Get Wedding-Ready Fitness Routine
These super-sculpting exercises were created by personal trainer Brett Hoebel, and designed to make toning up for the big day easy -- whether you're a beginner or a fitness fanatic. Choose a few of them to target a trouble spot, or incorporate them all into a full-body workout.
For best results, do 12 to 15 reps of each exercise, and 2 to 3 sets every time. Switch sides so your muscles develop evenly, and take it slow -- count about six seconds per move -- to really get results. When you find that the basic moves are no longer as challenging, take your routine to the next level with our upgrades. Ready to get started? You're just one click away.
Front squats: for quads, hamstrings, and glutes
Start here: With your arms crossed over your chest, lower yourself down, bending your knees, so your legs form a 90-degree angle (as if you're about to sit in a chair). Then rise up, squeezing your glutes together.
Take it to the next level: Hold a set of 8-pound dumbbells, with your arms by your sides. Bend your elbows to bring the weights to shoulder level, and then begin the squat.
Pushups: for abs, chest, and arms
Start here: Get into plank position, keeping your back straight, abs contracted, feet shoulder-width apart, and head up. Count to three as you lower yourself down to the ground, and repeat as you rise back up.
Take it to the next level: Rather than placing your hands on the ground, elevate them on a step or yoga block.
Forearm plank: for abs and shoulders
Start here: Get into plank position, keeping your abs contracted and feet shoulder-width apart. Place forearms flat on the ground, palms facedown. Hold for 60 seconds.
Take it to the next level: Instead of positioning your feet side-by-side, stack them heel-to-toe.
Close row: for triceps and upper and lower back
Start here: Holding onto the edge of a chair for support, bend at the knees with a dumbbell in one hand. Pull the weight back toward your chest. Fully extend your arm, keeping it parallel to your thigh.
Take it to the next level: Let go of the chair and lightly place your free hand on your thigh.
Twisting jackknife: for your core
Start here: Lie on your back with your arms extended to your sides. In one sweeping movement, touch your left hand to your right foot, lifting your head, shoulders, and right leg off the ground. Return to your starting position.
Take it to the next level: Lift your entire torso in addition to your head and shoulders.
Stationary lunge: for quads, hamstrings, and glutes
Start here: Stand with your feet about a leg's distance apart, right foot in front of the left. Let your arms hang straight by your sides. Bend your right knee down to a 90-degree angle without letting your left knee touch the ground, then rise up.
Take it to the next level: Hold an 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, and bring them together at collarbone level. Rest the weights against your chest, and then begin the lunge.
Wood chop: for obliques and shoulders
Start here: Stand with your feet out to the side, about a leg's distance apart. Put your hands together, palms touching, and keep arms straight. Swing arms from the outside of one knee to the opposite shoulder, twisting your torso as you go.
Take it to the next level: Clasp your hands around one 8-pound dumbbell. Then reverse the movement, swinging your arms from one shoulder to the outside of the opposite knee.
Forearm side plank: for obliques, glutes, thighs, and shoulders
Start here: Lie on your left side, with one foot in front of the other. Prop yourself up on your left forearm, and place your other hand on your waist. Lift your hips off the floor, and hold for 30 seconds.
Take it to the next level: Rather than resting your free hand on your waist, extend it toward the ceiling.
Waiter's bow: for triceps and upper and lower back
Start here: Stand with your knees bent, arms fully extended to the sides, and back angled forward. Fold over at the waist until your torso is parallel to the floor, then raise up to the starting position.
Take it to the next level: Instead of extending your arms at your sides, raise them up and over your head, palm to palm.
Cobra: for glutes and upper and lower back
Start here: Lie on your stomach with legs fully extended and arms flat on the floor in front of you. Raise your chest and head while sliding your arms toward your body so your elbows line up with your shoulders.
Take it to the next level: Raise your legs at the same time you lift your chest and head.
