Health and beauty go hand-in-hand, and when it comes to your big day it’s important not to forget about the benefits of exercise to ensure you look and feel amazing when you walk down the aisle. Not only does working up a sweat help to burn off those excess calories and tone up any wobbly bits, but it’s a great way to clear your mind – especially if you are working overtime planning your wedding!
Let’s face it, no matter what style of dress you choose, your top half is more than likely going to be on show. So, if looking fit and fabulous is on your wedding day wish-list then look no further, you don’t need to be a gym junkie or have expensive equipment to see results, all you need are a set of dumbbells, a resistance band, some space around your home and a little motivation.
Here are some training tips for your arms and shoulders to get you on track, good luck!
Push-up. Start on all fours with your arms shoulder width apart and your back straight. Keep your abs braced. Bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor and back up into the starting position. Do four sets of 15.
Tricep dips. Sit on a chair and place hands either side of your butt. Lift your butt off the chair keeping your hands where they are and your legs straight out in front of you. Slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself towards the floor. Slowly push up back into starting position.
Dumbbell arm circles. Lie on your back with knees bent. Hold dumbbells above your chest at shoulder width apart. Slowly lower the dumbbells to chest level. Bring dumbbells together and then push arms up to starting position. That’s one rep, do 20, four times. (This movement should be continuous, smooth and make a circle shape).
Resistance band row. Sit on the floor with legs and back straight. Place the middle of the band across the bottom of feet and hold the ends in each hand. Make sure your back is straight. Now pull the band back as far as you can, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Return to starting position. Do 20, four times.
Resistant band chest press. Lie on your back with the middle of the band in between the floor and your upper back. Hold ends in each hand making a fist and place elbows on the floor at chest level. Make sure band is tight. Lift arms straight up and bring hands together above chest. Lower band until elbows almost touch the floor. That’s one rep, do 20, four times.
Tricep push ups. In a push up position, place hands shoulder width apart and in line with your chest. Lower body and keep elbows close to sides. Push up to starting position.
Dumbbell shoulder circles. Stand with legs hip width apart. Hold dumbbells and lift your arms out to the sides until they are at shoulder level. Make 10-20 small circles forward, and then repeat in the opposite direction. Do four sets of 20.
Resistance band boxing. Stand with legs shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Place resistance band across your back, just below chest level and hold ends in each hand. Make a fist with each hand like you are about to begin boxing and quickly start punching the air in front of you, one hand at a time. Do this for as long as you can!
Resistance band bicep curl and shoulder press. Stand on the middle of resistance band with your feet hip width apart. Hold each end with hands by your sides and palms facing down. Bring up into a bicep curl, and then push arms up into the air bringing hands together above your head. Return to starting position and do four sets of 20.
Get moving. When working towards slim and toned arms it’s important to include cardiovascular exercise into your routine. While the above exercises help to tone your muscles, cardio is vital to help burn excess fat. Some great ways to train your arms and get your heart rate up are running, boxing, skipping and using the cross trainer.
Stretches. Make sure you stretch after you exercise. This will not only prevent soreness the next day but it will also promote long, lean muscles that will look amazing in your wedding dress!
Shoulder stretch. Place right arm across chest with elbow slightly bent. Use left arm to gently push right arm closer to chest. Stretch should be felt in right shoulder. Swap arms.
Bicep stretch. Use the corner of a wall and press right hand against one side. Twist upper body away from hand. Stretch should be felt along right bicep and chest. Swap arms.
Tricep stretch. Place right hand over head and onto middle of back. Use left hand to push right elbow down so right hand moves down back. Stretch should be felt in the back of your right arm. Swap arms.
Upper back stretch. Stretch arms in front of you and interlock fingers. Tuck butt and hips forward to help feel a deeper stretch across the top of back.
Chest stretch. Stretch arms behind you and interlock fingers. Push chest forward at the same time to feel a deep stretch across your chest.