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Barbells and ponytails. Deadlifts and lipstick. Never underestimated the power of a fit bride-to-be!
SA Weddings know you want to look and feel your best in time for your big day and so, we teamed up with a top-notch personal trainer, to create the ultimate cheat-sheet for a few exercises you can try at home to help get you in the best shape possible. Cape Town based personal trainer, Rudi Du Plesis, shares a few of his favourite moves for maximum results for us all to try at home.

1. The Burpee

The burpee is a full body strength training exercise. It's the ultimate example of functional fitness. You'll work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and your darling abs all at the same time! Don't be afraid if you find your legs are feeling like lead post your burped workout; that only means you're doing it right.

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2. The Walking Lunge

The benefits of walking lunges range from improved balance, a boost of functionality, symmetrical toning and all-round core stability. Long gone is the idea that you need a gym and all its specialised equipment to make a start for your best bod yet and all of these exercises can be done in your garden, lounge or in-between those pesky household chores. We suggest contacting a personal trainer who will help you work towards achieving your personal goals and even if you can't afford a full-time trainer; they can help you get started by setting up an exercise routine suited to your lifestyle and help familiarise you with these moves.

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3. The Superman

This quirky pose helps strengthen your upper and lower back muscles. If you practice this pose regularly, it may also help to alleviate the back pain that is related to weak muscle tone. Besides working your back muscles, 'The Superman' also works your glutes and hamstrings for shapely legs and derrière. In that case...sign us up!

4. The Womanly Push Up

Sadly, women have less upper body strength than men. For us lovely ladies, doing these push ups will help strengthen and tone our forearms and biceps. It will also allow us to work those hard-to-tone triceps! This is the perfect excercise for the dress that shows off a little of your arms, so watch out Madonna, we're coming for you!

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5. The Dreaded Plank

Holding a plank is not as easy as it may look, we girls in the office will tell you, we are constantly restarting the Monthly Plank Challenge! It's such a great exercise, as it incorporates strength and endurance training in your back, abs and core muscles. It also happens to be one of the best core exercises you can do and whether you can hold it for 20 seconds or 2 minutes, any starting point is a positive in our books!

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6. The Side Plank

If you think your normal plank pose was tough, wait till you try the side plank! But don't give up, the tricky side plank only benefits you. It will kick those love-handles into shape, strengthen your spine, improve your balance and tone your shoulders and arms.

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7. The Donkey Kick

This is the exercise that will give you a full-body workout. When you move into the lift movement you're toning all three of your rear muscles which is why we love Donkey Kicks far more than your average squats. All you need is a little floor space and a yoga mat (to give some much-needed extra comfort to your knees). then pop on your favourite series or listen to a new song and squeeze in a few reps on each side!

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8. The Step Up

We're big fans of this exercise - give the treadmill a break and opt for a set of these! The benefits are huge - symmetry and balance improvement as well as allowing your body to maximise strength for your later squats and deadlifts. You'll feel it give you more explosive power. You go girl!

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