Bridal Fitness Part 2: Workout Routine

Today is part two of a four part series concerning bridal fitness! So many brides want to lose a few pounds in order to look and feel beautiful on their wedding day, but many of them don't know where to start. I have collaborated with a great personal trainer, Caroline Davidson of Millennial Fitness, to talk about total bridal body fitness: both through exercise and diet. Also, a special shout out to Derek Couts for the amazing photos in this post! 

Today, we are going to give you an easy exercise routine that you can do right at home with minimal equipment! Whether you are already in good shape or consider a good workout to be going from your bed to your sofa, this routine will work for you. Get the toned bridal body you have been dreaming of! 

Easy At-Home Workout Routine

For those of you who don't have access to a gym, or just don't have the time or money to go to a gym, you can easily accomplish your fitness goals from the comfort of your own home. Just follow this simple workout routine! I did this routine with Caroline and believe me, if I can do it, you definitely can!! :) 

Floor Exercises

1. Hip Extensions/Reverse Leg Press

hip extensions reverse leg press millennial fitness derek couts

Extend the leg straight back keeping the hip square and leading with the foot's heel. This works the hamstrings, hip flexors, glute medics and glute maximus. 

2 sets of 15 reps each side

2. Crunches 

 Do try to ignore my pained facial expressions :)  Picture A is standard, Picture B is advanced.

Do try to ignore my pained facial expressions :)  Picture A is standard, Picture B is advanced.

Crunch up with hands by head, not touching the body, and bring the shoulder blades up off the ground. Come all the way down to the floor to complete the rep. If you feel this exercise in your neck, you're not engaging your abdominals enough. Be sure to exhale as you come up and inhale on the way back down. Keep your legs bent - or extend them for a higher level workout. 

3 sets of 0:45 seconds each

3. Reverse Crunch

reverse crunch millennial fitness derek couts

Start with head looking up towards the ceiling, hands flat on the ground beside you (not underneath the hips), and legs flat on the ground with heels and toes together. Exhale and lift the legs together towards the ceiling. This engages the abdominals, the transverse core, the obliques, and the hamstrings. When bringing the legs back down, do not allow feet to touch the floor. 

3 sets of 0:45 seconds each

4. Bicycle Crunch

bicycle crunch millennial fitness derek couts

Be sure the hand that's behind the head (with elbow bent) is not pulling the neck in any way. Bend one knee up and straighten the opposite leg. Exhale and twist up so that the opposite knee and elbow meet. When you are extending the leg back out, be sure to leave it above the ground within setting the heel or toe down on the floor. 

2 sets of 15 on both sides

5. Russian Twists

 Again, please ignore my pained expression :)

Again, please ignore my pained expression :)

Start with chest forward, shoulders back, heels and toes together, and lean the body back slightly to almost form a "V" position. Pick the heels and toes up to engage the lower abdominals and hold the weight in hand over the chest (not touching the body). Twist the weight from one side to the other, tapping the ground as you go from side to side. Be sure to not twist the hips as you do this motion. Exhale each time you twist.

3 sets of 0:30 seconds

6. Glute Bridge

 Picture A is standard. Picture B is the advanced version. 

Picture A is standard. Picture B is the advanced version. 

Start with heels and toes shoulder distance apart, back flat on the ground, head facing the ceiling and hands flat on the ground (not under the butt or hips). Press the hips up towards the ceiling squeezing the glutes (butt) at the top of the motion. When coming back down to the ground, try to keep the hips one inch above the ground - never actually touching the ground as you go down and up.

For a more advanced version, start in the same position but change the feet position. Keep the heels where they are but turn the toes out 45 degrees. This targets the glute medius, glute minimus and piriformis. 

30 reps to begin -then- 20 reps of the advanced version with toes pointed out

 

Standing Arm Exercises

7. Bicep Curls

bicep curls millennial fitness derek couts

Start with a very slight bend in the knee to support the lower back, feet shoulder distance apart with weights in both hands. For full range of motion, extend the elbow all the way down and then exhale as you bring the weights up towards the shoulders. 

