Wedding Workout: Tone Your Arms
Get your arms sculpted and ready for your wedding day
By Kimberly A. Laux
Whether you'll be wearing an exquisite Vera Wang gown or a romantic dress off the rack, chances are that it's a strapless, sleeveless, halter or one-shoulder style. Choosing the right design can help accentuate your body, but it's up to you to shape up any parts left exposed as you walk down the aisle.
- What You Need to Know
- Dumbbells and an exercise mat are great tools to kick off a new fitness regimen. Perform all exercises below, which focus on strengthening different parts of your arm, for an overall toned look.
Begin with the push-up. This exercise targets muscles in your arms, chest and shoulders, so your whole upper body will look great on your wedding day. From a kneeling position, carefully bring your upper body forward with the hands placed flat on the floor or mat beneath the shoulders. You can keep the knees down or straighten the legs with feet together in a plank position. Begin to lower your entire body by bending the elbows until your chin or chest comes in contact with the floor. Then begin extending your arms, pushing up away from the ground. Hold and repeat seven more. Your torso should be straight throughout the whole push-up. Don't allow your hips or stomach to sag.
Practice the one-arm row to work the back, arm and shoulder muscles. To start, grab whatever weight dumbbell you're comfortable with. Begin in a lunge position with the left leg bent, keeping the foot in line with the knee and the right leg stretched behind you. Lean slightly forward, resting the left forearm across the left thigh. Hold the dumbbell in your right hand; the right arm extends down toward the floor. Then begin bending your right elbow, lifting it up toward the ceiling. The shoulder blades should slightly slide together. Once the arm comes up as high as possible without causing the torso to rotate, bring it back down until the arm is fully extended. Aim for eight repetitions, and then work the other side.
Halter and one-shoulder style gowns are designed to show off the sexy muscles in the shoulders, so do deltoid raises to look your best. Begin raises in a standing position. Make sure you are in a neutral position with arms falling naturally at your side, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your back should not be arched. Keeping the rest of the body stable, raise the arms out to the sides until they are in line with the shoulders. Hold for one breath, then lower back to start. Repeat for a total of eight.
Continue on to tricep extensions. This exercise will firm up the back of the upper arm. Assume a lunge position with the left leg bent and right leg extended. Lean slightly forward to rest the left hand on the left leg and, holding the weight in your right hand, bring the right arm up at a 90 degree angle, with the forearm vertical with the floor. Keeping the upper arm still, extend the lower part of the right arm back behind you while concentrating on the "squeeze" in the tricep muscles. Then return to the starting position. Do seven more, and repeat on the other side.
Perform hammer curls with weights to define the bicep in the upper arm. Stand in a neutral position with arms at your side, palms facing in toward the body. Keeping the upper arm still, bend the elbows, raising the hands up near the shoulders. Pause. Lower back to the start position. Repeat seven more times.
About the Author
Kimberly A. Laux is a freelance writer and a contributor to DexKnows.
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Buckle down and work out
Getting in wedding day shape requires forethought. Figure out the best workout regime for you -- from running to weights to dance class. Plan a schedule you can stick to and be realistic. Appropriate weight loss goals depend on your size but aim for no more than two to three pounds a week.
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