Find the Right Workout for Your Wedding Dress

Learn what exercises to focus on to help highlight your bridal gown.

Explore three different exercise routines formulated for some of the most popular wedding dress styles.

Photo: Boyd Harris Photographs

No matter what shape you’re in when you get engaged, it’s very common to want to tone up a bit before the big day. The problem is that not all workouts are created equally, and even going to a class might not lead you to the right exercises. While any physical activity is helpful to a point, once you’ve said yes to the dress, it is a good idea to target specific target areas based on your bridal-gown style. Joe Piscopio, a fitness specialist with GYMGUYZ, offers three different exercise routines formulated for some of the most popular wedding dress styles – mermaid gowns, strapless dresses, and backless ensembles. 

Mermaid Wedding Dress:

Focus on the hips, legs, and butt for this body-hugging style.

medicine ball frog hops, bridal workout tips for mermaid dresses

Courtesy of GYMGUYZ


1. Walking lunge to hip-flexor stretch: 5x each leg

2. Walking quad stretch: 5x each leg

3. Walking high kicks: 5x each leg

4. Inchworms: 10x

Workout: EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute)

• Perform each exercise for the reps indicated (ex. A1 and A2 below denote that the kettlebell swings are performed for 10 reps and the alternating lunges are performed for five reps)

• Each group of exercises will need to be performed within a one-minute interval

• The amount of time remaining in the minute is your rest interval (ex. If it takes 40 seconds to complete A1 and A2, your rest time is 20 seconds)

• You then begin the next set at the start of the new minute

• Perform each round for 5-8 minutes depending on level of fitness

Round 1: 

• A1) Kettlebell swings x 10

• A2) Alternating lunge x 5 each leg

Round 2: 

• B1) Dumbbell or kettlebell goblet squat x 8

• B2) Straight Bar/Dumbbell RDL (Romanian Deadlift) x 8

Round 3:

• C1) Alternating side lunge x 5 each leg

• C2) Medicine ball frog hops (squat thrusts) x 10

Cool Down:

1. Standing quad stretch, 30 seconds each leg

2. Elevated (on bench) hamstring stretch, 30 seconds each leg

3. Piriformis stretch (on back, pull knee up and across the opposite side of the body), 30 seconds each leg

4. Seated butterfly/Buddha (groin) stretch, 30 seconds

Strapless Wedding Dress: 

Focus on the trouble areas in the arms to help sculpt lean muscles crucial to giving your upper body shape.

pushups, bridal workout tips for strapless dresses, focus on upper body

Courtesy of GYMGUYZ


1. 3 sets: 10 jumping jacks, 10 seal jacks, 10 split jacks

2. Light resistance band face pull, 2x15

3. Light resistance band chest press, 2x15

4. Bear crawls, 2x20 yards


• For supersets, you will perform one exercise for reps indicated, and perform a second exercise immediately following the completion of the first (ex. After completing A1, you will immediately begin A2. Once A2 is complete, then you rest.)

• For this particular workout, the rest interval will be 60 seconds, so you want to train with a light enough weight that you can perform the exercise safely for 15 repetitions

- A1) Overhead press, 3x15

- A2) Dumbbell/Straight bar rows, 3x15

- B1) Pushups, 3x15

- B2) Dumbbell lateral raise, 3x15

- C1) Alternating dumbbell bicep curls, 3x10 each

- C2) Dumbbell triceps kickback, 3x15

Cool Down:

1. Doorway chest stretch, 30 seconds

2. Overhead triceps stretch, 30 seconds each

3. Cross body shoulder stretches, 15 seconds each

Backless Wedding Dress: 

Focus on your middle, lower, and upper back, as well as shoulders, rear delts, and triceps, so everything looks perfectly toned.

mountain climbers, bridal workout tips for backless dresses

Courtesy of GYMGUYZ


1. Bird dogs x 10 each 

2. Light resistance band rows x 15

3. Band pull apart x 10 with 3 second hold, slow return

4. Band high pull x 10 with 3 second hold, slow return


Back/Core Circuit: (3 rounds, 3 stations per round, rotate between stations every 30 seconds, with a 30-second rest interval between rounds, perform each round five times.)

Round 1: 

• A1) TRX lat pull-ups

• A2) Medicine ball overhead slam

• A3) Reverse crunches (on back, feet six inches off ground, bring knees to chest, extend out to starting position)

Round 2: 

• B1) TRX bodyweight rows

• B2) Medicine ball overhead side slams (up and over like a rainbow)

• B3) Russian twist

Round 3:

• C1) Close grip TRX lat pullups

• C2) Dumbbell rear deltoid flies

• C3) Mountain climbers

Cool Down:

1. Child’s pose/cobras, 3x10 seconds each

2. Cross body low back stretch, 2x15 seconds each

3. Standing lat stretch, 2x30 seconds

For more tips, discover healthy habits to get into before your wedding, learn more about model Emily Ratajkowski's marriage, and get meal ideas for right before the big day.