Tone It Up In Tiny Steps

Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day.  But most of the affianced are so busy, working out comes last on their list of “must do’s” for the day.  You meant to workout out, you really did, but there are so many things that you’d rather do than sweat for the dress.  The good news is, there are little things you can do to give yourself a little boost without packing your gym bag.  You can take 30 seconds here, 5 minutes there and before you know it, you’re feeling (and seeing!) the change!


If you’re looking to tone up before the big day, I’ve got you, girl!

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Sexy, Sleek Arms

With the enormous popularity of strapless dresses, toning up your arms is a must.  Here are a few simple moves you can do anytime.

Arm Circles: Shoulders, Back, Triceps, Biceps

Stand with your feet hip width, and your arms stretched to your sides.  Simply make 20 small circles backward, about the size of a grapefruit, then do the same forwards.  When you’re ready to push yourself harder, add a 2-3-pound weight in each hand.   

Shoulder Press: Shoulders, Triceps

Standing with feet under your hips, bring your weights up to your shoulders, with your elbows pointed out.  Raise your weights straight up, and bring back down.  Repeat 20 times; as you get stronger, increase your weights.  Resistance bands also work well, here. 

Tricep Push-Back, Triceps

No one actually likes working their triceps.  It’s such an unforgiving, tiny muscle, but when you’ve got them…you flaunt them.  Grab a light weight, stand with knees gently bent.  Lean over slightly, and bring the weights up to your pits, almost as if you were doing a curl.  Now, extend your arms back, lifting your arms straight behind you.  Return to the curl and repeat 20 times.  

Baby’s Got Back

If you sit at a desk all day, odds are your booty isn’t quite as, let us say, plump as it used to be.  It happens, but you can do something about it.

Stairs

An easy and equipment free option that burns calories without really going out of your way.  Take them two at a time, take them instead of the elevator, just take them.

Squats

No weights needed, gravity will do it for you.  Try two different versions.  The classic squat: Standing with your knees just wider than hip width, squat down, keeping your back straight, until your knees are at a 90-degree angle.  Stand up straight and repeat 20 times.  Sumo squat: with your feet spread slightly wider than before, turn your feet out.  Keeping your knees over your feet, squat down again to a 90-degree angle. Repeat as before.  The first squat will work your largest booty muscle; the second will work the small muscle on the sides.

Booty Kicks

Booty kicks work the last part of your booty that will give you that extra lift.  Rest on your hands and knees, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.  From here lift your right leg until it is level with your torso, keeping it bent at all times at 90-degrees.  Repeat 20 times and then repeat with the other leg.  If you find this too easy, place a 3-5 pound weight behind your knee, and lift as before.  You’ll be on your way to a Sir-Mix-A-Lot approved booty in no time!

Core

You may not be showing off your abs on your wedding day, but most honeymoons involve a bathing suit, so toning up that core is still a priority.

Planks

No doubt you’ve done these, and they still hold up.  If you haven’t, you hold your body in a straight line, as if you were doing a push-up, but on your elbows.  Here are some variations to change it up a bit, generally speaking, hold these for 30 seconds:

  • Half-plank: Same as a full plank but with your knees down. Which is good if you are starting out.  It’s better to have proper posture than to compromise it and not work the right muscle. 

  • Side-plank: Get in push-up position.  Holding your body straight, shift all your weight to your right leg and right arm, turning your body to face open.  If this move is too much, you can drop your knee or your elbow. 

  • Planks with drops: Get in full-plank position and hold for 10 seconds.  Drop your weight to the ground, rest 3 seconds then go back to plank. Repeat three times.

Weighted Obliques

Grab something heavy, whatever you have on hand (10 lbs+).  Standing straight up, hold the weight in your right hand at your hip.  Gently allow the weight to pull your torso down sideways, then use your core to stand up straight again.  You should feel this one in your side.  Do 15 reps per side.

Squeeze It

A solid move that doesn’t require you even to get up (win!).  Sit with your best posture.  Draw your navel to your spine and hold for 5 seconds at a time.  Release, and repeat.  As you are able, hold for longer periods of time.  This will also be a fantastic one to keep in mind if you have babies.  Traditional ab moves can be bad for your abdominal muscles while they recover if you end up with Diastasis Recti.  But that’s a conversation for another time.

Long, Lean Legs

Can’t forget about the legs!  They will probably be hidden under your dress, but you have to have some strength to rock those Jimmy Choo’s all night long. I love all of these because you can do them at your desk, and usually holding onto your chair for support.   Absolutely can’t stop reading that report, that’s fine because you won’t be jumping up and down or anything crazy like that.

Parallel Thigh Work

Hold onto your chair, feet forward and under your hips.  Raise your heels up and bend your knees while keeping your torso straight up.  You should feel the burn in your quads as you go down and release as you stand.  Repeat for 1 minute.

Leg Lifts

Think of every ballet warm-up scene you’ve ever seen.  It’s that move, and it’s an oldie but a goodie.  Standing holding your support, stand in first position (heels together with a slight turn-out).  Lift your right leg, keeping it straight and turned out, as high as you can.  Lower, and repeat.  You can also change it up by pulsing instead of lowering all the way.  Change it up by doing the same move but by bringing your leg back.  You’ll feel this one in your hip flexors.

Circles

Just like the first move I mentioned, this uses tiny movements for big results.  Take the same position as the leg lifts (first position), but this time, only lift your leg up a little. Make tiny circles with your feet forward, then switch sides.  You can do the same movement but to the side for slightly different muscle development.



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It doesn’t take a gym membership to tighten up your muscles before the big day.  It just takes a moment here and there, whenever you can find it.  Which, truthfully, is sometimes all the time we have.  Go tone up, you busy girl!