July 09, 2010

When it comes to slimming tips, the best ones aren't just about sculpting and toning your body. Every bride needs to know that slimming isn't just about how you sit or stand. How you move matters too. No woman wants to look shlumpy and slouch her way down the aisle. Use these quick slimming tips to stand tall and look lean from the altar to the dance floor-and beyond.

1. Check Yourself in the Mirror

When you're standing, you want your ears to be aligned over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, and your hips over your knees and ankles. However, when it comes to slimming tips, you don't want to overdo this one: "You do want to maintain the natural curves in your spine," says John R. Martinez, M.P.T., owner of Physical Therapy Experts in New York City. Pulling your shoulders back can help nix bra bulge too.

2. Stretch Regularly

Martinez recommends using these two slimming tips a few times day: Clasp your hands behind your back, arms straight, and squeeze your shoulder blades together, keeping your shoulders down. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat once or twice. Next, place your index finger against your chin. Simply pull your head away from your finger as far as you can (try not to lower or lift your chin). Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat once or twice. These moves counteract the tight chest muscles and forward head posture that result from being hunched over a desk.

3. Be Backward Thinking

While you might be focused on trying to firm your butt, don't forget about all the other muscles back there. "Strengthening your upper, middle, and lower back (your lats, rhomboids, and erector spinae) will help stretch out the muscles along the front of your body and help you stand up straighter," says Martinez. Aim to do resistance training for your entire body two or three times a week.

4. Get Help

Most of us don't have our mothers around to tell us to "Sit up straight!" And that's possibly the best slimming tip there is. The iPosture ($50; iposture.com), a small disc that you wear on your bra strap, may be the next best thing to mom (as far as sitting up straight goes). Clip it on, sit up tall, and hit the button to record your "perfect" posture. Whenever you slouch for more than a minute, it vibrates, alerting you to lift your chest and pull your shoulders back.

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