Plank row: for arms and core
Start here: Holding an 8-pound dumbbell in one hand while the other is placed firmly on the ground, get into plank position. Drop your knees so they're touching the floor. Pull the dumbbell straight up until it's right underneath your armpit, and then lower it down.
Take it to the next level: Rather than dropping your knees, remain in classic plank position.
Leg drop: for legs and core
Start here: Lie on your back with your arms straight along your sides. Lift one leg to hip level, keeping it fully extended with your foot flexed. Drop it slowly till it hovers above the floor, then bring it back up.
Take it to the next level: Raise and drop both legs, and instead of keeping your hands by your side, tuck them underneath your head.
Superman T: for upper and lower back and core
Start here: Lie on your stomach with your arms held straight out to your sides (so you form the letter T) and your toes flexed. In one movement, lift your chest, head, and legs off the floor.
Take it to the next level: Instead of extending your arms out to the side, place them out in front.
Bridge: for glutes, thighs, and lower back
Start here: Lie on your back with your knees bent so your feet are flat on the floor. Hold an 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, and bring them together above your head. Push your hips and lower back up toward the ceiling. Raise the dumbbells over your head to chest level, then return them to just above the floor.
Take it to the next level: Rather than bending both legs at the knee, keep one extended.
Reverse lunge: for glutes and thighs
Start here: Stand with your feet together and your arms crossed over your chest. Step back with one foot, and bend both knees until they form 90-degree angles (make sure your back knee doesn't touch the floor). Squeezing your glutes, rise up to standing position and bring your feet back together.
Take it to the next level: Rather than crossing your arms, hold an 8-pound dumbbell in each hand at collarbone level, elbows bent. As you're stepping back into place after the lunge, push the weights straight up toward the sky.
Wide row: for arms and back
Start here: Bend your knees, and lean forward. Grasp the edge of a supportive chair with one hand and an 8-pound dumbbell with the other. Hold the weight horizontally (your knuckles should be facing away from you) about six inches away from your knee. Pull it back toward your chest, bending at the elbow and creating a 90-degree angle with your arm.
Take it to the next level: Lose the chair, and hold a weight in both hands. Pull them back simultaneously.
Arm press: for shoulders and arms
Start here: Kneel on one knee. Place one hand on your hip, and hold an 8-pound dumbbell in the other. Extend your arm out to the side, and bend at the elbow to create a 90-degree angle. Push the weight straight up.
Take it to the next level: Stand instead of kneel and, holding a weight in both hands, press your arms overhead.
Reverse fly: for shoulders, abs, and back
Start here: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, gripping an 8-pound dumbbell in one hand. Bend over at the waist so your back is parallel with the floor, holding onto a chair for support. Raise the weight up and out, from knee to shoulder-level, keeping your arm straight.
Take it to the next level: Lose the chair and rely on your core to stay balanced.
Twisting plank: for core and shoulders
Start here: Get into plank position. With your palms flat on the floor, twist your torso outward, pivoting your toes as you move. Hold for 30 seconds.
Take it to the next level: After you twist, lift your top leg up and hold.
Interval training: for endurance, speed, and overall health
Start here: Run for 30 seconds, then walk for 90 seconds. Do this six to eight times.
Take it to the next level: Run for 60 seconds, then walk slowly for 90 seconds. Do this 10 to 12 times.
Meet Our Trainer
Brett Hoebel is an award-winning personal trainer and the founder of Hoebel Fitness. The New Jersey native has more than 15 years of experience in the health and wellness industry, and was recently named the new trainer for NBC's hit series, "The Biggest Loser." He is certified in C.H.E.K. (corrective holistic exercise kinesiology), kettlebell instruction, Olympic lifting, nutrition and lifestyle coaching, hatha yoga instruction, and prenatal/postpartum conditioning. Brett is known for his mind-body approach to exercise, which stems from a diverse background in Eastern and Western disciplines, including Afro-Brazilian capoeira and Muay Thai kickboxing.
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