These 5 Moves Will Get You Ready for Cocktail Dress Season

By Camille Styles
How to Do Calf Raises // 5 Workout Moves to Get in Shape for Cocktail Dress Season

Just when you thought you’d be spending the next few months blissfully burrowed under layers of turtlenecks and wool coats, surprise! Just like that, cocktail party season arrives and suddenly you’re debating whether or not to flash a little pasty beautifully pale skin in a festive mini. Believe it or not, there’s still time to get cocktail dress ready, and I asked my favorite gals from MOD Fitness to show us their favorite moves for getting our limbs toned, fast. I’ve been going to MOD twice a week for the past few months, and I can honestly say that I’ve never felt so strong and lean. These are a few of the most brutal awesome moves we do in class, and I can say from experience: they work! Marnie recommends doing them 4 times per week throughout the holiday season — then get ready for the compliments to start rolling in.

*photos by Jess Attie, model and instructor Jennifer Welch, location: MOD Fitness in Austin


Arms: Resistance band

  1. Kneel on your shins, hips distance apart. Grab a resistance band behind your back, palms facing behind you. Hinge forward at the waist, gazing down to the floor.
  2. Keep your chest wide and shoulders pushed down your back.
  3. Squeezing your triceps, separate the band as far as you can. Repeat this movement as many times as you can in 1 minute.
  4. Stretching the band at its widest point, now lift the entire band further away from the floor. Repeat this movement as many times as you can in 1 minute.

Lower leg: Calf raises

  1. Stand with feet under hips. Lift your heels off the floor, making sure to send your weight straight forward over your second and third toes. Tap the floor with your heels and lift back up. Do as many as you can in 60 seconds.
  2. Lift right foot completely off the floor, tucking it behind your left calf. Continue with calf raises with your left leg for 30 seconds. Switch feet and keep lifting for 30 more seconds.

Seat and legs: Clam leg lifts

  1. Lay on the floor on one side of your body with shoulders, hips, and ankles in line. Slide knees forward of hips at a 45 degree angle with a 90 degree angle behind the knees. Keeping legs together, point toes and lift up towards ceiling.
  2. Keeping your big toes touching, squeeze from your outer thigh and open top leg as wide as you can.
  3. Engage your inner thighs as you squeeze your top leg back to meet your bottom.
  4. Repeat for 3 minutes. Roll over and repeat on the other side.

Legs: Bridge

  1. Lay on the floor with feet pressing into a wall and a 90 degree angle behind the knees.Make sure feet are in line with hips.
  2. Push heels into the wall and squeeze glutes to slowly roll your hips off the floor until the middle of your back is grazing the floor.
  3. Roll back down to the floor, one vertebrae at a time. Repeat this move for 3 minutes.
  4. Advanced: lift one foot straight up to the ceiling and continue lifting hips up and down for 60 seconds, keeping hips in line. Switch legs for another 60 seconds.

Seat: Table top

  1. Start with knees aligned under hips and hands under shoulders. Place a 3-5 pound weight behind your right knee and draw heel in towards your seat. Pull abs in tight to spine.
  2. Contracting from your glute and hamstring, push your leg behind you and towards ceiling as you keep your hips square to the floor. Slowly lower leg back down, squeezing tight on the weight, without letting your right knee swing forward of your left knee.
  3. Contracting from the side of your glute, lift your entire leg out to the right, bringing inner thigh parallel to the floor. Slowly lower back down to the starting position.
  4. Alternate both moves for 4 minutes, then switch to the opposite leg.