Buff Brides Fitness Challenge:
Weeks 1 and 2
Workouts for weeks 1 and 2 of the Buff Brides Fitness challenge.
Weeks 1 and 2: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
| Upper Body
|Chest Press With Band
Sit in a chair with your legs apart to provide support and help you balance. Bring an elastic fitness band behind the seatback and position your arms at chest level, holding the ends of the band firmly with your hands. Slowly and carefully, push your arms forward, exhaling and keeping your wrists at chest level. Inhale as you return your arms to the starting position.
|Bent Over Rows
Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and back straight. Slightly bend at the knees and waist so that you are leaning forward approximately 45 degrees with arms extended toward the floor. Exhale while pulling your arms back and hands up toward your stomach, keeping elbows close to your body; inhale as you return your arms to the starting position. Add dumbbells when you are comfortable with the motion.
Lie face-down on a mat. Exhale while raising your arms straight out and up and lifting your shoulders and ankles off the ground. You will feel your lower back and hip muscles flexing. Inhale as you lower your arms and feet back to the starting position.
| Basic Dumbbell Curls
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand at waist level, with your palms facing forward. Exhale and curl the weight upward, keeping your elbows close to your side. Inhale as you return your arms to the starting position.
| Rear Triceps Extension
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and bend at the knees and waist so you're leaning forward at a 45-degree angle. Make a fist and bend your arm to bring your hand up to chest level. Keep your elbow and upper arm stationary while bringing your hand down and extending it behind you, exhaling as you go. Inhale while pivoting your arm back to the starting position.
| Front Arm Raises
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make fists with your hands and raise your arms straight out in front of you until they reach shoulder height, exhaling as you go. Inhale as you lower your arms back to the starting position.
| Lower Body
Stand with both feet together. Inhale and step forward into lunge position, keeping the knee of your front leg centered over top of the ankle. Drop your rear knee straight down to the ground. Return to the starting position by straightening your back leg and pushing up from the heel of your front foot, exhaling as you go. Repeat with other leg.
| Basic Squats
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Inhale and slowly bend at the knees and hips until your rear end is at chair level, keeping your head up and back straight, while raising your arms to shoulder level. Return to the starting position, exhaling as you go.
| Dumbbell Leg Extensions
Sit in a chair and place a dumbbell between your feet. Lean back and hold the edge of the seat for support. Exhale and straighten your legs at the knees to lift the weight.
Inhale as you lower your legs to the starting position.
| Core Body
| Side Abs Stretch
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Lift your arms overhead and clasp your hands together. Gently lean to the side until you feel a slight pull in the oblique (side abdominals) muscles. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds each side, breathing normally.
| Cross-Armed Crunches
Lie back on a mat with your knees bent and cross your arms across your chest. Crunch forward by pushing your lower back into the mat and squeezing your abdominal muscles, exhaling as you go; your chin should push in toward your chest and your shoulders should lift several inches off the mat. Inhale as you return to the starting position.
| Post-Workout Stretches
| Knee Pulls
Lie on your back on a mat and raise your knees toward your chest. Grasp your knees with your hands and gently pull them toward your chest. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds, breathing normally.
| Chest Expansion
Stand with your hands clasped behind your back and gently lift them up and back as far as possible. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds, breathing normally.
| Cross-Body Triceps Stretch |
Stand with feet slightly apart and hold one arm straight out in front of you at shoulder level. Grasp the elbow with your opposite hand and gently pull your arm towards your chest. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds, breathing normally. Repeat on the other side.
| Front Bicep Stretch
Extend one arm straight out at shoulder level, with palm facing up. Use your other hand to pull down on the fingers of the extended arm. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds, breathing normally.
| Butterfly Stretch|
Sit on a mat with the heels of your feet pressed together, letting your knees drop to the side as far as is comfortable. Rest your hands on your ankles and gently lean forward. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds, breathing normally.
| Figure 4 Stretch|
Lie on your back on a mat with the ankle of one leg across the knee of the other leg. Gently pull the back of the thigh toward your body, holding the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. Breathe normally throughout the stretch.
Cardiovascular Goal: 60 to 80 min.
This week, aim for 60 to 80 minutes total of aerobic activity; each session should last at least 20 minutes and should safely elevate your heart rate. (Read more about target heart rate).
Fitness Tips for Weeks 1 and 2
If you haven't exercised in a while, stick to light weights, and walking for cardio.
Step it up.
Increase the intensity of the Chest Press with Band by wrapping the band twice around your wrist to make the tension harder.
Limit caloric sports drinks to after workouts, when your body needs electrolytes.
Get fit for a good cause.
Sign-up for a run/walk event with friends or coworkers to combine fitness with charitable giving.
"No pain, no gain" is a myth. If you feel pain while exercising, stop. Check your form and adjust weights as needed.
Stay hydrated! Don't forget to stay hydrated with at least 8 glasses of water a day, plus 12 ounces of water after a workout.
Wedding Tips for Weeks 1 and 2
Indulge Yourself at a Spa.
Don't wait for your wedding to pamper yourself with a beauty treatment. Reward your hard work now with a relaxing manicure. For the ultimate indulgence, add a soothing paraffin dip to soothe and protect your skin and cuticles, or splurge on a pedicure, too.
If you receive gifts before the wedding, send thank-you notes right away, or the sender might wonder if the gift arrived. Print out your guest list and write a description of the gift next to the person who sent it; indicate that a thank-you note was dispatched as well.
Keep Your Gown in Mind.
Tape a picture of your gown to the refrigerator or mirror to help motivate you when you don't feel like working out. Even though regular exercise needs to be a lifestyle change, thinking about the short-term goal of your wedding day—and look gorgeous in your gown—can help keep you committed to the workouts.
Make a List and Check it Twice.
Make a photographer's list of all the special people and moments you want captured so nothing is missed on the big day. Your photographer will know to capture big moments—your kiss during the ceremony, the cake cutting, your first dance—but he or she might not know to take a close-up of the favors you spent hours wrapping with ribbon, or that you want to document your cousin's crazy moves on the dance floor.
Try the Other Workouts
Buff Brides Fitness Challenge: Week 3
Buff Brides Fitness Challenge: Week 4
Buff Brides Fitness Challenge: Week 5
Buff Brides Fitness Challenge: Week 6
Buff Brides Fitness Challenge: Week 7
Buff Brides Fitness Challenge: Week 8
Buff Brides Fitness Challenge: Week 9
Buff Brides Fitness Challenge: Week 10
Buff Brides Fitness Challenge: Week 11
Buff Brides Fitness Challenge: Week 12