The most effective workouts to strengthen and tone your muscles.
As you approach your wedding day, you need to be ready to be at the centre of countless cameras and attention. And which bride doesn’t want to look stunning in her wedding photographs and on Instagram? With this goal in mind, we give you the lowdown on how to get your body in the best possible shape for your wedding.
Step Back Lunges
Lunges work the entire lower body, focusing on strengthening and toning the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and gluteal muscles. Start with feet shoulder-width apart. Using one leg, step back and land on the ball of your foot, keeping the heel off of the ground. Create a 90-degree angle with your legs. Push off with your right foot and come back to standing. Repeat on other side.
These are different from traditional crunches. You will start off elongated and stretched out and end with a crunch, pulling your elbows to your knees. This will help tone the upper and lower abdominal muscle groups.
This super easy and effective movement will help you avoid the slump and focus on good posture. You will not only release tension from your shoulders and upper back but also work on strengthening those muscle groups. Stand up with your back leaning against a wall. Press your body against it and while maintaining contact, slide down into a 90-degree squat, hold, and press back up.
The basic squat is one of the most effective lower body movements to strengthen your leg muscles. Start with legs slightly wider than hip-width apart. Contract your core and inhale as you lower down to a 90-degree angle and exhale as you rise up. Focus on squeezing your gluteal muscles throughout the movement and be sure your knees never go past your toes. The weight should be on the heels and balls of your feet.
The plank is one of the best exercises to elongate your spine, build core strength, and increase abdominal definition. Start with 10 or 20-second plank holds a few times every day and gradually build up to 30 to 45 seconds. If you can’t make it to your exercise class, simple at-home planks morning and night will keep you on track.
Anita Mirchandani is a New York City-based registered dietitian and certified fitness professional.