Need to get yourself in shape for your Big Day but don't know where to start? Check this out.
The 20 Minute Workout for Brides
I've tracked down ILU Fitter Ambassador Liz Dowse to find the perfect, condensed workout that you can do in the comfort of your own home so that by your wedding day you are looking in super condition.
Although ILU Fitwear is based in Richmond, I came across the brand in my local newspaper where Liz had written her 'Bridal Workout Home Circuit'. ILU Fitwear sells beautiful workout clothing online that is stylish, comfortable and uplifting, which definitely makes it easier to get your head around exercising! If you are in a calm mood, choose from baby blue or soft grey; when you want to pump up the action, their bright yellows and blues are ready to spur you on! I have rather fallen in love with the cool marl blue and patterned grey leggings, which I'm hoping is going to make it easier for me to stick to Liz's regime!
Obviously take it easy initially and build up the intensity of the exercise gradually; you don't want to pull anything and if you're worried about your health in any way, consult your GP before starting out. Also, always make sure that you are well hydrated before, during and after exercise; not only is it better for you, but you will also find it that much more enjoyable.
The 20 minute workout for brides is designed to work your entire core and sculpt your shoulders - something every bride will appreciate! It will also help you work towards a flat stomach and whittle down that waist - ideal for anyone pondering a figure-hugging wedding dress. There are only six moves, which doesn't sound TOO arduous, so without any further to do, here we go!
STEP 1 - THE PLANK - a very simple move that works your body from top to toe.
Keep your wrists, elbows and shoulders stacked on top of each other. Pull your navel in towards your spine and keep your ears away from your shoulders; squeeze your glutes together and hold for 30 seconds.
STEP 2 - SIDE PLANK
Perfect for working your core and sculpting those shoulders. It also strengthens your lower back and defines your abs...bring it on!
Start by lying on your side. Stack your wrists, elbows and shoulders. Contract your abs and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line. Raise your hand to the ceiling and look at your fingertips. Hold for 30 seconds.
Still with me? OK, let's try for the next move.
STEP 3 - LOW PLANK REACH
This actually is quite tricky, I found - but hang on in there! This move targets your core, shoulders, arms and back, perfect for those toned shoulders we all want.
Stack your elbows under your shoulders, brace your core and squeeze your glutes. SLOWLY lift one arm and reach way out in front of you. Alternate arms for 30 seconds, trying to keep your hips as still as possible throughout the move. Wow.
STEP 4 - TRICEP DIPS
This will target your biceps, chest and back, toning it all up and also improving your deportment.
Grab yourself a kitchen or dining room chair and place your hands on the edge of the seat. Place your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent. Brace your core and lower your backside to the floor as you bend your elbows. Using your hands push yourself up and away from the chair and raise your body until your elbows are straight. Repeat for 30 seconds.
STEP 5 - THE C SIT POSITION WITH LEG RAISE
This is particularly good for flattening your stomach and generally improving your core shape.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Hold behind your knees and lean back until your arms are straight, holding in your stomach as you go. Let go of your knees and maintain your position. Hold for 30 seconds. And collapse - I mean, relax!
Nearly there! Last step coming up...
STEP 6 - V TRICEP DIPS
This will work the front and back of your upper body, perfect for a strapless wedding dress. Start in a high plank position but with your fingertips facing in towards each other. Walk your feet towards your head until your bottom is in the air with your tailbone the highest point. Your body should form a V shape.
Keeping your ears framed by your shoulders, slowly bend your elbows so that you lower the crown of your head towards the floor, the whole time keeping your bodyweight pushed towards your upper body and your navel pulled up towards your spine. Straighten arms to release the strain and then repeat for 30 seconds.
REST FOR 30 seconds, breathe deeply, think of your fiancé, your wedding day and your wedding dress, smile lovingly... and repeat the whole thing twice!
Build up to one minute per exercise and that's your 20 minute workout for brides in a nutshell!
I'd be really keen to hear how you all get on so do leave your comments; we can even compare notes! And if you're worried about your lack of willpower, rope your bridesmaids in to join you!
Good luck and many thanks to the talented (and supple) Liz Dowse for her words of wisdom and her fab images - she makes it all look so easy!