BRIDES' 30 Day Wedding Shape-Up Challenge: Day 12, Intensify Those Crunches!

30 Day Wedding Workout Day 12

Photo: Getty Images

This is it... The final countdown to your big day. And along with settling those last few details — figuring out where to seat your eccentric Uncle Carl, firming up the flowers, deciding on your first dance song — you're likely also making one last push to make sure the body that will be wearing that gorgeous white gown looks as good as it possibly can. You and nearly every other woman with an engagement ring on her finger. In fact, research shows that an overwhelming 91 percent of brides-to-be are anxious about their weight. But from here on out, you won't have to be!

Whether you want to drop those last few pounds or look more toned — or both — we've got a month's worth of daily tips (none of which require starving yourself or working out nonstop!) that will help you feel stunning and confident when you walk down that aisle. You know where to send the thank-you card. Let's get started!

Day 12: Make Your Crunches Infinitely More Effective!

How so? By doing them on one of those big, air-filled stability balls. "In terms of equipment, it's one of the greatest thing going! It makes just about any abdominal exercise more beneficial," says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist and personal trainer in San Diego.

"When you do crunches on the floor you can only lift and lower so far. But when you do the same exercise on the ball, you'll get much more range of motion, which translates into better results."

See More: Quick 30 Minute Workouts for Busy Brides-To-Be

In fact, one study found that doing moves on the ball activates 28 percent more abdominal muscle than the same exercise performed on a non-wobbly surface. And unlike regular floor crunches, the ball also works the transverse abdominis, a small, notoriously hard-to-get-at band of muscle that spans across your lower abs and helps pull them in like a corset. Strengthen it and everything down there (namely, that little below-the-navel bloop a lot of us have) will noticeably flatten out.

You can buy a ball for about $20 at any sporting goods store and it's amazing for all sorts of other moves, too (you can find how-tos on

Tip: Swap it in for your desk chair and you can tone your abs all day while you work.

Just getting started on our 30 Day Wedding Shape-Up? Kick off your journey from Day One, here.

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