Everyone has goals, but somewhere in a lot of people’s lists you’d find fitness goals.
And because we want you to stay fit and hot for all the owambe’s in 2016, we are proud to bring you this fun, inspirational fitness shoot put together by an awesome team. The team consists of Wedding blogger – Wura Maonola of Manola Luxe, Nigerian Fitness Guru and Personal Trainer – Obi of FitNigeria™, Ade Owolabi of The Virtuous Style, shot by Nigerian photographer – Akintayotimi.
Whether you’re getting married in 2016 or you have a number of weddings to attend or you just need tips on getting fit, this article is for you. As the bride you want to slide into that gorgeous mermaid dress without needing a waist trainer to accentuate your curves, and as the groom you want to look super sharp in your suit, with your guns popping out, right? If yes, then look no further.
The aim of this shoot is to bring you an exclusive step-by-step guide on how you can stay lean, build muscle and eliminate fat this year. This article also shares easy but effective exercises you can do at home alone or with a workout partner if you do not have a gym nearby.
There are many benefits of having a competitive workout partner. Working out with your friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, husband or wife is not just more fun but is proven to be the motivation that pushes you to train harder, regularly. Here are some tips to get you wedding day ready! Below is a workout circuit that combines strength training and cardio. We hope you enjoy them and they motivate you to lace up your sneakers and break a sweat! For instructions on how to properly do each exercise, keep reading.
Benefits: Whether on a treadmill or outside, running is a great way to get your heart rate up, burn calories and tone up your leg muscles. It’s also a great time to discuss your day, plans and to bond with your significant other or workout buddy while pushing each other to keep going. Other great forms of cardiovascular exercise include cycling, swimming, high intensity interval training, and circuit training e.t.c.
- Start slowly and pick a distance to cover, to and from your starting point
- Gradually increase the distance run every 3 to 7 days, say by 0.5km
- Note that proper running form and gear help to improve speed, distance covered and to prevent injury
Benefits: If you invest in just one exercise tool, it should be a jump rope. Not only is it easy to carry around, it is also relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Use it for weight-loss, to tone up your muscles (total body) or to increase cardiovascular fitness.
- When you jump, keep your arms relaxed and slightly bent, and keep your upper-body movements to a minimum. Your feet should barely clear the floor, and you should bend your knees just slightly.
- Instead of turning your arms in big circles, simply let your wrists swivel slightly. (This is especially important when using a heavy rope; otherwise, you’re in for sore shoulders.)
- Start with a few short sets — about 30 jumps for a light rope, 5 to 10 turns for a heavy rope. Rest by marching in place between sets.
- Gradually increase the number of sets and jumps per set while decreasing the time you spend marching. Eventually, you’ll be able to jump 10 minutes or more continuously (probably less with a heavy rope).
120 skips/4 sets
Benefits: Punch & kick (Kickboxing) is a form of exercise that has stood the test of time. As a fitness activity, its major benefits are improved cardiovascular health, total body strength and endurance, speed, agility, and foot-hand-eye coordination. Many professional athletes and fitness trainers recognize the benefits of kickboxing and now include this form of exercise in their workout routines.
- Clench your fists and your keep your head and chin slightly angled downwards
- With a swift motion, twist and throw your rear arm forward (exhaling through your mouth) towards a punching bag, pad or air
- Repeat with the other arm
- To add difficulty, add a kick after two punches
Time: 4 sets x 1 minute (rest for 15 seconds between sets)
Benefits: Planking is a great exercise that can be done anywhere and at any time. It helps to tone your core muscles, improves flexibility, balance and posture.
- Start in a proper push up position engaging your core by sucking in your belly button and keeping your body straight from shoulders to feet. One variation of planks requires you to maintain this position till failure.
- In the second variation, bend your elbows and let you weight rest on your forearms, keeping your body straight from shoulders to ankles and core engaged, maintaining this position till failure (which means till you cannot continue to hold the pose with proper form)
Time: Till failure/4 sets
Benefits: If yoga and pilates practice are part of your exercise regime, then you have probably done this exercise even if you did not know the name. It’s great for your butt, back and hips by building muscle and flexibility.
- Laying on your back, flat against the floor, place your hands by your sides and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat against the floor, about shoulder width apart
- Lift your hips off the floor, pushing mostly through your heels, keeping your back straight and glutes squeezed and core tight and breathe out through your mouth
- Slowly return to the starting position, taking breathes in
10 reps/4 sets
Benefits: Squatting is a great compound, full body exercise that engages your back, shoulders, core, glutes and legs. It’s an exercise that everyone should do, with or without weights as it helps to build muscle, increase strength and burn fat. Do you even squat?
- Stand with your feet a slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
- Extend yours arms in front to help maintain balance and slowly bring your hips backward and downward (almost like sitting on an imaginary chair) parallel to the ground
- As your butt begins to stick out, keep your chest, shoulders and back straight and your eyes focused straight ahead on a spot
- Remember to always keep your core engaged, explode back up to standing, driving through heels and pelvic thrust slightly, squeezing the glutes for full muscle engagement
10 – 12 reps/ 4 sets
Kneeling Single Leg Kick back
Benefits: This exercise is great for toning your glutes and strengthening your hamstrings. Do this exercise before your squats, especially if you do bodyweight squats…thank me later
- Start in plank position, and place one knee on the ground while keeping the second leg straight behind.
- Raise the rear leg, squeezing the glutes to activate the muscles.
10 reps /4 sets
Benefits: With proper form, crunches are a great way to burn calories and tone the abdominal muscles. According to many fitness professionals, the stability ball crunch, vertical leg crunch and long arm crunch are the most effective crunch variations.
- Laying flat on your back, hold your elbows out to the sides with your fingers at the back of your head.
- Tilt your chin inwards towards your chest leaving a slight gap.
- Your feet should be placed flat on the ground and held down by your workout partner.
- Curl up keeping your head, neck, and back inline and avoiding curving your back. Pause at the top for about 2 seconds and slowly return to the starting position.
12-15 reps/4 sets
Benefits: Lunges are one of the best lower body exercises that effectively works out your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles. Core strength and hip flexibility are added benefits of doing lunges, as always with proper form.
- With your upper body straight, relax and bring your shoulders back keep your eyes focused straight forward
- Keeping your core engaged, step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent and your quads are in tension at about a 90-degree angle for about 2 seconds
- Gradually return to standing position for about 1 second and repeat the motion with the opposite leg
10- 12 reps/4 sets
**Repeat each exercise for 4 sets except for the run.
NOTE: We advice that before each training session, you do a good dynamic stretch and then a static stretch afterwards. This will help to avoid injury and to increase flexibility while performing each exercise. Look out on www.fitnigeria360.com for articles on stretching; how and when to.
For more pictures from the shoot and to meet the team behind this shoot, visit Manolaluxe.com
- Planner & Director: Wura Manola, Manola Luxe
- Author and Male Model: Obi, FitNigeria
- Female Model: Ade Owolabi, The Virtuous Style
- Photographer: Akintayotimi