Originally published by the fabulous Spindle Magazine as my Fashion Week SOS Workout, this is a short-term, quick fix solution if you need to “Drop a Dress Size Fast” for an upcoming event!
We all know that in terms of REAL changes, we need to allow more than a couple of weeks for good results. However, there are a few cheats we can use to give the illusion of being leaner…
Good posture can visually slim off a whole dress size, so here are four simple daily drills to help improve yours…
Bruegger’s Postural Relief Exercise:
This is great for those who spend a long time sitting at work. Sit on the edge of your chair, or stand, with feet flat on the floor and hands by your sides. Lift your chest, gently arch your lower back and point the top of your head directly up at the ceiling, imagining a thread pulling you up straight. From this position, turn your palms outward, shrug your shoulders down and back and rotate your hips outward. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
Perform this every hour and make a conscious effort to be aware of your posture between bouts of this exercise – after a while it will become more automatic.
Sit in a chair with your back supported. Place one hand on your stomach and the other just below your collar bone. Gently pull your belly button towards your spine and lightly contract your stomach muscles. Now, lengthen your spine by ‘pulling’ your lower hand towards the floor and your upper hand towards the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds, breathing regularly, and repeat 3 times.
This is one for when you find yourself craning over your computer. With your top and bottom teeth held gently together, roll your head backwards slightly until you feel a mild tension. Keeping your head straight and your shoulders relaxed, hold the pose for 10 seconds.
Bend your elbows with your palms facing upwards, level with your shoulders, forming the letter “W” with your arms and body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together towards your spine until you feel a gentle stretch in your chest and the front of your shoulders. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times. As you become stronger, raise your arms up higher.
Training for ‘the pump’ is a quick way to give an illusion of being more toned. ‘Muscle pump’ refers to the glycogen that fills your muscles when they’ve been worked hard and helps to visually define and shape them, automatically making you appear leaner. This type of training is also a pretty good calorie burner, so if your diet is on track, you should start seeing some genuine fat loss benefits as well!
If you don’t have a gym membership, you can use resistance bands for this at home. I’d recommend Bodylastics – you can pick up a good set with varied resistance and a door attachment for about £30 on Amazon.
Perform 3 ‘Supersets’ of each pair of exercises, doing exercise A, followed by exercise B with no rest in between. Take 45 seconds rest between each Superset. Select a resistance that you can perform all the reps with, but that’s challenging enough that you can’t manage any more. For exercises like Plyometric Lunges and Push-ups, most will find bodyweight alone is enough resistance to work with.
1A: Sumo Squats 10-15 reps
1B: Plyometric Lunges 10-15 reps
2A: Lat Pulldowns 10-15 reps
2B: Overhead Press 10-15 reps
3A: Push-ups (on knees if necessary) 10-15 reps
3B: Chest Flyes 10-15 reps
4A: Seated Cable Rows 10-15 reps
4B: Side Lat Raises 10-15 reps
Complete this workout 3x/week with at least 48 hours between workouts.
If you’re unfamiliar with any of the exercises, check out exrx.net for thorough ad easy-to-follow exercise tutorials
Getting rid of any bloat is also a quick way to cheat yourself down a dress size. A diet low in carbs, high in protein and moderate in healthy fats will yield quick visual results by shedding excess water weight. Alcohol is one of the biggest bloat culprits, so opt for a glass of wine when you must, and water when you can. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day too – if your body thinks it’s not getting enough fluid, it’ll hold on to it for dear life!
P.S. Don’t forget to follow @SpindleMagazine on Twitter for more of my articles, along with all the latest news on emerging talent in the fashion, music, film and art world!
If you have any questions about the exercises or anything else in this post, simply leave me a comment below!