Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bridal Bootcamp

I am a bit of a fitness junkie - my day is not complete unless I get a good workout in. My workouts always vary and have been known to include running outside, spin class, the elliptical, the treadmill, pilates, yoga, body sculpting, free weights and nautilus machines. I love working out, but even I was concerned about getting in better shape for the big day and the beach honeymoon following.

The weather has been amazing, so I make it a point to get outside and run. The sun is a serious motivator, no one wants to run in the rain. Just don't forget your sunscreen! Tan lines DO NOT complement a strapless gown.

Strength training has been my focus recently. It's my least favorite part of working out so it is definitely where I need to direct my efforts. My new favorite strength training exercises are done using a resistance band. I like to work out with a resistance band because you can do it anywhere. If my workout is outside, I don't necessarily want to go to the gym so I can use the bands at home. I can also toss it in my bag if I go away so if I can only run or use a small hotel gym, I can still get in good strengthening exercises. Follow these resistance band exercise instructions below. The pictures are available on

Chest Press
Wrap the band around something stable behind you and hold handles in both hands, tubing running along the inside of the arms (under the armpits), palms facing each other. Squeeze chest and press arms out in front of you. Return to start and repeat.

Bent Over Row
Center tube under feet and bend forward at the waist, back flat and abs in. Grab tube close to the feet and bend the elbows to pull the arms up to the torso, squeezing the back. You can also do a seated version (see picture to right) on a ball or chair.

Rear Delt Row
Wrap band around stable object and sit (or stand) facing it, holding the handles with arms out in front, palms down. Pull the elbows back until level with torso, squeezing the shoulder blades and keeping arms parallel to ground.

One-Armed Reverse Fly
With front foot standing on one end of the band, hold other end in one hand and lean over, abs in, torso at 45 degrees. Keeping elbow slight bent and in fixed position, raise arm out to shoulder level, squeezing shoulder blades.

One-Armed Lateral Raise
Sit (or stand) with one end of tube under foot and the other end in one hand. Keeping elbow slightly bent and fixed, lift the arm out to side, to shoulder level.

Overhead Press
Place both feet on tube and grasp handles, bringing hands up just over shoulders with elbows bent and palms in. Press arms up over head and then lower.

External Rotation
Attach band to a sturdy object and sit or stand with right side facing object, holding handle in the left hand. Begin with hand in front of belly, elbow at 90 degrees. Keeping elbow in fixed position, rotate the forearm out to the side to about 30-45 degrees (not too far!). Skip this move if you have shoulder problems.

Bicep Curl
Place both feet on tube and grasp handles (the wider the feet, the harder the exercise). Bend the elbows and curl hands up towards shoulder. Lower and repeat.

Cross-Body Bicep
Place left foot on band and hold the handle in right hand. Begin the move with palm facing in and bend the elbow, curling hand up towards the shoulder, going across the body.

Band Kickback
Attach band to sturdy object in front of you in a split stance, bent at the waist with abs in. Hold handle in one hand, elbow bent. Straighten the arm, contracting the back of the arm.


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