Wearing a Sweetheart Gown? Here's Your Must-Do Workout Move

bonne marcusGuest blogger: Bonne Marcus
A fitness industry expert for 27 years, Marcus holds numerous certifications from the Aerobic Fitness Association of America (AFAA), including Step, Spin, Bosu™, Pre/Post Natal, Youth Fitness, Aqua, and Personal Training. She has taught for New York City’s top health clubs, including Crunch, New York Health and Racquet, and Reebok Sports Club. A recognized name on Long Island, Bonne has taught at Dany Holdstein’s Two Worlds, North Shore Health Club, LA Fitness, Sport time, Equinox and currently teaches at the Sid Jacobsen JCC in Roslyn. Learn more at getfitwithbonne.com.

Are you are a bride wearing a sweetheart neckline? Here is an exercise from my upcoming book, Fit To Be Bride: The Wedding Workout, that will have your bust rise to the occasion.

Push-Up for Perkier Pecs

While it won't increase your cup size, a few push-ups each day will help to lift and define your chest, giving you a fuller, shapelier appearance. Love 'em? Hate 'em? Just do them. Push-ups are, by far, my favorite upper body exercise. In fact, if I had to choose only one exercise to do for my upper body for the rest of my life, nothing beats the push-up. It always shows me my fitness level. If it feels too difficult, it means one of two things; I’ve been slacking off and letting myself get weak, or I’m packing on the pounds. Either way, it is time for me to work harder and watch my diet! Not only are push-ups the best, they are something almost everybody can do. Barring spinal injuries and rotator cuffs issues, and unless you've specifically been told not to do push-ups by your doctor or medical practitioner, you should do them.

Here's a bunch of fun (okay, maybe not so fun) ways to do a push-up, in order from easiest to hardest.

First, select your level. For the beginner push-up, also known as a "girl" push-up, position yourself on your hands and knees with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your pelvis shifted forward.

modified push ups

modified push ups

Next: The standard push-up. Positioned on your hands and feet, keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your fingers spread and pointing straight ahead. Keep your back straight, your abs contracted, your booty down, and your spine aligned. The start — or "up" position — is with your arms straight. Inhale as you lower yourself toward the floor, and exhale as you push yourself up from the floor. Aim for 15-20 repetitions.

standard push up

standard push up

Once you master the basic push-up, challenge yourself with a variety of hand positions. Add a stability ball:

stability ball push up

A medicine ball:

medicine ball push up

Or incorporate other exercise, like push-up to side plank, push-up with a mountain climb, squat thrust to a push-up, or push-up to one arm row.

If you need more instructions or ideas, email me at [email protected] or follow me on Facebook.

—Bonne Marcus

Photo Credit: Robert Cincinnati / Model: Maddi-Lyn Alvarez