Stressed about getting a tight, toned body—especially those arms and abs—for the big day? I remember this all too well as a previous bride myself and a trainer of many brides-to-be. Let’s be honest: Those photos are going to last a lifetime. However, many brides fall into the trap of killing themselves at the gym for hours a day and following a restrictive diet. Want to know the truth? It’s much simpler than that. The key is to move your body daily through a combination of low impact exercises utilizing your bodyweight, light weights, and resistance bands and focusing on eating real, nutrient-dense foods. This is why I’ve put together the ultimate 12-Week Bridal Bootcamp so you can stop worrying about what you need to do to get that killer bod and get back to planning the best day of your life!
Read on to learn more about this ultra-productive 12-Week Bridal Bootcamp, and next up, don’t miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
I always recommend starting your workout with a plank to really fire up your core. For this exercise, place your forearms parallel on the mat with your shoulders directly over your elbows and your palms facing down. Drive your heels back, engage your legs, and activate your core. Hold for 30 seconds, breathing into the ribcage and out through the mouth. Hold for 60 seconds.
Wide Pushups will focus on your pectoral muscles, or the muscles underneath your dress straps. To set up for this move, place your hands wider than your shoulders (should be as wide as your mat) with your elbows driving out to the sides. You can choose to do them either on the tops of your thighs (knees bent and feet together) or with straight legs. Do 8 pushups and 8 pulses for 2 rounds.
Nothing screams toned arms like defined triceps. Sit on your butt with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands behind you with your fingertips facing your glutes. Pressing your feet into the floor, lifting your hips up, and rolling your weight back over your wrists. Bend your elbows—keeping your hips up and driving your elbows back—and re-straighten your arms. Do 8 reverse pushups and 8 pulses for 2 rounds.
This move will accentuate your thighs and outer glutes. Stand with your feet wider than your hips and your toes pointed out. Bring your hands to your heart’s center. Lower your hips so that they’re in line with your knees, and press your knees back. Hold this for just a second, stacking your shoulders over your hips and pulling the crown of your head towards the ceiling. Straighten your legs back up, and squeeze your glutes at the top. Do 10 reps of full range, and then hold the squat at the bottom for 10 pulses. Repeat 3x.
This exercise will not only burn out your lower body, but it will also get your heart rate up for some sneaky cardio. Start in a lunge with your right foot forward and your left foot back. Bend your knees and lower your hips, creating 90-degree angles with both legs. Move your left leg to the right about a foot towards the back right corner of the room, keeping your hips squared. Make sure your hips are low, step your left foot in line with your right foot (about hip-width distance), and sink into a squat. Again, keeping your hips low, step your right foot back into a curtsy lunge on this side. Come back into a squat, and continue in this fashion. Do this for 60 seconds.
This move will work every single muscle in your stomach. To start, lie on your back with your legs straight out in front of you and your hands interlaced behind your head. Lift your legs up towards the ceiling with your feet pointed so they’re over your hips and your legs are straight. Crunch your upper body up, and keep your shoulder blades lifted. Lower your right leg down towards the mat, and stop about one inch above it. Hold for a second, and then squeeze the right leg back up using your lower abdominals. Crunch up again, and this time, lower the left leg down. Continue alternating legs in between crunches. Do 20 reps (1 rep equals a crunch and a leg raise).
Nothing quite hits your obliques like the classic Bicycle. Lying on your back, bring your hands behind your head with your elbows out wide. Bring your left elbow towards your right knee as you lift your left shoulder blade off the floor and bend your right leg. Keep the left leg straight out in front of you and along on the floor. Now switch to the other side, connecting your right elbow to your left knee. You can hover the straight leg one inch above the floor for an extra challenge. Do 20 reps slowly, and then burn it out with a final 10 reps fast!
To really burn out your core (and your entire body, for that matter) hold the final plank for 60 seconds. I know this might be difficult, but remember—you can do this! If you come out of it, come right back into it so you can feel and look like the beautiful goddess you are at your wedding.
Repeat this workout at least 3x per week, and mix it up by adding in ankle/wrist weights and resistance bands for an extra challenge. You’ve totally got this!
Jacquie Smith is a certified integrative nutrition health coach from IIN and a fitness instructor specializing in barre, yoga, and pre/postnatal workouts. Read more