Workouts to get Wedding Dress Ready
Every bride-to-be wants to look her very best on her big day. As soon as a bride finds that perfect dress, she starts working extra hard to tone up all those bits that will be visible in her chosen dress. This means that most brides-to-be will focus on arms, shoulders and back, as well as abs.
Sticking to a healthy diet and cardio program, as well as toning with weights and spot exercises, will help a bride look extra fit on her wedding day.
Stress management is key for brides. They tend to get very stressed out over the preparations and planning and in turn their cortisol levels rise (stress hormone), which creates hunger attacks and belly fat storage, sleep issues, and exhaustion, so taking a yoga or pilates class here and there, a meditation class or watching funny movies, spending relaxing time with friends is absolute key, said Ariane Hundt,
who claims the fun title of “Head of Butt-Kicking Operations” for Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp.
Hundt shares her best tips for getting wedding dress ready. And the best part? No equipment is needed:
1. Back: Wearing a low back calls for defined back muscles, namely the lats (the muscles on the outside of your back) and rhomboids (the muscles running alongside your spine). You can hit them at the same time by doing push ups. Push ups are the most effective upper-body move you can do without equipment.
As an absolute beginner you can do them against a wall. If you're a little more advancd, do them on your knees. If you're a pro and strong, go for full-body push-ups. Make sure your shoulders are right above the hands and the elbows point out when you come down. Make sure you come as low to the floor as possible and let your shoulder blades squeeze together. Do them slowly - quality is more important than quantity. Do at least 50 a day - in sets of 10 with a short break between them.
As an added benefit you'll also be toning your shoulders, chest and arms.
2. Stomach: While 80 percent of a flat stomach is the result of a clean diet (eliminate alcohol, sugar, starches and processed food and rely on fibrous veggies and lean proteins 5x a day), you can firm your abs by performing an ab move that engages your entire core - from the top part under your rib cage to the bottom part, which is typically the last part of your abs to change and flatten.
Planks are among the most effective ab moves (that's why they're also so uncomfortable to do) as they not only work your abs, but also the deep abdominal muscles that are key to flattening your stomach. Place both elbows on the floor and position your shoulders right above them. You're on your toes, making sure that your body is parallel to the floor - not too high and not too low with the hips. Pull your belly button in until you feel your abs shake and hold your plank for at least 30 seconds as a beginner. Advanced exercisers should start with a minute and build up to 2 and 3 minutes over time.
To firm your waist, drop your hip to one side and use your obliques (your side stomach muscles) to pull them back up. Repeat on the other side. Do these slowly and with control. Repeat 20-30 times.
3. Legs: To get strong, defined and toned legs you want to work on your quads (front of your thighs), the hamstrings (back of your thighs) and the outside and inside of your thighs (adductors and abductors). One of the most effective moves is the step up. Not only does it firm every muscle in your legs and calves, but it also lifts your butt, which helps makes your legs look even longer from behind.
Use a chair or park bench and step your light leg onto the bench. Step up all the way, straightening your right leg out and lifting you left leg. Drop your left leg back down and repeat. Your right leg stays on the bench at all times and you use it to lift yourself up. Repeat 20-30 times. Then switch legs. Perform 3 times total, at least 3x a week.
When it comes to cardio, you want to maximize your time. Make sure you go for high intensity and quick bursts of energy instead of long and drawn-out marathon sessions. Quick bursts burn mega calories, promote fat burning and get you leaner, while long drawn-out sessions promote muscle loss. Push yourself hard, such as with a quick home boot camp routine sure to hit your entire body and increase your heart rate. Pick five exercises and do each one for one minute at all-out-effort.
Another trainer, Annie Malaythong, is one of NASM's top experts. She is a master trainer and was featured as an expert of MTV's I Used to Be Fat, and owns her own personal training business in Atlanta.
To get strong, defined and toned legs you want to work on your quads
She suggests the following workout program for brides to be:
* Stationary alternating reverse lunges – 15 each leg
* Jumping jack, plank to mountain climber combo – 10 reps
* Single leg v-ups – 15 each side
* Plank pike ups – 15 reps
* Side plank – hold for 30 seconds, each side
* Multi-planar squat jumps – 10 reps
* Repeat all movements 3 – 4 times, with 60 seconds rest in between each circuit
* Start at least 12 weeks from the day of the wedding to achieve a full transformation
Malaythong said, “a comprehensive 12-week program should incorporate daily cardio, flexibility, core and resistance training to build a lean and fit body. If a bride is already past the 12-week mark, she should zone in on a well-balanced nutrition plan filled with whole, natural foods like lean protein, green vegetables and whole grains.”
One last tip from Malaythong is that 20-30 minutes of circuit/interval training is always best for quick calorie burns, and focusing on major muscle groups including legs, glutes, core and upper body (back and arms) is best when looking to accomplish aesthetic goals.
Read more Wedding Planning.