While we’re not quite into bikini season yet, we’re definitely transitioning to strapless dress season: 4 months of backyard barbecues, weddings, reunions, pool parties, and sultry summer nights, when you’re bound to be wearing a lot of strapless or back-baring dresses. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing like wearing a chiffon-y, strapless bridesmaid dress (or two or three) to give extra motivation to condition my back–part of my body that’s covered in a cozy cardigan most of the year. Give special attention to your shoulders, upper and lower back, and glutes with this fun back toning workout–and look gorgeous from any angle!
Squat – Shoulder Press
Stand with your feet hip distance apart and lower your hips into a squat position with your knees above your toes and your weight on your heels. Engage your core and lift dumbbells so that your elbows are out, in 90 degree angle, palms facing front. Exhale and raise the weights over your head; inhale and lower to starting position. Do 2 sets of 16 reps.
Arabesque – Triceps Pulse
One of my favorite moves of all time! Stand with both feet on the ground, knees slightly bent. Point your foot, and brush your right leg directly behind you to a tendu. Engage your core and raise your leg–your torso will tilt forward slightly, but keep your upper body raised and still open. Raise your dumbbells behind you, palms facing up. In this position, pulse your weights for 16 counts. Lower the legs and arms, and repeat on the other side.
*Variation 1: Keep your foot pointing behind you and on the ground (tendu back). Variation 2: Keep your arms still, and raise your leg from tendu back to arabesque. Variation 3: Keep your arms still, and pulse your leg in arabesque–just a few inches is enough motion!
Start in a plank position, your hands shoulder width apart, holding onto dumbbells. Do a pushup and come back to plank. Turn your body to the right and come into a side plank while raising your right dumbbell. Come back down to plank, do another push up, then lift your left dumbbell while coming into a left side plank.
Wheel pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
Lie on your back with your knees pointing to the ceiling, your feet directly below your hips (your fingertips should be able to graze your heels). Put your palms by your head, fingertips pointing toward your shoulders. Inhale and engage your core, firming your glutes. Exhale and raise your pelvis, using your core, legs, and arms to lift yourself off the floor. Breathe deeply for about 10 seconds, or however long you desire. Come down slowly. Repeat 3 times.
Also check out: Beginner Ballet Leg Routine
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