Have you said “yes” to the dress? Then it’s time to start toning the upper body for the big day! The number one body part that is in full view of your friends and family as you stand at the altar is your back. Try these big bang exercises to develop an enviable upper body and “bridal back” sure to stun everyone in the crowd.
Pull-ups are the perfect exercise to work the entire backside of the upper body, as well as the core. Use the assisted pull-up machine or pull-up bands for this set of exercises, and try completing 5 repetitions of the 3 pull-up variations back-to-back, with little to no rest.
- Wide Grip: Set your arms wider than shoulder-width and concentrate on pulling your elbows in toward your side as you lift yourself up. Then, lower yourself slowly and controlled.
- Narrow Reverse Grip: Grip the bar at shoulder-width with your palms facing you. Concentrate on lifting your chest up toward the bar as you squeeze your elbows toward your sides. Lower slowly.
- Narrow Grip: Grip the bar at shoulder-width with palms facing away. Concentrate on staying open through the chest and rolling your shoulders back and down as you lift yourself up. Lower slowly.
Defining the back of the upper arm will happen quickly with this heavy dose of triceps combing a triceps push-up with a row and kickback. Here’s the sequence breakdown to repeat with both arms, 5 times each:
1. Triceps Push-up: Grasping a pair of hand weights, place your hands about shoulder distance apart on the floor. Begin with a triceps push-up (on your knees or toes). Lower yourself while squeezing your elbows in to your sides. Be sure to keep your shoulders rolled back and chest open.
2. Row: Once you return to the push-up starting position, execute a row with one hand by pulling the weight up toward your midsection as the elbow, staying close to the body, levels with the back or slightly above.
3. Kick-back: Next, extend your elbow and push the hand weight back for the kick-back. Bend the elbow, return the weight to your side and then back to the floor. Keep your hips level to engage your core.
Curl & Press
Finally, here’s a combo exercise to sculpt the front of the upper arm and shoulders. Begin with a hammer curl: Grasping weights in both hands, palms facing in toward your thighs, keep your elbows in toward your body and slightly in front of you as you bend your elbows, bringing the weights up to your shoulders. Then, press the weights straight up toward the ceiling, keeping your palms facing in. Lower the weights back to your shoulders, extend the elbows and return the weights to the starting position. Complete 15 repetitions.
Repeat the full circuit (all 3 exercises) 3 times, 2-3 times per week leading up to the big day. Combine this quick-fix routine with high intensity interval cardio workouts and a balanced diet for the best effect.