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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Fit For A Bride - Exercise Shape-Up Tips

You've planned for the wedding dress, the caterers, the flowers, the wedding decoration and so on. But have you planned for yourself - here are some tips on how to make sure you look your best on your wedding day!

Here are three of my favourite exercises that can help you shape up for the big day - focus is on the upper back and the area under the arms, the shoulders, and the core region.






Incline Lateral Raise


This exercise works the middle shoulder area, so you will look good in an off-shoulder wedding gown.

How to do it: Holding a dumbbell in your right hand (1) rest the left side of your body on a fitball (or any stable surface that inclines about 30 degrees), right leg in front of the left. Keeping the abdominal region tight to protect the back and to ensure that you don't use momentum, raise the dumbbell till your right arm is perpendicular to the torso. (2) Keep the elbow slightly bent throughout the exercise. Return to start and repeat. Do three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.


Boat Pose

This exercise tones the abdominal muscles, which will make you look trim in most styles of wedding gowns, particularly those fitted at the waist, like a corset wedding gown.

This exercise is also good for the digestive and hormone systems, and relieves tension.

How to do it: Lie on the floor with knees bent and feet on the floor. (1) Inhale, hold your breath and raise your chest (2) and raise your feet off the floor. (3) Keeping your spine long and shoulders relaxed, breathe normally and hold this position for between five and 10 counts. Exhale and return to the start position. Do 10 repititions.

Dumbbell Pullover

This exercise tones the area under the arms, firms the upper back and makes you look great in off-shoulder, bustier or low-back gowns.

How to do it: Lie on the bench with feet on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in the palms of both hands, with the thumbs surrounding the handle, (1) and extend the arms over your head. Inhale and lower the dumbbell behind your head, bending the elbows slightly. (2) Exhale, and return to the start position. Start with four sets of 15 repetitions and gradually build up to four to five sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.

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