Get a Better Body: 6 Workout Moves to Complement Every Dress

So, you’ve got the hot dress. Now you want to look hot in it, too, right? Whether you’re going out in a sexy strapless, a plunging V, a mini mini or ab baring cutouts, sculpting the right muscles can transform how it fits and you feel in it. Add these body-part specific moves, designed by Ben Hart, a personal trainer in New York City and co-founder of Qinetic, an online fitness and wellness network, into your regular workout routine for the week (or two) leading up to when you rock your new RTR ensemble. Have a last minute soiree? No worries. Bang out the supercharged versions of each move the day or two before to fast track the body benefits.

 

 

Work it: ARMS

 

Arms

 

YOUR RTR STYLE: A summer dress with skinny straps
FOCUS ON: Upper arms including triceps, shoulders and that little crease near your underarm

THE MOVE: Push-ups and shoulder press jumping jacks
Start in a standard straight-leg pushup (to modify, go down to your knees) and aim to complete 10 to 20 reps. Then stand up, grab a 10 to 15 pound body bar wide with both hands and do jumping jacks, lifting the bar overhead as you open up your legs; bring it down to chest level as your legs come together; do as many as you can for 1 minute straight every day during week one, increasing to 1 minute and 30 seconds for week two. Do four sets of this duo back to back each day.

BODY BENEFIT: “The pushup hits your chest and triceps. The shoulder press jumping jacks hone in on your shoulders while giving you an intense cardio burst to burn calories, too,” explains Hart.
QUICK FIX: For three days, do the above—but attempt the max number and duration (20 pushups; 1 minute 30 seconds of shoulder press jumping jacks) for six sets.
SHOW IT OFF (L to R): Shoshanna, Tibi, Elizabeth & James

 

 

Work it: BACK

 

back

 

YOUR RTR STYLE: Totally backless
FOCUS ON: Your entire back—from shoulders all the way down to right above your booty
THE MOVE: Deadlifts plus bent over rows
Hold an eight to 10 pound dumbbell (or whatever weight allows you to do 20 reps) in each hand. Stand with feet hip width apart and squeeze shoulder blades together. Slightly bend your knees and lower your upper body towards the floor while having a straight spine until your upper body is almost parallel with the floor. To come back up to starting position, use the power of your butt, hamstrings, and back.Do 20 reps of this. Next, with feet three to six inches apart and legs slightly bent and with the 10 pound weights in each hand, bend your upper body forward to a 90-degree angle and extend your arm straight down toward the floor. Lift the weight to your upper stomach with your elbow up toward the ceiling, then extend it straight down again to the floor. Do 15 reps. Repeat the entire combo four times.
BODY BENEFIT: “When doing a deadlift you are focusing on pulling the weight off of the ground using your upper back, lower back, and butt,” says Hart. “And when you do the bent over rows, you are moving the weight pulling from your mid and upper back.”
QUICK FIX: For two to three days, do six sets (instead of four) of this back-defining duo.
SHOW IT OFF (L to R): Thakoon, Thakoon, Missoni

 

 

Work it: LEGS

 

legs

YOUR RTR STYLE: Short shorts or ultra mini
FOCUS ON: Front—and back—of upper and lower thighs
THE MOVE: A walking lunge and squat combo
Grab two weights and hold them in each hand (try for five to 10 pounds). Lunge forward with your right leg, being sure to almost hit the ground with the left leg while going forward, then switch sides to do walking lunges across the floor. Complete 15 reps on each leg, four times. Then hold the weights in each hand at shoulder height, palms facing forward; stand with feet shoulder width apart. Squat down, driving your hips back onto your heels and push your booty as far down while maintaining this good form, and then return to start. Do 12 to 15 reps, five times. Complete this combo three times a week for two weeks.
BODY BENEFIT: “The squats compliment the lunges very well because they target your glutes and quads (your thighs) as well,” says Hart. “While the lunges tackle your quads from top to bottom because you have to balance and stabilize, which activates even the smaller muscles of your leg.”

QUICK FIX:  Exchange the weighted squats with jump squats; where you are just jumping into squat after squat. Swap the walking lunges for more of a jumping motion each time you switch legs; repeat for 1 minute doing as many as you can for up to six times each day.
SHOW IT OFF (L to R): Milly, Slate & Willow, RVN

 

 

Work it: ABS

 

abs2

YOUR RTR STYLE: Side or ribcage revealing cutouts
FOCUS ON: Obliques and upper abs
THE MOVE: Seated twists with a weighted ball and arm extensions in a plank position
Sitting on the floor with legs bent and feet on the floor, hold a 10 to 15 pound weighted ball at chest level; twist your body to the right (keeping your spine and back straight), engaging your core; then twist toward your left. Complete 20 reps on each side. Then, do a forearm plank, with forearms resting on a soft surface like a, and legs straight behind you. Staying in this plank position, reach your right arm out directly in front of your head parallel to your ear, return your forearm to the floor then repeat with your left arm. Continue to alternate sides, aim for 10 reps with each arm. Do this sequence daily for two weeks.
BODY BENEFIT: “The ab twists target more of your oblique—or side—stomach muscles and the ab plank reaches contract your entire core while strengthening and carving out the center right near your ribcage,” says Hart.
QUICK FIX: Do four sets of the 20 ab twists on each side followed by four sets of the 10 ab extensions every day.
SHOW IT OFF (L to R): Pencey, Cushnie et Ochs, BCBGMAXAZRIA

 

 

Work it: CHEST

 

chest

YOUR RTR STYLE: A crazy low neckline or strapless
FOCUS ON: Chest—from your collarbone to your deep cleavage
THE MOVE: Dumbbell chest press plus chest flys
Lie with your back on flat bench or exercise ball, feet spread slightly wider than hip width apart and hold one heavy weight (anywhere from 12 to 20 pounds, whichever you can complete 20 reps max with). Open your arms wide, palms facing forward, elbows bent at a 90 degree angle; lift arms straight up, touching the inside of the dumbbells together at the top and immediately face palms together and open up to a chest fly, keeping elbows only slightly bent as you reach chest level. Return to start. Repeat this combo 15 to 20 times, five times, every other day for two weeks.
BODY BENEFIT: “The dumbbell chest press and fly gives your chest a full range of motion and forces your to stabilize the weight more than a classic barbell, all of which targets the lower muscles as well,” says Hart.
QUICK FIX: Go slightly heavier with your dumbbell weight (about three to five pounds more than you normally would) and aim for 25 reps and six sets for two days straight.
SHOW IT OFF (L to R): Narciso Rodriguez, Hervé Leger, BCBGMAXAZRIA