4 sets of 25 reps

8. Overhead Press

overhead press millennial fitness derek couts

Start with a very slight bend in the knee to support the lower back, feet shoulder distance apart with weights in both hands. Bring arms up so there is a 90 degree angle at the elbow joint. Exhale and press the weights straight up overhead and return to starting position. Never bring the elbows down below the shoulders. 

3 sets of 0:45 seconds each

9. Shoulder/Deltoid Extension 

shoulder deltoid extension millennial fitness derek couts

Start with a very slight bend in the knee to support the lower back, feet shoulder distance apart with weights in both hands. Keep the elbows tucked into the side of the body with weights vertically touching in front of the abdominals. Leading with the elbows, bring the elbows up to a "tabletop" position extending the shoulder joint out. Stop at shoulder height and return to the starting position.

3 sets of 0:45 seconds each

10. Chest Flys

chest flys millennial fitness derek couts

Start with a very slight bend in the knee to support the lower back, feet shoulder distance apart with weights in both hands. Bring arms up so there is a 90 degree angle at the elbow joint. Exhale and bring the arms forward in front of the face, leaving the elbows high and maintaining the 90 degree position. Try to meet the weights and elbows together in front of the face as best you can. As you return to the starting position, keep the chest forward and squeeze the shoulder blades together. 

3 sets of 0:45 seconds each

11. Tricep Push 

tricep push millennial fitness derek couts

Start with feet shoulder distance apart and toes forward, lean forward at the hip slightly over the feet. Be sure to maintain a flat back throughout the exercise and avoid ever hunching the back forward. Think about always keeping the shoulder blades squeezed together with chest and face forward. With palms facing up towards the ceiling, push the weights up towards the ceiling just about 2 inches in an up and down motion. 

2 sets of 25 reps

12. Deltoid/Shoulder Dumbbell Raise 

deltoid shoulder dumbbell raise millennial fitness derek couts

Start with knees straight, feet shoulder distance apart with weights in both hands with palms facing the body and resting against the upper thigh. Raise both arms at the same time only coming up to shoulder level and then back down to the starting position. 

4 sets of 15

Standing Leg Exercises

13. Squats

squats millennial fitness derek couts

Start with toes forward, feet shoulder distance apart, weight in your heels and knees forward. As you go down into the squat motion, keep the heels and toes forward and slightly rotate the knees outward so the motion is lead by the glutes and hamstrings. As you come up, slightly push the hips forward and squeeze the glutes. 

3 sets of 0:45 seconds each

14. Sumo Squats

sumo squats millennial fitness derek couts

Start with feet wider than shoulder distance apart and toes pointed out 45 degrees. Keep the thoracic spine (core) completely straight up and go straight down into the motion as the knees push out. Key here is to never bend over or forward at all (never hunch the back). Only move up and down at the knee joint! As you come up, slightly push the hips forward and squeeze the glutes. 

3 sets of 1 minute each

15. Lunges

lunges millennial fitness derek couts

Spread the legs into a wide stance with the back foot up on the ball of the toe. As you go down into the lunge, be sure to sit into the hip and bend the back knee - very important that you don't lean forward over the front leg. Leaning over the front leg will cause the knee to go over the ankle joint which can cause longterm knee damage. Keep the chest forward and shoulders back the entire time. Go up and down into the motion by bending the back knee down and coming up to straighten the front leg , squeezing the glutes. 

2 sets of 15 on each leg

 

Phew! How do you feel? Remember, the more you do it, the better you will feel and the easier it will become! Adding a workout routine to your bridal fitness goals will help you to achieve them so much faster! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!!

Make sure to check out Part One of the Bridal Fitness series!! 

*If you are interested in more fitness tips and workout routines from Caroline, you can find her on her website,  Twitter, and Instagram!

**All photos were taken by the ever-so-talented Derek Couts!! You can find him on his websiteInstagramTwitter, or Facebook

With love,

Whitney