Keep Fit: Wedding Workouts to Practice Year-round

Workout year-round to prepare for your wedding.
Workout year-round to prepare for your wedding.. Photo credit: nPine/Thinkstock

Last spring was my first “wedding season.” April, May and June weekends were filled with bouquets and bridesmaids’ dresses. Though it was a fun time, having a weekend-long list of activities made it increasingly difficult to maintain a consistent exercise routine. Amidst all the prep for the celebrations, finding time to work out—and all that goes along with that, like changing into athletic clothes, heading out, stretching, showering—was the biggest road block to staying in shape. But I’ve since discovered a number of ways to keep fit without breaking a major sweat.

For those stressing out about ‘bride arms,’ being fit for a wedding doesn’t have to mean marrying your gym. It doesn’t take long to do a few simple exercises to help strengthen and tone. They don’t even require any equipment, or leaving your room, though using a yoga mat may make you more comfortable. Whether you have immediate plans to walk down the aisle or not, implement the below exercises into your daily routine, and you’re 10 minutes away from a more fit you.


If you follow Dan’s Papers on Instagram, you may have noticed that we plank in the office quite frequently. (I’m referring to the planking as a way to strengthen your core, not the phenomenon of laying facedown in increasingly challenging places.)

Planking can be done in a number of ways, though the most common includes laying on your forearms. In yoga, the plank position involves coming up onto your hands. Be sure to keep your back straight and your butt low, and feel yourself engaging your core muscles. For another challenge, alternate between the two positions, starting on your forearms, then going onto your hands and then back down to your forearms. Repeat so that you switch which side you come up on first.

I ran track in college, and we use to spend a minute planking with both arms, 30 seconds doing side planks, where you come up onto just one arm and one leg, turning your body to be perpendicular with the ground, and then another minute of regular planking.

Total time: 3 minutes

Chair Post (Utkatasana)

I’m stealing this move from yoga, as it strengthens your quads as well as toning your whole body. For the chair post, put your feet together and bend your knees, careful to not have them bend over your toes, until your thighs are as parallel to the ground as they can go. Then, lift your arms straight above your head, so that your elbows are close to your ears, taking care to not raise your shoulders. Have the majority of your weight in your heels. Hold for as long as you can. I usually try to do six sets of 30 seconds each.

Because it can be intense, warm up your muscles a bit first by doing jumping jacks or running in place. And, always pay attention to how you feel.

Total time: 3 minutes


10 pushups before bed. 10 pushups before you get in the shower. You can do it.

I’m not really at a fitness level where I can just quickly bang out a pushup every two seconds. So…

Total time: 1 minute

Clam Shells

This one is deceptively difficult. Lay on one side. Place your legs on top of each other and bend your knees. Lift your top knee, keeping your feet touching. Try three sets of 10 on each side.

Total time: 3 minutes

As always, pay attention to your body and stop if you feel any pain. Do with what works for you. Even small workouts are better than no workouts.

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