Sunday, August 17, 2008

Great Exercise Shape-Up Tips for The Bride-to-Be

You are busy planning your wedding - every little detail is accounted for. You have chosen the caterers, the flowers, the wedding decoration and so on. Now you have just settled in on your dream wedding dress or wedding gown. But do you look incredible in your dream wedding dress? Have you been planning to look great? Yes! I do mean that exactly.

Many bride-to-bes focus too much on the minute details of the wedding, but do not take the same time or effort for themselves. For instance, to look great in many of today's wedding gown styles, you need to have a good body. And you cannot shape up in a few days, it takes months of training! So I have compiled a list of shape up exercises that will help you tone your body so that you will look incredible on your wedding day. The focus is on the upper back and the area under the arms, the shoulders, and the core region.

60-Degree Static Sit-up

This exercise shapes up your abdominal muscles. Having a toned abdomen, and a smaller waist consequently, will make you look good in most styles of wedding gowns, particularly those fitted at the waist, like a corset wedding gown.

Procedure: Sit with your knees bent and lean back so that your back makes a 60-degree angle with the ground. Your abdomen should be drawn in, shoulder blades drawn down, and arms kept across the chest. Ensure that your back is kept straight, not rounded or bunched up, and that your hips are up, rather than slumped. Hold the position for 30 seconds at the beginning. Then build up to 2 minutes.

Single-Leg Static Squat

This area tones the hips, legs and calves. These are areas of the body that are important if you decide on a wedding gowns that are more fitted, like wedding gowns with a fishtail style.

Procedure: There are two positions for this exercise. The first is the high position - the thigh and calf of your grounded leg should form a 120-degree angle. In the tougher medium position, the angle should be 90-degrees. Your head should be up, back straight and butt out. Viewed from the front, your ankle , knee and hip should be aligned. Your free leg should be ahead of the body. Hold each position, once on each leg for 10 seconds at a time. The goal is to hold the position without any ankle, knee, hip or trunk distortion. Ensure that you give yourself plenty of recovery between each position attempt.

The Bridge

This exercise builds up your core area, which helps in your posture and overall look. Having a strong core will help you stand straight and tall during your wedding photography sessions!

Bridge Tips: The bridge is the basic building block of core strength and stability work. Start off holding each pose for 30 seconds and build up to two minutes - a target that should take about three to four weeks to reach. For all poses, your head should be in a neutral position, lower abdomen drawn in, gluteus activated and shoulder blades retracted (down and back). Ensure that your body always forms a straight line. Your hips should not be too high or low and your back should not be rounded.

Procedure: Begin in the front bridge position, with only your forearms and toes touching the ground. Next is the side bridge. Turn on your left side and support your body only with your forearm and left foot. Your support arm should be at 90-degrees to the body and your free arm by your side. Repeat on the other side. The final pose is the supine bridge, where your body is facing up, with only your arms and feet on the ground.

Once you reach the target of two minutes for each exercise, you should take each pose to the next difficulty level by starting at 30 seconds and building up again to the next target level.

Do the poses with straightened arms for a tougher exercise. Or lift one leg in the air for added difficulty.

Click here for another article Exercise Tips for Fit Brides.

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