Best exercises for every wedding dress

Want toned arms for your strapless dress? A pert bum for your fitted silk gown? Here are the best workouts to burn calories and achieve the maximum results in time for your big day.
Photo | Barreworks
Photo | Barreworks

Got the dress, but feel like your body confidence is lacking? You don't need to break into a sweat at the gym every single day. Instead, it's all about working out smartly with exercises that will tone the specific body areas you're concerned about.

Vicki Anstey, founder of Barreworks, shares the top (easy) workouts that will lift bottoms, trim thighs and define arms, to fit with whatever dress style you've got planned. 

YOUR DRESS: SEDUCTIVE SILK

You should feel like a goddess if you’re wearing silk on your wedding day, but it can be a little intimidating as it tends to cling. Work towards a perfect posterior and you’ll enjoy the ‘Pippa’ effect!

Your wonder workout: Great Glutes

  • Assume a kneeling position on your hands and knees
  • With power, but control, sweep each leg back until you feel your glutes contract 
  • Hold briefly before lowering your knee back down and repeating
  • Start by doing four sets of 30 repetitions
  • If you need more of a challenge, alternate between pointed toes and flexed toes for a deeper gluteal contraction

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HAIR AT THE GYM

YOUR DRESS: OFF-THE-SHOULDER

This classic neckline never goes out of fashion because it makes every bride feel and look like a romantic heroine. The answer to a lovely décolletage might surprise you!

Your wonder workout: Perfect Press Ups

  • Begin on your hands and knees with your back flat and straight (this will be easier than having your toes on the floor) making sure that your hands line up to your bust rather than your shoulders to pinpoint your pectorals
  • Hold your tummy muscles tight and keep your back straight while you lower yourself until your chest nearly touches the floor, then return to your starting position by pushing up
  • Aim for four sets of 10 repetitions
Photo | Barreworks
Photo | Barreworks

YOUR DRESS: SPAGHETTI STRAPS 

Popular with brides who like to feel pretty but modern, these beautifully delicate details will draw attention to your upper arms. Tone up this hotspot and you’ll be the envy of all your guests.

Your wonder workout: Upper Arm Tighteners (requires a resistance band)

  • Set your feet a few inches apart, one in front of the other
  • Step the ball of the rear foot onto a resistance band to hold it firmly to the floor.
  • Use your arms to hold the other end of the band above your head. 
  • Perform a deep plié by bending your legs but keeping your back upright and straight, while extending your arms upwards above your head
  • Aim to complete three sets of 15 repetitions each time you workout

9 DETOX RECIPES TO KICKSTART YOUR HEALTHY DIET

YOUR DRESS: ABOVE THE KNEE

This refreshing length is cute, quirky and a perfect excuse to buy those show stopping shoes you’ve always wanted. Your secret weapon with this look is killer calves and the added benefit is that they’ll be strong enough for you to dance all night long.

Your wonder workout: Calf raises/relévés

  • Start with your feet in parallel, rise up onto the ball of your foot. Lower your heel firmly back to the floor. Repeat slowly, with full control (neither rolling in or out on the toes!) around 10-15 times. On the final relévé, keep your heels raised and perform tiny up/down movements, another 10-15 should do the trick.
  • Repeat the above in ballet first position, heels together, with an outward rotation from the top of the thigh down to the toes. 

10 AMAZING ARM EXERCISES FOR BRIDES

YOUR DRESS: SCOOPED BACK

This is a subtly sensual look that plays on the fact that many eyes will be on your back for some time during your wedding ceremony. A toned and defined back is one of the most underrated sexy looks a bride can rock on her big day. 

Your wonder workout: Prone back extensions

  • Lay on your front with your chest on the floor
  • Place your finger tips to temples, keep your feet held to the floor and gently use your back extensors to lift your torso off the floor
  • Lay yourself back down with control and repeat 10 to 15 times
  • Top tip: Be aware of how naturally flexible your own spine is, being careful not to over-arch when you lift up

If you need more inspiration, you can enjoy the Barreworks classes online, or in the studio in Richmond (check out the bridal package, with six week unlimited classes, a private group session for your hen do and an hour of private rehearsal time for your first dance). 

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