Wedding Bells & Kettlebells: A Trainer’s Advice on How to Get Fit by Wedding Dress Type

Whether you’ve picked out the dress of your dreams or are finding yourself dress shopping trying on a myriad of tulle and taffeta, you’ll come to notice soon enough that different wedding dress silhouettes accentuate certain parts of the body. Below, trainer Sarah Whipple advises how to target and tone your workout routine by some of the most popular wedding dress silhouettes.

Sarah encourages women to not be intimidated by using heavy weights for strength training.

“A lot of women are afraid that they will get bulky when they lift heavy, which is totally false!” she says. “That is how we get toned! You also burn more calories when you lift heavy.”

Sarah also recommends supplementing strength moves with cardio, like distance running, sprints, fast walks, or hiking, to achieve best results. Outlining a 5-6 month training timeline, she says, will give yourself adequate time to acclimate to a routine that will hopefully become a healthy habit for life.


Targeting: glutes + hamstrings
The move: Deadlift

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Bend your knees, grasping the dumbbells with your hands, keeping your chest parallel with the floor.
  • Stand up, raising the hips and shoulders at the same time to lift the weight off the floor so that it moves over the middle of both feet before placing it back on the ground.

Open / Low Back

Targeting: Back muscles
The move: Reverse fly

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with knees slightly bent. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the hip joint.
  • Exhale and lift both arms to the side, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Lower the dumbbells back toward the ground with steady control.

“That [Lifting heavy] is how we get toned! You also burn more calories when you lift heavy.”

— Sarah Whipple

Short Dress

Photo: Instagram @loljacobs

Targeting: Quads + glutes
The move: Goblet squat

  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width with your toes pointed slightly out.
  • Holding a dumbbell at chest level with both hands, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your elbows touch your knees while maintaining a flat back.
  • Push yourself up to the starting position, keeping weight in your heels.


Targeting: Shoulders + arms
The moves: Lateral raise + upright row

Lateral raise how-to:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms by your sides, palms facing your body.
  • Lift the dumbbells out to the sides, going no higher than shoulder height.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Upright row how-to:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your body.
  • Lift the weights by raising your elbows out to the sides until they come in line with your shoulders.
  • With control, lower your arms back down to your waist.


Targeting: Biceps + shoulders
The move: Curl + press

  • Stand with your feet directly under your hips, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing out.
  • Bend your elbows, bringing the weights to your shoulders, performing a bicep curl.
  • Steady your torso and keep your arms moving upward, straightening them above your head, performing an overhead press with the palms facing out.
  • Bend your elbows coming back to the end of your bicep curl, then straighten the arms coming back to the starting position to complete one rep.

About Sarah: 
“I grew up being an athlete, but my main focus was track and cross country. I completed at the Division 1 level in both track and cross country at the prestigious University of Oregon. After college, I wanted to stay in the world of fitness and that is where I started working at Scottsdale BODI. Years still at BODI, I grew my personal business where I focus on personal training, group fitness training and training young athletes in sports. I know that fitness will never go out of style, no matter who you are. Health is something that will be important until the day we die!”

Trainer & fitness professional Sarah Whipple

Sarah got married in July 2015 to her husband, Alex. They have a beautiful baby boy named Beckham. Sarah loves to train women who want to feel strong and be their best — no matter if you’re getting married in 6 months or you want to feel fit and make it your lifestyle! Sarah has written four e-books, including: Prego Mama, a 4-week fitness guide for pregnant and postpartum women; Let’s Whipp Something Up, featuring 17 healthy and time sensitive homemade recipes from Sarah herself; 50 Day to 5K, a 50 day 5K training program; and 13 Weeks to 13.1, a half marathon training program accomplished in just over 3 months. 

To get in touch with Sarah:
Instagram: @sarah.j.whipple

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