There's a reason every bride wants to tone up her arms before the wedding day: Whether you're wearing a ball gown with extra crinoline or a curve-hugging mermaid, your upper body will be on full display in your wedding dress. (Even Duchess Kate's long-sleeve Alexander McQueen dress showcased her toned biceps.) But it's easier than you'd think to get wow-worthy arms in time for your walk down the aisle.
To tone your upper body, Barry's Bootcamp instructor Kate Lemere suggests bride-to-be start working your arms, back, and shoulders three months before your nuptials. Strength training builds muscle, which, in turn, revs up your metabolism, says the Chicago-based pro. "You will add definition to your body, keep your metabolism running like a well-oiled machine, and boost your energy level," she explains. (Lemere also advises committing to regular cardio and filling up on lean protein and healthy fats.) Grab 12- to 20-pound weights and do each of these eight moves for a minute, completing the whole circuit up to three times, says the pro, and in 12 weeks, you'll be flexing with pride.
Narrow Overhead Press
With dumbbells at your shoulders, turn your palms in to establish a neutral and narrow grip. Press the dumbbells overhead without flaring your elbows, slightly shrugging your shoulders at the top.
Stand with your torso upright and a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Curl the dumbbell forward while contracting the biceps. Continue to raise the weight until the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold for a brief moment as you squeeze the biceps. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
Triceps Kick Back
Start with a dumbbell in each hand, your palms facing in. Keep your back straight with a slight bend in the knees and bend forward at the waist. Bend your elbows so your hands are near your shoulders, then move your hands back until the arm is fully extended. Focus on only moving the forearm. After a brief pause at the top, inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
Place your back against a bench, table, or chair and put your hands on top, arms fully extended. (Your hips should be level with the top of the bench.) Keeping your back close to the bench, lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Once you reach the bottom of your range of motion, press yourself back up. Make sure to focus on the backside of your arms as opposed to your legs and hips.
Start in a plank position, arms extended with hands under your shoulders and a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your core strong as you alternate rowing your elbow back, making sure your arm stays tight against the torso and your hips stay square to the ground.
Start with your hands by your hips, a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing in. Lift your arms out until they're at shoulder height and parallel to the floor. Exhale as you lift to engage the core and keep proper form.
Standing upright, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bring your elbows to a 90-degree angle and flip your grip, so your palms face the ceiling. Maintaining a 90-degree bend, drag your elbows back to engage your lats and biceps simultaneously.
In a plank position, very similar to a renegade row, perform one push up on your knees or toes, immediately followed by one narrow row on each side. Return to plank position and hop your feet forward, then slowly stand up. As you stand upright, curl the dumbbells to your shoulder and finish with an overhead press.