During most ceremonies you spend 80 % of the time with your back to the crowd, so when you are preparing for your walk down the aisle you need to spend time focusing on strengthening and defining these muscles. So whether your dress is strapless, halter or backless – your back must look fabulous during the I Do’s.
Tip : A simple way to make your back look instantly more defined and confident is to stand tall and hold your shoulders back. You will be surprised how quickly posture improves your overall appearance (you can instantly look skinnier by simply standing straight up!) This is written for all of my brides out there who sit at a desk or hunch over for 8+ hours of the day. I challenge you to constantly self correct yourself pulling your core tight, shoulders back and sitting tall through your day. It is vital for you to add exercises into your routine which work your back muscles and strengthen your core to help improve your posture.
Here are a couple of my favorite back exercises:
Birddog – Begin on all fours on your yoga mat. Slowly extend your opposite leg and arm and tighten your core to help you balance. Lift your arm and leg up high and then lower them back to where you started. Alternate with your right arm/left leg and left arm/right leg. Complete 15 lifts on each side. Keep your head facing down in order to keep your spine in a neutral position.
Y, T and I Raises – This is a great move for beginners and can be done simply on a yoga mat (as shown below) or on a stability ball or bench. You want to use your core and back muscles to lift your torso off the floor and raise your arms to make a Y shape. You may also bring your arms straight to your side to make a T shape, or directly forward to make an I with your body.
Inchworm – You will get a full body workout with this move. Begin in a standing position and bend over so your hands are on the ground. If you aren’t flexible yet bend your knees slightly, but begin working to where you can keep your legs straight when you bend over. Next, walk your hands out while keeping your legs as straight as possible until you are in a full plank position and hold for a 1 – 2 second count. Walk your arms back in towards your legs and return to a fully standing position. Repeat 10 – 15x.
Pull-ups – Pull-ups are a more advanced move and you will need to work up to where you can do an unassisted pull up. They take a lot of back strength but are a great way to add definition to your back. I suggest using an assisted pull up machine at your gym or finding a trainer or strong friend to hold your feet and help give you resistance while you are learning. With an assisted pull up machine you are able to control the amount of weight which is helping you, slowing decrease the weight as you continue to practice these.
Lat Pull-downs are a great way to start building up that back strength you will need to complete the above pullup. Sit down on the machine facing the weights, brace your core and pull down on the bar towards your chest. Complete 12 – 15 of the pull-downs at a weight where that last repetition is a struggle for you to complete.
By strengthening your back you will improve your posture and set yourself up for less injuries in the future. Oh wait, you will also look FABULOUS in your wedding dress while you are standing in front of 150 of your friends and family members. Hit the gym and start working in some of these back exercises to your routine. If you have any questions on proper technique please email me or ask a personal trainer at your gym.
What is the main muscle group you are working on for your wedding?