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CrossFit® / June 2016
Mattie Schuler, Contributor

6 Moves to Get You Wedding-Season Ready

Whether it's your own day or you are slogging to three-plus celebrations this summer, wedding season is here and it's time to amp up your fitness routine for those sleeveless tops and short dresses.

We spoke with Ally Bushey, a trainer at Reebok CrossFit ONE in Canton, Mass., and a soon-to-be bride herself, to get the details on the best moves for working out those areas that you're looking to highlight this summer.

Her go-to advice?

"Use lighter weights with higher reps to tone up," says Bushey, who recommends moves that focus on the shoulders, back and legs since popular dress styles this summers include strapless, backless and high-low dresses.

Whenever you're attending a wedding, it's important to choose an outfit that boosts your confidence and makes you feel good about all the hard work you have put in.

If you have a petite figure, wear a form-fitting dress so that your small frame doesn't get lost in flowy fabric or lots of tulle.

The opposite goes for those with a square or less curvy body type: opt for a dress that cinches at the waist, as well as one that has a little more volume, such as tulle, ruffles, or a tulip skirt.

Whatever the style you choose, you want to feel comfortable and fearless when you start a toast or bust a few moves out on the dance floor.

Bushey's here to help with that, giving us her top exercises to get you looking and feeling your best.

Shoulders & biceps

To get your shoulders in shape for all those strapless dresses, aim for any strength exercise that works with pushing or pressing overhead. Bushey recommends doing an overhead press or a push-press.

Start with your feet hip-width distance apart and under your hips while still standing upright with a barbell resting on your shoulders. Keep a tight core by “sending your belly button to your spine," says Bushey. Push the bar up and over your head, and finish with your arms locked out over the top. Bring the bar back to your shoulders, and repeat.

ally wedding moves push press


Backless and open-back dresses are big this summer; to get your back muscles in tip-top shape, Bushey says to opt for any sort of fly movement—something that works the chest and back area by opening up and closing your arms.

Seated or standing, start with a dumbbell in each hand and arms out in front of you parallel to the ground. Open up your arms straight to the sides, making a T with your body, then move them back to the front of your body. “Squeeze your shoulder blades together and imagine that you have a pencil in-between them and you need it to stay there," adds Bushey. “For the best effects, squeeze the entire time, even when arms are out in front of you."

Quads & glutes

An easy, no-weights-necessary move is the simple air squat. You'll work your entire lower body: quads, hips, butt and even hamstrings. Doing a squat incorrectly, though, can be damaging to your joints, so keep your feet outside of your hips. Let your weight sit in your heels and drop your butt so that it is parallel or lower to the ground. Stand all the way up at the top with hips completely open.

ally wedding moves air squat

Hamstrings & hips

For another lower-body workout for those short, flowy dresses, add in a few Good Mornings to your strength training routine. which work your entire posterior train, like the spine, hamstrings, glutes, and core.

Standing up tall, starting with a barbell behind your shoulders. Hinge forward at the hips (keeping the barbell resting on the back your shoulders) like you are going to touch your toes. Once you feel the move in your hamstrings and butt (about when your torso is parallel to the floor), stand back up. “For optimal core support, the key is to keep a nice, flat back and maintain a 'proud chest' while squeezing in your belly," Bushey says.


Other than busting out a bunch of calf raises, Bushey recommends jumping exercises, such as jumping rope or box jumps. She points out that box jumps can be easily executed anywhere. "Use a bench in a park, the bottom set of stairs (jump about two or three steps up) or a solid, stable surface around your house, like a ledge outside or a crate."

ally wedding moves box jumps

Total Body

For overall. total-body toning (and a cardio boost, too), add AMRAP workouts — gym-speak for “as many reps as possible" — into your exercise routine. Basically, you set a time limit — 10 minutes, for instance — and shoot for as many reps as you can complete of two to three designated movements within that time frame.

For example, alternate between 10 burpees and 10 air squats, or 10 burpees and 10 sit-ups, seeing how many rounds you can get in before the clock times out. Remember, when doing an AMRAP workout, the point is speed.

By incorporating these exercises into your gym routine, you'll be feeling fit and ready to go by the time the champagne pops.

CrossFit® / June 2016
Mattie Schuler, Contributor