your elbows and raise them to shoulder height. Twist your torso to the left as you push your right arm out with palm facing down, taking care not to lock your elbow. Return to the starting position then repeat on the other side. Do two sets of 12-15 reps.
Walking plank: This one is a killer so I wimp out of the full plank and do a half one instead! On your hands and knees, cross your feet and lift them off the floor. Walk your hands forwards until your body is in a straight line from your knees to your neck. Lower your elbows down to the floor, one at a time, keeping your core engaged then return to the starting position. Two sets of 12-15 reps then relax – you deserve it!

Your dress is FISHTAIL

… so work your bum

Why did Kim Kardashian choose to wear a fishtail gown for both of her weddings? Because she knows that they made her waist look weeny and gave her a fabulously curvy, sexy silhouette. In Kim’s case, they also drew attention to her favourite – and most famous – body part: her botty. Fishtails call for firm, pert peaches. So tone it! Donkey kicks: Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees bent. With your foot flexed, lift up your right knee, until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Lower your knee back down but just before it touches the floor, swing it up again. After 12-15 reps, hold your knee up in the air and pulse for 12-15 reps too. Then repeat on the other leg.
Bridge squeeze: Lie with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hands palms-down at your sides. Keep your back straight as you lift your hips off the floor, hold, then pulse 12-15 times. Lower back to the floor, have a little rest then do it again.

Your dress is BIAS-CUT

… so work your tummy

What’s a girl to do when her heart is set on a slinky, figure-hugging frock but her stomach is lacking in the super-flat department? Don’t rely on your Spanx to get you looking absolutely amazing. Tone your tum!
Bicycle criss-cross: Lie with your feet off the floor, knees up and above your hips. Pop your fingertips by your ears, keeping your elbows wide and lift your head off the floor. Cross your left shoulder over to your right side as you extend your left leg, bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Return to the starting position then go in the opposite direction for two sets of 12-15 reps.
V-lift: Lie face-up, hands by your sides and palms facing down. Engage your abs as you lift your legs a few inches off the ground and peel your shoulders and arms off the floor. Use your abs to pull you up into a 45 degree sitting position, while also bringing your knees in towards your chest. Try to reach two sets of 12-15 reps.

Your dress is BACKLESS

… so work your back

Your guests will spend much of the ceremony staring at your back so if you’ve dropped your budget on a backless wedding gown, it’ll pay to flaunt a fabulous, streamlined back-view. So tone it!
Bent over row: Holding dumbbells with your palms facing down, stretch your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height. Then, as if you’re rowing backwards, pull your arms back at chest height keeping your elbows lifted so your shoulder blades are squeezing behind you. You can do this one standing with your feet hip-width apart or sitting with your legs straight out in front of you. Try two sets of 12-15 reps.
Lower back extension: Lie face-down with your arms by your sides and forehead rest- ing lightly on the floor. As you breathe out, lift your upper body off the floor, keeping your hips and legs rooted to the ground. Hold for a count of two then slowly lower back down. Carry on for two sets of 12-15 reps.

Your dress is SHORT

… so work your legs

Fabulous shoes are not the only must-have if you’ve selected a shortie. Yep, hair-bare, subtly bronzed skin are non-negotiables too, as are perfect pins. So tone them! Crossover lunge: Sorry, almost got to the end of this post without lunges…. Still, they really do the business as far as toning up your legs are concerned. So, standing with your feet hip-width apart and hands on hips, step your right leg forward and across
to the outside of your left leg. Breathe out and straighten up then repeat on the other side. Keep going for two sets of 12-15 reps.
Squats: That other in-gym fave… sorry but they do work. With your hands on your hips and feet wider than shoulder-width apart, turn your knees and toes out. Keeping your weight pressed into your heels, tuck your tailbone under and lower for a count of two. Hold and straighten up then go again for two sets of 12-15 reps.

So how did you get on? If you can do the full plank or press-up, then you’re a braver (and probably buffer) bride-to-be than me.

Sarah x

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  • A gym membership is way outta my budget. This and your other fitness posts have some good tips. I’m def going to get up off my backside… starting tomorrow

    4 years ago : Abbie
  • Getting wedding fit is the motivation I need to do these exercises every day. Great job!

    6 years ago : Kari aquire
  • Am I the only person who didn’t know there were exercises for backs? I’m wearing a dress with quite a low back and hadn’t even considered that it might not be up for public airing! Better get on the bent over rows!

    6 years ago : Josiebird