If only we all had a typical bride’s motivation to get in shape. All eyes on her, photographs that last a lifetime and a deeply felt desire to look amazing for her groom all contribute to creating a motivated fitness mindset. Mix it up and make it fun for the beautiful bride with these basic exercises, each of which has a hidden agenda.
Most brides want toned arms, abs and, depending on dress choice, legs. A well-rounded workout is always a smart idea, but make sure to hit the hot spots so she’s satisfied. Each description below includes reasoning behind why that area is so important to tone and ways to make the exercise more effective.
The Game Plan
Circuit training is an efficient way to fit it all in for the busy bride. Perform each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds with minimal rest in between to maximize time. While quick is the motto, moving slowly and with control is important to keep muscles under tension. Repeat these seven exercises three times with a two- to three-minute cardio interval between each round to facilitate a 30-minute toning session.
Cardio intervals can be jumping jacks, a jog, a fast walk or an interval on a machine, if available.
Shoulder Raises With Range of Motion
The best way to make the arms look slim and toned is to build the upper portion—the deltoids—creating a nice curve. Instead of the traditional up and down through frontal plane, hold the arms up the whole time and move in the transverse plane. Weights are optional because gravity provides resistance in this version of deltoid work.
- Reach arms out to the sides to 90 degrees to form a “T” shape.
- Hold the arms there and make sure the neck is as relaxed as possible.
- Slowly move the arms toward the front of body.
Triceps Extensions With a Twist
Nobody wants the backs of their arms dangling down when raising a glass of champagne to toast. Train all three triceps heads to maximize a toned look.
- Lie supine on the floor with weights in hands and stabilize the scapula.
- Bring the arms up toward ceiling to 90 degrees from to body.
- Keeping shoulder at 90 degrees, slowly bend the elbows to 90 degrees.
- Extend back up to a straight position.
- Change forearm position with each rep: pronated, supinated, neutral
Bicep Curls in a Circle
Everybody sees this muscle because it’s front and center. Get more out of the exercise by expanding the range of motion.
- Stand with weights in hands at sides.
- Bring hands up toward the belly button, around in a circle and back to the sides.
- Change directions of the circle with each repetition.
Prone Plank Plus a Bonus
There’s not much room for wardrobe changes once the final fitting is finished. This exercise targets both the abdominals and the glutes in an isometric hold.
- Assume a plank position on forearms and knees (easier) or toes (harder).
- Align the elbows under the shoulder joints and stabilize the scapula to the spine.
- Keep the head and spine elongated while holding position for 30 to 90 seconds.
- Keeping the pelvis in a neutral position, raise one foot off the floor with the leg straight.
- Alternate and raise (or lift) the opposite leg for five seconds.
Side Plank Hip Lift
Many arms land up around the waist with hugs from family and friends. Strengthen those sides and distract the mind by adding a slow pulsing motion.
- Lie on one side on the floor.
- Align the elbow under the shoulder joint.
- With the knees bent (easier) or the legs straight (harder), lift the hips up in line with the shoulders and ankles.
- Slowly lift and lower the hips without touching the floor.
Squat and Rotate
Regardless of what music is played, people seem to find their way into low dance moves at weddings. Prepare the legs for the boogey by adding rotation. Adding rotation works a larger variety of leg muscles than just traveling up and down.
- Position feet hip-width apart and reach down to the floor.
- Stand up tall to rest.
- Twist down to touch the side of one foot and return to standing.
- Repeat on the other side.
Calf Raises at Angles
Wearing high heels is almost inevitable for every bride to be, so it’s important to prep the feet and ankles for a long night of tip-toe walking. Change angles to account for the many muscles in the lower leg that work hard balancing on a skinny base of support.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and rise up onto the toes.
- Lower the heels and return to a flat stance.
- Turn toes out and keep heels aligned to rise up.
- Turn heels out and keep toes aligned to rise up.
Teaching a bride about posture and breathing will help her carry her strong body through the event with more ease. She’ll appreciate having the skills needed to stand tall throughout her big day and find mindfulness amongst all the excitement.