How To Get Toned Arms For Your Wedding
How To Get Toned Arms For Your Wedding

How To Get Toned Arms For Your Wedding

Keen to tone up before your big day? We went to three of the country’s top personal trainers to discover their golden rules for more sculpted arms. From lengthening to strengthening, here’s what they want you to know…
By Tor West


Louisa trained under Tracy Anderson, and has clients including Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow, so there isn’t much she doesn’t know about fitness. Her eponymous method is a fusion of yoga, Pilates, ballet and strength training.

Give It At Least Three Months

“Most women want to tone up and feel body confident ahead of their big day. If you commit to four or five days a week, you will see results in eight to 12 weeks. This is, of course, dependent on your age, body type, current level of fitness and training consistency. It’s also important to remember that you can’t spot reduce in one area of the body. The body uses energy from the entire body during exercise, not just from the muscles you’re focusing on. If you want to lose fat in certain areas of the body, a comprehensive approach that addresses physical activity and nutrition is the best approach.”

Combine Strength With Cardio

“For optimal toning, alternate your workouts throughout the week, mixing up the ratios of strength and cardio, aiming for three to five sessions per week. In an ideal world, aim for three days of strength training, two days of cardio and two days of active rest and recovery. If you’re looking to improve strength and muscle tone significantly, opt for resistance training over cardio training. Cardio is great for cardiovascular health, but it isn’t a superior training method when it comes to sculpting.”

Keep The Body Guessing

“Your body will adapt to your workouts over time, so it’s vital to keep the body challenged. Resistance bands, ankle weights, gliding discs and free weights are all great. If you want to focus on the arms, shoulders and back, the best thing you can use is a light-medium and/or heavy set of dumbbells – they’re versatile, inexpensive and easy to use. A selection of resistance bands will also be worth their weight in gold – I rate long, flat resistance bands (sometimes referred to as thera or therapy bands). You can easily wrap them around your hands and adjust the length, and use them to perform tricep pushdowns, lat pulldowns and standing bicep curls.”

Listen To Your Body

“Always stay in tune with your body throughout your workouts and adjust accordingly. Are you struggling by the last set? Do your muscles ache post-workout? You want to be challenged but finishing a workout feeling completely spent isn’t an indication of a good or effective workout. The more you do, the more you’ll learn how and when to push yourself.”

Eat More Protein

“Protein is key to building lean muscle, so be sure to eat plenty of protein on the days you exercise – this is key to rebuilding and repairing the body. Unlike carbohydrates and fats, there’s no long-term storage site for protein in the body, meaning it needs to be topped up throughout the day. If you’re pressed for time, protein powder is a great source – add it to smoothies, energy balls and yoghurt.”


Visit & follow Louisa @LouisaDrakeMethod


Former Olympic speed skater Sarah Lindsay is the co-founder of Roar Fitness, a boutique training studio that specialises in body transformations. The capital’s only PT offering to give clients an Olympic training experience, she’s the name to know for a stronger body.

Work On Your Arms Twice A Week

“If you want to give your arms shape, you need to commit to two sessions per week that focus specifically on your arms, shoulders and back. This should be incorporated into your weekly schedule. Remember it can take up to six weeks to build visible muscle, so be patient. If you want to lose fat from the arms, you need to look at increasing your overall training volume, frequency and intensity along with a nutrition plan that supports your goals.” 

Don’t Worry About Getting Bulky

“To sculpt muscle, you need to add weight or resistance – most women can lift 5-10kg dumbbells for arm work. Most women don’t lift heavy enough and are much stronger than they realise. If you’re a beginner, pretty much whatever combination of sets and reps you do will evoke a response from the muscle, if you’re pushing yourself. Remember it’s hard to get bulky, especially if you only have a couple of months. Adding a little more muscle will just make your arms look toned and shapelier.”

Focus On The Lats If You’re Going Backless

“If you do back exercises using a wide, overhand grip, this will build strength in your lats, which are the biggest muscle in your back. These muscles are located on either side of the back and extend from the back of the shoulder all the way down to the hips. Building definition here will also make your waist appear narrower. Remember, when we talk about ‘toned arms’, what we really mean is ‘visible muscle’, which means you need to have some muscle shape and low body fat in that area. There’s no exercise (or food for that matter) that will increase the muscle or reduce the fat in your arms specifically, but lift heavier than you think, and eat well.” 


Visit & follow Sarah @RoarFitnessGirl

Monique Eastwood

Ballerina turned celebrity PT Monique uses key principles from Pilates and dance in her flowing, high-intensity workouts to create long, lean lines. She’s the go-to trainer for A-listers including Emily Blunt and Ruth Wilson.

Don’t Be Afraid To Start Slow

“If you haven’t been working out for a while and are now training for your wedding, avoid doing a crash course, and instead come back to training slowly to build strength and endurance. Start by moving a couple of times per week – power walking is great, as are short beginner HIIT sessions.”

Start With Your Bodyweight

“When it comes to sculpting lean muscle, don’t underestimate the power of your bodyweight, especially when paired with compound moves that use the arms and legs. My method is all about variety, using different moves to stimulate many muscles at the same time to produce a lean and toned body. If you want to tone your arms, it’s also important to think about multidirectional movements, which target the smaller supporting muscles, not just the larger ones. This will produce lean, dancer-like arms. Adding weights or bands will add a further challenge.”

Don’t Forget About Recovery

“Muscles like your quads and hamstrings are easy to stretch, but it requires a little more creativity with your arms. If your back feels tight, try using a foam roller to release any tight areas, and think about adding in some yoga to your week, which is an incredible way to release the body and build lean lines.”

Take Last-Minute Action

“Four to six weeks before your big day, make sure you are eating plenty of protein (either lean animal or plant-based protein). Balance your diet with complex carbohydrates and plenty of greens, trying to eliminate as much sugar as you can. At the same time, make an extra effort to move as much as possible, keeping the body challenged. Remember – challenge creates change.”


Visit & follow Monique @MoniqueEastwood

For more information or to book a session, visit, and Also follow @LouisaDrakeMethod, @MoniqueEastwood and @RoarFitnessGirl.

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