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Working it Out

May Durkovic on January 18, 2015 - 8:10 am in Health and Beauty

From the first look to the first dance, your wedding day will be packed with significant, life changing moments. So look and feel your best by scheduling regular fitness sessions before the festivities. A weekly fitness routine reduces stress and increases endorphins, improving your mood and boosting your confidence. Try these moves in repetitions of 10, keeping in mind how stunning you’ll look in your bridal gown.

Arms/Shoulders
Bicep Curls
Target muscles: biceps
Equipment: two barbells

  1. Stand with your back straight and your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a barbell in each hand with your palms facing up.
  2. Slowly lift your right hand to your right shoulder while counting to five.
  3. Slowly drop your right hand to your right outer thigh while counting to five.
  4. Repeat steps two and three on your left.  
    *Alternate exercise: Instead of alternating right and left, simultaneously bring both barbells up and down.

Tricep Dips
Targeted muscles: triceps, chest, shoulders
Equipment: chair

  1. Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your back straight.
  2. Wrap your fingers around the edge of the seat, keeping your arms straight and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
  3. Slide your bottom forward, off the seat so your arms are supporting your body.
  4. Bend your elbows while slowly lowering your bottom toward the floor (your upper body should just clear the seat).
  5. Push back up until you reach your starting position. Use your arms, not your feet, to push up.
  6. Repeat steps four to five.

Legs
Squats
Targeted muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves
Equipment: none

  1. Stand in the middle of the room with your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.
  2. Stretch your arms straight out in front of you, parallel to the floor.
  3. Push your bottom out and down like you’re sitting in a chair. Let your lower back arch slightly as you descend.
  4. Lower your bottom until your thighs are parallel to the floor, or as close as possible. Keep your knees directly over your ankles and press your weight back on your heels.
  5. Push through your heels and bring your body up to a standing position.
  6. Repeat steps three to five.
    *Alternate exercise: Squat jumps are executed like a squat with the addition of a jump after standing (expert level).

*Alternate exercise: Stand against a wall with your feet planted a foot in front of the wall. Lower and raise your bottom with your back against the wall (beginner level).

Front Lunges
Targeted muscles: hamstrings, gluteal muscles, quadriceps
Equipment: none

  1. Stand with hands on your hips and your feet together pointed straight ahead.
  2. Pick up your right foot and lunge forward until landing on your heel, then roll onto the ball of your foot. Your right thigh should be bent at a 90 degree angle with your left knee almost touching the floor.
  3. Push off the floor with your right foot while straightening your right knee.
  4. Bring your left foot next to your right foot ending in a standing position.
  5. Repeat steps two through four on the left.
    *Note: Front lunges can be stationary by bringing the front foot to the back foot.

Abs
Crunches
Targeted muscles: abdominals
Equipment: none

  1. Lie down on your back with knees bent and arms crossed in front of your chest.
  2. Slowly lift your head, neck and shoulder blades toward the ceiling, using your abdominal muscles, inhaling as you ascend.
  3. Once your shoulder blades are no longer touching the floor, ease your head, neck and shoulders toward the floor, exhaling as you descend.
  4. Repeat steps two to three.
    *Alternate exercise: Lift your right shoulder blade diagonally across your body, then lower to the floor. Repeat on the left and alternate right and left sides to target your oblique.

Kettlebell Windmill
Targeted muscles: abdominals, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, shoulders, triceps
Equipment: one kettlebell

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and a kettlebell in your right hand.
  2. Bring your right arm up straight overhead, aligning your right foot, hip and kettlebell. Keep your left arm down at your side.
  3. Slowly bend your waist to the left until your left hand touches your left foot. Your right arm should be fully extended, parallel with the floor and your knees should be straight.
  4. Slowly push up to the starting position with your right arm straight overhead and left arm by your side.
  5. Repeat steps two to four 10 times.
  6. Repeat steps one through five on the left 10 times.

 

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