Weddings

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Toned arms = wedding ready

Shopping for a wedding gown is a tradition that follows shortly after the engagement has taken place and the ceremony date is set. Some women have very clear ideas of which type of silhouette and features they desire in a wedding gown, while others are open to suggestion. Most brides-to-be hope to look their most radiant in this custom-tailored creation.

According to Kim Forrest, the editor of WeddingWire, an online marketplace for wedding-related items, strapless dresses are the standard for wedding attire, and that trend is unlikely top change anytime soon. Style directors for Martha Stewart Weddings agree, saying that roughly 75 percent of wedding dresses are strapless, although some alternative necklines are starting to become more popular. With so much attention directed their way, brides might look for ways to tone their upper bodies in advance of the big day.

Arm-, chest- and shoulder-toning exercises can be part of a strong fitness regimen. The upper arms and the shoulders have no fewer than nine primary muscles that will need firming for brides to make an impact while walking down the aisle.

Tame flabby areas with exercise. According to the University of Connecticut, the upper arms are a part of the female body where fat tends to be stored, along with the hips and thighs. Toning this area may take a combination of diet and exercise.

Begin with the biceps, which are the front muscles of the arms directly above the elbows. Biceps are one of the stronger arm muscles, and bicep curls can help strengthen biceps further. Shape magazine suggests performing 12 repetitions of three hand positions, palms up, palms down and thumbs to the side, to really work this area.

The triceps are a single muscle that have three sections, according to Fitness. Doing triceps kick-backs, bench dips and triangle push-ups can really activate these muscles and cause them to become stronger and more toned.

Strengthening and elongating shoulder muscles may take a combination of exercises that work not only the deltoids (muscles surrounding the shoulders), but the chest and back as well. Arm raises, both with arms extended to the side and in front of the body, can work these areas well.

Brides who want to tone up can speak with a fitness instructor at a nearby gym to learn the various ways to firm their arms, chests and backs in advance of their wedding days.

Pulaski Citizen