“You do not alter a Vera to fit you, you alter yourself to fit Vera.” – Bride Wars
Your wedding day is the one day of your life you want to look absolutely drop dead GORGEOUS. I know when it was my time to walk down the aisle my goal was to make my guests & fiance GASP and have jaws drop! But, not only do you want to look your best, you also want to feel your best. Physical education teacher, volleyball coach and newlywed, Molli Williams, gives us these fitness tips to get you started on your quest to look AND feel fabulous on your wedding day.
Ok girls, if there’s ever a time to look good, it’s now or never. Throughout your engagement there will be showers, parties, and bachelorette trips where your picture will be taken more times than you’d probably like. And those pics are going to be around forever. Not to mention the biggest (and most photographed) day of your life- the wedding. So no matter long you have until your big day and no matter your fitness level, it’s not too late (or early) to start working on your wedding day fitness goals! You love this dude, and I know he loves you too, but don’t you want to be the best you can be for him? Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. This may be the most stressful time in your life, juggling this fiancé, wedding planning, and work. Somedays, my workouts (and my awesome fiancé) were the only things keeping me sane during my engagement.
So let’s get to it.
Let’s focus on these 10 major muscle groups. These exercises are great for an all over, total body toning session.
1. Bicep- Bicep curls. Start with 5-8lb. weights in both hands. Hands are down, resting on your legs. Curl hands all the way up to your shoulders, and straighten back out. Keep your elbows still and into your body. Try 3 sets of 8 repetitions.
2. Tricep- Tricep press. Hold a 10-12lb dumbbell with both hands above your head. Keep your arms close to your ears while bending your elbows, lowering the weight behind your head. Then straighten arms back to starting position. Try 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
3. Shoulders-Shoulder Press. Hold 3-5lb dumbbell in each hand. Hold arms up so you look like a goal post. Then press hands straight up in the air. Return to starting position. Try 3 sets of 8 repetitions.
4. Back- Flies. Hold a 5-8lb weight in each hand. Slightly bend your kness, and hinge at the hips, holding your weights down and touching. Raise your arms out to the sides at the same time, keeping elbows slightly bent. Return to starting position. Try 3 sets of 10.
5. Quads- I hate to do this to you, but this is a big one. So I’m breaking it down into 2 exercises (It will be worth it, I swear)
a. Squats. You can try this without any weights at all, or you can hold a weight with both hands into your chest. Step your feet out wide, shoulder width or more. Bend your legs like you’re sitting in a chair. Then stand back up to starting position. VERY IMPORTANT- make sure to keep all your weight back in your heels. You should be able to wiggle your toes once you’re in this position (meaning you should not have any weight on your toes). Imagine pushing your hips back behind you as your bend, this will help you get into the right position. Try 3 sets of 12.
b. Lunges. Again, no weights or holding a weight is fine. Step your right leg out, almost as far as you can, bend both legs (your back leg should almost touch the ground), and return to starting position. Now do the same with your left leg. This is 1. Try 3 sets of 8.
6. Butt-Hip Raises. Lay on the floor. Bend your knees and bring your feet in close to your butt. Lift your hips up in the air (you should look like an arch) and squeeze for just a second, and release back down. Try 3 sets of 10.
7. Hamstrings-Dead Lifts. Goodbye cellulite! Hold a 5-8lb. weight in each hand. Let your hands rest on your legs. Just barely bend your knees the whole time you’re doing this one. Bend at the waste, letting your hands come down toward your toes, and simply (slowly) stand back up. Keep the weights close to your body as they make their way back up into starting position. Try 3 sets of 10.
8. Calves-Calf Raises. This one’s pretty simple. Separate your feet to shoulder width apart. Raise up on your tiptoes, squeeze for just a second, and release. Try it with your heels hanging off a stair. Try 3 sets of 15.
9. Chest- Pushups. The old faithful. I know you don’t want to, but just do it. Try 3 sets of 5 and work your way up as you get stronger. Next time you do this workout, try 3 sets of 6, and so on. *Bonus- this is for your chest but really works the whole body!
10. Abs-Oh girls, I could go on for days about this one, but let’s keep it simple for today. Bicycle abs. Lay on your back. Lift your shoulders off the ground. Bend your elbows and put your fingertips behind your head (don’t pull on your head, just rest your fingers there). Now, lift your feet in the air. Keep right leg straight. Bend your left knee while bringing your right elbow to meet it. Now switch, right knee touches left elbow. Each time you touch an elbow to a knee counts as 1. Try 30. Or keep going. Keep going till you can’t anymore!
And trust me…. There will be much more coming for your abs.
Couple things I want you to keep in mind…
1. This is not a set in stone plan. Start with the reps and weights I’ve given you and change what you need to change. If that was too easy, try more reps or add more weight (but remember, higher weight and fewer reps= bulk up, while less weight and more reps=toning). You know your body better than anyone else, make this workout your own.
2. While I’m doing this, I like to mix exercises together and use different body parts. Ex: I’ll do one set of bicep curls, then one set of squats, then back and forth until I’ve completed 3 sets of each. Cuts down on time too, while you’re letting your biceps rest, work those legs!
3. This workout alone is great, but to really amp up your fitness routine, you need cardio to burn fat. Throw in your fave cardio activities at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes. This can include jogging, biking, swimming, dancing, Zumba, kickboxing, etc.
4. Most important- These exercises (or any others) won’t make the impact you’re looking for if you don’t pay attention to what you’re putting in your body. Remember, food=fuel for your body. I am a firm NONBELIVER in fad diets and a very firm BELIEVER in moderation. Need some chocolate? Ok. Have 2 Oreos. Not an entire row. Just try to balance your meals; make sure you’re getting in proteins, grains and veggies, and try to throw in some fruit for a snack. And no fast food. I’m cutting you off now.
Happy exercising, girls!