Smutty Fitness: Wedding Arms

Hayley Posted by Hayley at August 21, 2013 14:22:47 August 21, 2013 14:22:47

Hayley, I'm a cliché - I'm getting married in a year and want to get started on trying to tone up my upper body. Can you give me some suggestions for exercises targeting shoulders, chest and back - preferably using free weights? My current workouts include cardio (elliptical or treadmill), walking lunges, and some free-weight arm exercises. Thanks!


I would have to say you are not a cliché as 9 times out of 10 I see brides-to-be scrambling weeks out from their wedding trying to tone their arms. You are definitely an anomaly!

These are 5 of my favorite arm exercises that target all the areas you are looking for. You need a stability ball, a mat and one set of dumbbells weighing 8 or 10 pounds and one weighing 3 or 5 pounds. Do the exercises in this order or add them into the routine you are already doing.

Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press
Lie on your back on the stability ball with your head and shoulder blades positioned comfortably on the ball and your feet shoulder width apart, hips pushed up high. Keeping one arm straight, lower the other arm to 90 degrees making sure you keep your hips still as they will want to shift with the lowering weight (this works your core). Press that arm up and then repeat on the other side. Complete 15-20 repetitions and you can alternate between the left and right sides or do all of them on one side then do the other.

Stability Ball Push-ups
Place your knees onto the ball (as you get stronger you can move farther out onto your shins and then toes) and your hands on the floor in a push up position. You want your hands just slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your body weight directly over your hands. Lower your upper body towards the floor while engaging your core and your back, coming down far enough that your arms are bent to 90 degrees. Activate the chest and shoulders and push yourself back up to a straight arm position. Start with 5 repetitions and work your way up to 20.

Straight Arm Reverse Flies
Begin in a straight arm plank position with a light dumbbell positioned directly under your chest. Grabbing the weight in one hand, rotate your feet and hips as you lift the weight, keeping your arm straight and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Rotate your body back to the floor, place the weight down and repeat on the other side. Start with 5 on each side and work your way up to 10.

Straight Arm Plank Rows
In the same position as the last exercise, using the 10 pound dumbbell, you will grab the weight in one hand, row it up to your hip leading with the elbow and keeping your body still (your body will want to shift so keep your core strong to keep your hips still). Place the weight back onto the floor and repeat with the other side.  Again, start with 5 on each side and work your way up to 10. 

Up Downs
This is one of my favourite exercises (Lainey: this is my LEAST favourite!) as not only does it work your upper body but it gets your heart rate up as well. You will start this exercise in the straight arm plank position as well. Lower yourself onto your right elbow, then come down onto your left, back up on your right then back up on your left.  Do 10 all on one side then repeat on the other. As you become stronger, work up to 20 a side.

Attached – Busy Philipps power walking.


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