Fabulous (Fit) Friday: Total Body Bridal Workout

We thought we’d add a little extra spontaneity to this week’s Fabulous Friday by making it a Fabulous (Fit) Friday! Whether you are a go-hard gym-goer or are in the beginning stages of discovering the wonders of exercise on the mind and body, breaking out of an exercise routine a few days before the big day can alter how you feel on the days leading up to your wedding. 

Since a lot of our brides come to us from outside of Charleston, putting aside an exercise routine that you have firmly followed is easy when you don’t have access to your gym. Therefore, this is a 1-hour workout that can be done anywhere. The goal, a total body workout and a dosage of exercising’s addicting endorphins. The requirements, your mind and body.  

Since it is double the fun to work out with a partner, this workout includes some partner exercises that you can do with your fiance, brother, or soon-to-be sister in law! And while this workout can be done at a house, hotel room, or park, add a gorgeous view to your workout by doing it at one of these three Charleston-gems: Brittle Bank Park, Colonial Lake, Waterfront Park. 

ct - 173.jpg

1 hour – Total Body Bridal Workout

(Slightly modified workout originally written by Whitney English, blogger for POPSUGAR Select Fitness and published in To Live & Diet in LA)

Warm up: Perform exercises 1-4 sequentially, without rest in between. 

1.     Jog (5 minutes)

2.     Alternating Toe Touch (30 seconds)

3.     Single Leg Swing (30 seconds/side)

4.     Hand Walkouts (1 minute) 

Cardio Circuit: Perform exercises 1-5 sequentially, then take a 1-minute break, and repeat the circuit once. 

1.     Jumping Jacks – 1 minute 

2.     High Knees – 30 seconds

3.     Butt Kicks – 30 seconds 

4.     Squat Jumps – 30 seconds

5.     Mountain Climbers – 30 seconds 

Lower Body Strength Circuit: Perform exercises 1-5 sequentially, then take a 1-minute break, and repeat the circuit once. 

1.     Backward Lunges – 1 minute/side + 15 second pulse

2.     Plie Squats with Overhead Arm Raise – 1 minute 

3.     Squat hold + Punch – 30 seconds 

4.     Squat hold + Side Stretch – 30 seconds

5.     Standing Side Crunch – 1 minute/side

Upper Body Strength Circuit: Perform exercises 1-3 sequentially, then take a 1-minute break, and repeat the circuit once.

1.     10 Pushups

2.     20 Rotating T-planks

3.     30 Tricep Dips 

Partner Challenge: Perform exercises 1-5 sequentially once, then take a 1-minute break. 

1.     Sprint to a spot + back, then partner goes

2.     Repeat with side skips

3.     Repeat with full skips 

4.     Repeat with a backward jog 

5.     Repeat with a final sprint 

Abs Circuit: Perform exercises 1-3 sequentially once, rest for 15 seconds, and repeat all 3 exercises sequentially once. 

1.     Slow Bicycles – 30 seconds

2.     Leg lifts – 30 seconds

3.     Russian twists – 30 seconds 

With partner: Perform exercises 1-3 sequentially once, rest for 15 seconds, and repeat all 3 exercises sequentially once. 

1.     Plank with high five – 30 seconds 

2.     Crunch with high five – 30 seconds 

3.     Back to back side plank – 30 seconds/side 

Plank Challenge: 

-      See who can hold a plank for longest!

Fabulous Friday: Looking Your Best in Your Dress!

Looking Your Best in Your Dress: Post-Workout Tips

You’ve got a million and a half things you’re juggling at once to get ready for your big day, and in the midst of it all you have to find time to get in a workout so you can look your best. Every day there’s something new that you didn’t consider the day before: the seating, the lighting, the music, the flowers, and so on – the list is endless. It’s a full time job squeezed into your already busy life, and with little time to waste, it’s more important than ever to make every rep count.

That’s why you should take your recovery seriously. After you work out, your body needs to rebuild.

Photo by Hyer Images

Getting up and exercising is only the beginning of the process, just as picking a venue and setting a date are the first steps leading up to “I do”. When you see the people at the gym who have the body that you want, there’s one thing you should know.

Their workout doesn’t end there, nor should yours. You should strive to maximize the potential benefits of the workout you’ve just put in. Don’t give into the junk food or the urge to over-indulge – as much as you’ve earned it, you owe your body a little more.

The only thing required is a little forethought and planning, which may seem like it just adds to the stress, but in the long-term you’ll be happy with the results. Here are a few post-workout steps you can take to make your workout work, so you can focus on what’s really important:

1. It only makes sense, use something up then put it back in. It’s a little more complex than that. You have to be aware of what you put in your body.

You are unique and so are your fitness goals, which should always be your primary consideration when refueling. A weightlifter needs to eat more to facilitate muscle recovery, in comparison to a casual runner trying to burn a few extra calories. Although, the one thing they share is the body’s need for proteins and carbohydrates during for recovery. Over the course of your workout your muscle tissue experiences micro trauma or small tears that your body depends on the essential amino acids in protein to repair, and carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy. You should find the right balance for you. A 1:1 ratio works well while you’re sweating for the wedding.

To recharge efficiently you should have a quick snack rich in macronutrients on hand after a workout. Prep time is negligible for a quick superfood-packed smoothie or a well-chosen trail mix. Here are a few high protein snacks that are great for recovery:

2. This one is a no-brainer. It’s practically a cliché, but with all over-used tropes comes an element of truth; it’s good advice. Hydrate! You should always be thinking about your liquid intake, however the period following a workout is critical because over the course of your workout your muscles become dehydrated, turning them into sponges for nutrients and water. You also use sweat to cool down, leading to the logical conclusion that you need to replenish the fluid you lost. Water works great for most workouts, but for more high-intensity workouts you’ll want to think about options with more electrolytes. Here are a few pointers from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) on staying hydrated:

Before Exercise | 14-22 oz of fluid 2 hours before exercise 

During Exercise | 6-12 oz of water or sports drink every 15-20 minutes of exercises 

After Exercise | 16-24 oz of water or sports drink for every pound of body mass lost during exercise 

Fruits can also play a big role in hydration like grapefruit and watermelon.

3. You don’t need to stretch before a workout. Actually, you really shouldn’t. Despite what you’ve been undoubtedly told, passive static stretching (PSS) is best saved for after a workout to relax them and increase blood flow, stimulating muscle repair and helping to prevent future injury. Make sure you target the areas that feel the tightest to get the best results.

Before your workout, try an active dynamic warm up (AD) that mimics and preps your targeted muscle groups for your planned workout.

Photo by Aaron and Jillian

4. The gym shouldn’t become an every day event. You need to give your body time to rest and recover to maximize the benefits of your workout. It’s almost as important as the workout itself.

Resting doesn’t equate to inactivity; you should scale your activity. You need to rest in between each day of workouts to be ready for the next round – five days on moderate to high intensity and two days off at low intensity, for example.

Alternating muscle groups in your daily workouts is another important form of rest.

Finally, get a good night’s sleep. Getting REM sleep helps your body produce growth hormones that repair damaged muscle tissue. 6-8 hours of sleep a night is the magic number to kick start your recovery and leave you looking your best on your wedding day.