Workout Tips for a Strapless Gown

These shoulder and chest exercises will provide an elegant frame for your wedding dress.

justin alexanderEliminate any bridal bulges in your strapless gown by following one of our custom-developed routines with variations for both gym and home. Both were developed by Bonne Marano, a certified personal trainer in New York City. Please remember, when you try this or any other new fitness regime: safety first! If you're not sure you understand an exercise please seek out a qualified fitness professional who can check your form in person. And don't forget to stand up straight--good posture is essential!

In the Gym

First, warm up. At a moderate speed, circle your arms back ten times and then forward ten times. Repeat each set three times. Roll your shoulders up and back ten times in each direction. Shrug your shoulders ten times. Then do three sets of each of the following exercises. Be sure to adjust the suggested weights based on your personal ability.

Smith Machine Shoulder Press

The set-up: Set bench, angled to 90 degrees or less, inside a Smith machine. Place one 5-pound plate on each side of the machine. Sit with good posture on the bench. Grasping the bar, unlock it and extend your arms so the bar is just above your shoulders.

The movement: Press the handles upward until your arms are fully extended without locking the elbows. Slowly lower to start position.

Reverse Fly

The set-up: Sit at the pec-deck machine with your chest against the pad. Start with the weight at 20 pounds. Position the handles at shoulder level to allow a full range of motion. Grasp the handles.

The movement: Keeping your torso pressed against the chest pad begin to pull the handles out and to the rear with a slight bend in the elbows. Keep your elbows up and squeeze your rear delts. Let the handles move forward until they almost reach the starting point. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Cable Lateral Raise

The set-up: Start with 5 or 10 pounds on the weight stack of a low pulley cable machine. Stand with your right side next to the machine. With the left hand, grasp the handle so that the cable is behind your body.

The movement: With a slight bend at the elbow, lift the cable handle out and up until the arm is parallel to the floor. Slowly lower the arm and repeat 10 to 12 times.

Cable Front Raise

The set-up: Start with 10 to 15 pounds on the weight stack of a low pulley cable machine. Attach the rope to the low pulley. Take the rope between your legs, and grab the handles so that your back is facing the machine.

The movement: With a slight bend at the elbows, lift the cable out and up in front of you until your arms are parallel to the floor. Slowly lower the arms and repeat 10 to 12 times.

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Photo courtesy of Justin Alexander