In this second session in my ‘bridal ready’ series, I focus on energising and boosting your metabolism with a short up-tempo workout. Often when we feel overwhelmed with the planning and seemingly endless ‘to do’ list it’s helpful to to take a break and refocus.
This session is designed to raise your heartrate, spike your metabolic rate, and get the blood flowing. There are also some great toning exercises included, so you will definitely ‘feel the burn’ even in this short session.
All you need is a mat on the floor and some great high-energy tracks to carry you through. I hope it will leave you feeling energised and ready to take on the next job on the list.
Starting with a nice tall posture feeling rooted through the feet and a sense of length through the crown of the head. The feet are parallel and there is a micro-bend at the knees and then ‘zip up’ the abdominals.
Inhale deeply as you raise the arms to the side and to a high ‘V’, exhale all the air out as you lower the arms to a low ‘V’. Do this at least 4 times lengthening the exhalation with each repetition.
Keeping a soft bend in the knees start marching the knees maintaining the lift through the torso and a lifted eyeline. The knee lifts can start low and then lift higher when/if you feel ready.
Add in a swing of opposite arm to leg and add in a twist of the torso so you start to really feel the abs switching on and the heartrate lifting.
Final variation: push the palms and arms up to the sky whilst continuing to march the legs. This will immediately start to raise your heartrate….and your mood!
Did you know your thighs are your biggest muscle group and your biggest calorie burner, so feel free to keep the variations below going for longer if you can.
Set the feet wider than hips width and turn the toes out to a 45-degree angle. As you bend the knees and sink the hips down, ensure that the knees are over the middle toes and that the torso is lifted as though you had a glass wall behind you.
Fully extend the legs squeezing the glutes and then lower to your deepest bend maintaining strong abs and a lifted torso. Take 2 counts to lengthen and 2 counts to lower and remember to breathe as the work in the thighs starts to increase. Arms move from low V to high V as you move up and down.
Sink to your deepest wide second and hold it there. Then take micro pulses for about 30 seconds on the beat maintaining beautiful posture and a sense of a corset tightening around your middle. Arms stay high to keep the heartrate lifted.
Staying low in your wide second, keep the legs still and lift the heels up and down on the beat. This is going to really add some fire to those thighs as well as testing your balance. Remember to really engage your abdominals and keep the posture tall!
Staying in the wide second, hinge the torso forward on a ‘ski slope’ angle. From there start to draw the elbows to the hips and reach them on a high diagonal whilst pulsing the legs. Send the hips back and stay low as you build up the pace to really raise your heartrate!
Come down to the mat and set the hands under the shoulders and legs long, hip-socket-width apart. Establish a strong lift in the abdominals and one long line from the crown of the head to the heels…’like a piece of steel!’
Top Tip: make a strong fist or work in a forearm plank if your wrists are sensitive.
1 leg presses: squeeze one heel in towards the seat, maintaining your plank position, take tiny presses up of the bent leg and feel the hamstrings and glutes really activating. Do x10 pulses and then the second side.
Note you could always rest the knees down briefly in between sets.
From the full plank, place one hand directly under your chest and rotate the feet so that you flow straight into your side plank. Keep hips stacked and abdominals strong and take tiny hip lifts in your side plank x10-15 times.
Then transition through the centre and switch sides as smoothly as possible and repeat x10-15 hip lifts on the second side.
Return to the full plank and run the knees in slowly to the chest keeping shoulders over the wrists. Start to build up the pace for another cardio burst and maintain that pace for at least 20 seconds.
Rest back to a child pose with the knees apart and the head resting to the mat for a couple of deep restorative breaths.
The surprise is….it always burns. Placing your knees two-fists apart and the toes touching the spine is upright and you float the hips just off the heels.
Expert Tip: if your knees are sensitive then start with the hips a little higher.
Then make fists and bend the arms taking the elbows towards each hip as you alternate lifting the right then left hip. Make it small and sexy! For the cardio finish start to punch both fists over head as you tuck the pelvis whilst continuing to hover the seat off the heels…..it’s a killer….but it’s fun!
Sit tall and send the legs long in front of you, place the hands behind the seat with fingers pointing forward. From there push up into a reverse plank aiming for one long diagonal from feet to head.
Extend one leg up and circle the leg in the hip. The leg could be ¾ extended or fully extended. Try to keep the hips lifted and glutes active as you open the chest to the high diagonal. Aim for x5-10 circles in each direction then switch the leg.
If you need a break between sides then lower the seat to the mat and reset your reverse plank!
Sit with the legs extended and together with feet flexed take x3 flowing folds over the legs inhale to extend arms up to the sky, exhale to fold over the legs. On the 3rd one stay folded and take a few deep restorative breaths into the back body.
You should be left feeling energised and invigorated by this short sequence.
Remember you can always increase the reps if you are feeling strong and ready to add one or more exercises in my Bridal Ready Series.