Whether you're prepping for a wedding or you just want to wear a little black dress for a night out, going strapless can highlight some of your problem areas. Bra bulge, armpit overhang and sloppy shoulders can make you feel self-conscious, so target those trouble areas well in advance of wearing your strapless frock. Completing a back and shoulder workout two to three times per week in addition to your daily cardio can help you feel confident and toned enough to wear your strapless dress with pride.
Pushups for Armpit Overhang
If you feel like a strapless dress highlights extra skin around your armpits, try doing planks and pushups to target the often-tricky area. Start with a wide push -- space your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart and spread your feet to the same distance, completing eight to 12 pushups two to three times. Then, try timing yourself on doing a perfect plank with your entire body completely level. As you become stronger, you should be able to hold the plank longer -- and see svelter underarms.
Dips for Jiggly Triceps
If you feel self-conscious about your triceps in a strapless dress, you'll need to tone up the area on the underside of your arm between your elbow and shoulder. Triceps dips are an excellent way to strengthen triceps for better tone. Start sitting on the edge of a sturdy chair and place your hands beside your hips. Lift your buttocks and walk your legs out until your knees are at a 45-degree angle. The wider you walk out, the more challenging the exercise will be. Exhale as you bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor and inhale to come back to starting position. Make the exercise even more challenging by resting your calves on a stability ball instead, suggests "Brides" magazine.
Flies for a Toned Back
Strapless dresses show off your back, so work towards a more toned, slim upper back with flies. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your knees bent. Hinge at the hips so your back and legs create a 45-degree angle. Hold two dumbbells in your hands with your elbows bent to 90 degrees. Inhale as you raise the dumbbells until your fists are parallel with your shoulders and then slowly resist the weight back down to the start position. Choose a weight that allows you to do eight to 12 reps and repeat two or three times.
Dumbbell Presses for Strong Shoulders
Finally, finish off your workout with the star of the show: your shoulders. Dumbbell presses help strengthen shoulder muscles and when done with a stability ball, help to tone your core as well. Lay with your upper back on a stability ball and your knees forming a 90-degree angle, feet planted firmly on the floor. With a dumbbell in either hand, rotate your shoulders so your elbows create a 90-degree angle and your fists are pointed toward the ceiling. Inhale and press upward until your elbows are extended, but not locked, warns the American Council on Exercise. Slowly come back and repeat eight to 12 times for two or three sets.
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