Sculpt Strapless Gown-Ready Arms for Wedding Day

Carrie Bradshaw says that the “most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.” If you feel the challenge of prioritizing yourself throughout wedding planning, you are not alone. A smokin’ bridal bod can feel daunting amongst cake tastings, late-night seating charts, and future in-laws. That’s where Dallas-local Katherine Bahlburg of Bells and Barbells comes in. Each month, Bells and Barbells will guide us through a new workout tailored to wedding day worries.

Unless you plan to don a ruffled ’80s number, your upper body will likely be on full display on wedding day. For this reason, many bride’s include toned arms on their wedding fitness goals so Bells and Barbells designed a bicep, tricep, and shoulder workout to totally rock that trouble area. Whether you invested in a Victoria Beckham strapless ball gown or a Pippa Middleton lace cap-sleeve, get ready to confidently bare arms.

Arms Be Rockin’

by Bells and Barbells

You will need a resistance band and mat for this workout. Complete 1-3 circuits of the full workout routine 3-days a week for ultimate sculpting.

World’s Greatest Stretch

A full body dynamic stretch to loosen the hips, open the chest, and activate the core while promoting fluid movement from head to toe. 

  1. Start with feet together and arms at your side. Raise arms over head as you lift your chest and take a deep breath.
  2. As you bring arms down, fold over at the waist and reach for your toes. Walk hands out until you are at the top position of a plank. Ensure you tighten your core and don’t dip your hips.
  3. Pull right foot around to your right hand as you pull shoulders back and lift your chest, a position known as “runners lunge.” Bounce your hips in this position for 5 counts.
  4. Return back to plank position. Continue the same move on your left side.

Reps: Complete as many reps needed to fully loosen your muscles, about 3-5 reps on each side. 

Tip: If you are unable to touch your toes as you walk into plank, widen your stance until you can keep your legs fairly straight as you reach for the floor. Bravo to the ladies who can lay their hands flat!

Pushup Challenge

Finish your warm-up with a push-up challenge, focusing on technique and preparing arm muscles to work.

  1. Start in plank position. 
  2. Keep hands under your shoulders as you start bend at the elbow, ensuring your elbows are going slightly back at a 45-degree angle. This protects your shoulders, isolates your chest and targeted muscles.
  3. Bend elbows as low as you can while maintaining form then push up back into plank position.
  4. Complete as many push-ups possible in 20 seconds for one rep.

Reps: 3 rounds of 20-second increments.

Tip: If you start on your toes but find yourself struggling to maintain your core, drop to your knees to protect your low back. Stick with this workout to progress into a full push-up.

Bicep ‘W’-Curls

Side oblique twist with a chest press to get your arms burning.

  1. Start by standing with resistance band under feet, knees soft, glutes squeezed, spine lengthened, and shoulders blades pulled together. 
  2. Hold the resistance band in each hand with arms extended down, thumbs pointing away from your body, and palms resting on your thighs. 
  3. Start to squeeze your biceps as you curl the resistance band up to your shoulders keeping your thumbs turned out. Your bicep muscle should be fully activated. 
  4. Slowly lower your arms back down letting your biceps control the fall and not the weight of the resistance band. 

Reps: Complete 10-16 reps.

Tip: Make sure you don’t arch your back and keep knees soft and core tight. Rest and reset as needed.

Single Arm High Bicep Curl

A challenging, single arm movement toning and defining the peak of your bicep. Can we get a “heck yes”? 

  1. Anchor one resistance band handle to a sturdy object level with your shoulder.
  2. Stand far enough away from the object so the resistance band is pulled tight.
  3. Hold the loose handle with your right hand, feet shoulder-width apart, and left hand on your hip. You can stagger your feet for balance if needed.
  4. Curl the handle towards your ear, squeezing your biceps for a one-count.
  5. Slowly extend your elbow back to parallel with the ground, stopping when it’s just slightly bent to protect against hyperextension.

Reps: Complete 10-16 reps on each each arm. 

Tip: You can adjust band resistance by either standing closer or further away from the object you attached it too. Just make sure your form doesn’t falter. 

90-Degree Bicep Pulse Burn Out

Wrap up the bicep portion of your exercise with a complete bicep muscle burn.

  1. Start by standing with resistance band under feet, knees soft, glutes squeezed, spine lengthened, and shoulders blades pulled together. 
  2. With palms facing upwards in the resistance band handle, raise both arms to a 90-degree angle.
  3. Pulse your forearms in small, up-and-down movements.

Reps: 20-40 pulses

Standing Tricep Push-Down

Focused tricep extension.

  1. Wrap resistance band around a sturdy object and grasp a handle in each hand with a palms-down grip.
  2. Lean forward slightly at the hips with soft knees and elbows close to your sides. With resistance handles in hand, bring your forearms parallel to the floor.
  3. Press the handles toward your thighs, flexing triceps, until elbows are fully extended. 
  4. Hold the position at peak muscle contraction for two seconds before returning to the 90-degree starting position.

Reps: Complete 15-20 reps.

Tip: Control your movement back up careful not to allow the weight of the band pull you back too quickly.

Single-Arm Tricep Extension

Tricep isolation with slow and controlled movement.

  1. Anchor one resistance band handle to a sturdy object level with your shoulder.
  2. Stand far enough away from the object so the resistance band is pulled tight.
  3. With soft knees, bend at the waist until your torso is almost at a 90-degree angle to the floor.
  4. Hold the loose end of the resistance band in your right hand while your forearm and upper arm form a 90-degree angle. 
  5. Use the triceps to extend your right arm backwards until completely straight. Be sure your upper arm remains stationary while your triceps move your forearm backwards.
  6. Slowly lower the resistance band handle back to the starting position. Repeat the same movement on left side.

Reps: Complete 10-12 each arm.

Tip: Keep your head inline with your spine and your chin titled slightly up. 

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