I’m delighted to be back with the second instalment of a two part series on how to get into shape before your Big Day.
In Part 1, guest blogger Katy Powell started off with basics and the question of what you want to achieve.
In Part 2, Katy’s getting technical!
She’s also sharing some some top tips and essential nutritional advice…
Katy: For today’s post I’ve compiled a list of exercises as a guide to what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.
Shall we begin…?
How to tone your arms: Perfect for strapless and low back dresses
This can be done on a household chair, step or park bench. Place your arms on the chair and move your legs out in front of you with your weight through your arms. Lower your elbows to a 45 degree angle and return to the start position…
Lie down, facing the floor and raise your body weight up onto straight arms. Keeping your back and bum in-line and straight, suck your stomach in and lower your arms, then push up and return to the starting position…
To make this easier you can do press-ups on your knees instead of your feet.
And to make this harder, place your feet on a chair for elevated press-ups…
This exercise will require a low weight or resistance bands. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart, shoulders back and stomach in. Hold the weight with both hands in front of you and keeping your elbows back, raise the weight up to your chin level and lower back down…
How to tone your abs: Perfect for fitted or corseted dresses
Lie flat on your back with your legs at a 45 degree angle and your arms by your side. Slowly lower your legs until they almost touch the floor and back up to the starting position. Ensure you keep the middle of your back flush to the floor and don’t arch your back…
Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Holding a medicine ball, dumbbell or nothing at all, raise your feet off the floor, lean back slightly and rotate through the waist left to right. The key to this exercise is to bring your elbow right back into your waist…
Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart and holding a weight in one hand keep your shoulders back and stomach sucked in as you lower yourself down one side of your body towards your ankle and back up…
Now repeat on both sides….
How to tone your bum and thighs: Perfect for short length, sleek, slimline or fishtail dresses
This can be done with or without weights. Standing shoulder width apart hold the weight between your legs, or if you’re doing this without a weight place your hands out in front of you. With your back straight, bum pushed out and the weight through your heels (you should be able to wiggle your toes as you squat) lower yourself down until your knees are at 90 degrees and then move slowly back up…
Lie on your back with your knees bent, push up and raise your hips towards the ceiling slowly and back down. As you thrust up, squeeze your glutes on the way up. To increase the difficulty place a weight across your hips or place your feet on a chair…
This can be done with or without weights. Step out in front of you with one leg, holding the weights either side of you. Your weight should be through the centre of your body at this point. Lower yourself down and back up. Make sure your front knee doesn’t extend past your front toes. Repeat on both legs…
And to increase difficulty, place your back leg on a chair or bench…
Your current fitness levels will determine how often you do the above and for how long.
For beginners I would advise breaking your sessions down into 4 sets of 15 reps, for the sporadic gym user perhaps try 4 or 5 sets of 20 reps and if you’re the active type then aim for 6 sets of 20 – 25 reps.
The key is to push yourself as far as you can go and then the next time you work out you will have a new target to beat!
Now the really important bit…nutrition.
I read somewhere once that abs are made in the kitchen not the gym. Eating a balanced diet is key to your workout as it will give you the energy you require.
So with that in mind here are 5 quick tips to a healthier, more balanced you…
- Drink a pint of iced water as soon as you wake up – your body has to work harder to warm up the water before it can digest it. The result…you’ll be burning around 50 calories before you’ve even brushed your teeth! That’s 5 minutes on a bike! Also try to do this 10 minutes before every meal
- Get spicy – Adding chilli’s to your meals will not only give your food a bit of a kick, they will also increase your body’s metabolism by up to a 1/3, thereby helping to digest food at a quicker rate and aid any weight loss. If you make your meals really spicy they will also go down slower. This can double up as another tip – your food takes 20 minutes to reach your stomach before you realise you are full. Taking your time when eating allows your body to keep up with your mouth!
- Eat little and often – Try and eat 6 small meals a day rather than 3. Your body should never start to feel hungry, therefore reducing the chances of it storing any fats or carbs you have consumed
- Switch to wholegrain – Don’t panic, you can still eat carbs! Just switch white pasta, rice and bread to brown. You could also try switching from normal white potatoes to sweet potatoes as there are a lot less starchy carbs in sweet potatoes and personally I think they taste nicer!
- Go green – Eat as many vegetables and as much salad as you can fit onto your plate for your evening meal. Eat carbs at lunchtime and stick to meat and vegetables for dinner.
I really do hope you have found this series helpful.
Good luck if you’re starting your bridal fitness and health regime, keep going if you’ve already started and congratulations if you’ve finished!
Thank you so much to the lovely Katy for the advice, top tips and exercises and remember to check out Katy’s blog for more fitness and health advice.
Until next time,
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