4 Wedding Dresses, 12 Workout Tips Every Bride Can Use

UPDATE: This story was originally posted on June 4.
A bride-to-be has a lot on her to-do list — so toning up for that wedding dress can't be a full-time job. And while there are no shortcuts to getting in shape, there are ways to maximize your precious time.
To ensure that your final fitting goes off without a hitch (or extra stitch), the experts at Unicus Fitness (known for its butt-kicking bridal boot camps) taught us 12 key exercises that'll flatter four different dress silhouettes — and help you look your bridal best. Not getting married? No problem! These gym-free tips will work no matter what color your dress is.
Model: Caroline Albertello, Ford Models Chicago
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Backless Dress

A toned back can be as sexy as a pair of gams! For each of these exercises, do three sets of 12 to 15 reps. "But If you really want a challenge, time yourself instead," says co-owner Frank Nunez. "Challenge yourself to do as many reps of each exercise as possible in 60 seconds."

Note: Use the rep or timed rule for all of the exercises in this slideshow.

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Exercise 1: Pull-Back

Wrap a resistance band (with handles) around the back of your shoes to create an anchor. Be sure to sit up as straight as you can.
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Keeping your elbows close to your sides, pull back on the band and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Gently bring your arms back to the starting postion using control, not momentum.
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Exercise 2: The Superman

Lay your torso across a stability ball, making sure that the top of your thighs are touching the ball to give you some support. Spread your arms straight out in front of you.
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With your toes on the floor, slowly raise your torso up as high as you can go, making sure to keep your neck in line with your spine. Keep your legs slightly bent. "If you allow your legs to straighten, you'll be doing the exercise incorrectly," says Nunez.
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Exercise 3: Lateral Raise

Place one foot in the middle of a resistance band. Hold the handles firmly.
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Keeping your arms as straight as possible (without locking the elbows), gradually raise the band.
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Stop raising when you reach about shoulder level.
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Slowly bring your arms back down to the starting position, making sure to use control, not momentum.
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Mermaid Dress

Try these moves to help whittle your middle so you can show off your killer curves in this form-fitting dress style.

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Exercise 1: Wood Chop

Using a weighted medicine ball, slowly go into a low squat while bringing the ball to the outside of your knee. "Make sure you keep your chest and your back out to avoid injury," says Nunez.
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Keeping your feet flat on the floor, swing the ball up across your body to the opposite side. Try to keep your arms as straight as possible.
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Swing back to the starting position. After you've completed your set, repeat on the other side.
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Exercise 2: PushUp Hold With Tuck

Start by getting into a plank position.
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Slowly bring your right knee into your chest, exhaling at the same time.
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Bring leg back to the starting (plank) position.
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Repeat on the other side.

Can't do a plank? No problem! "You can modify this move by getting on your knees, bending your arm up by your ear and twisting so that your elbow touches your opposite knee," says Nunez.
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Exercise 3: Rotational Twist

Position yourself into a low, wide squat. Keeping your arms as straight as possible, hold a dumbbell (8 to 10 pounds) out straight in front of you.
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Keeping your torso facing forward, rotate your arms to the left.
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Keeping a constant motion, bring your arms across to the opposite side. Note that one complete rep covers both sides of the body.
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Short Dress

Whether you're showing a little leg throughout the entire wedding celebration, or just the post-ceremony festivities, these easy moves will have you strutting your stuff with confidence.

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Exercise 1: Weighted Squat

For this exercise, you can hold anything as long as it's weighted. Here, we are showing you how to execute this move with a weighted ball, but you could substitute this for a hand weight — even something around your house. "The point of adding weight is to throw off your center of gravity, which works your core and makes your legs work harder in the process," says Nunez.
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Keeping your heels on the floor, lower into a squat position while raising the weighted object over your head.
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Slowly bring yourself back into a standing position. "Make sure to protect your back by keeping it arched," says Nunez.
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Exercise 2: Step-Up With Plyo

Place one foot on a sturdy (and safe!) step stool.
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Using your arms to help you, hop up and switch to the opposite foot while getting some "air."
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Exercise 2: Single Leg Deadlift

Stand up straight holding eight-to-15 pound weights in each hand. Ditching the weights is always an option.
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Stand on one foot and slowly bend down, bringing the opposite leg up to a parallel position. "Think of it as though you are trying to create a straight line with your body," says Nunez. Return to the starting position. Repeat the same steps with the opposite leg.
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Strapless Dress

From "bra fat" to toned shoulders, these moves will get you ready to feel good about tossing that bouquet!

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Exercise 1: Squat With Overhead Press

Place your feet in the middle of a resistance band and hold the handles up at shoulder height. "Hand weights would also work if you prefer them to the band," says Nunez.
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Slowly squat, making sure you maintain tension with the band. Don't let your hands drop below your shoulders.
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Squat as low as you can while maintaining a straight back and keeping your heels planted into the floor.
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As you come up from the squat, press your arms above your head. "Do not lock your elbows and remember to maintain tension when you lower your arms back to the starting position," says Nunez.
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Exercise 2: Pushup With A Rotating Shoulder Turn

Start by getting into a plank position. If you are unable to do this, you can get on your knees in a modified pushup stance. Execute a "petite push-up" — basically, going only halfway down.
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As you come up from the pushup, go into a side plank. You can do the same step if you are on your knees.
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Return to the pushup position and repeat on the other side.
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Exercise 3: Overhead Run In Place

Hold a weighted medicine ball (or other heavy object you can keep a safe grip on) above your head.
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Run in place, making sure to bring your knees up as high as you can. "If running isn't your thing, you can execute the same move by marching in place," says Nunez.
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For this move, it's better to follow the seconds rule versus trying to count reps.

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