50 tips from top trainers
Shortcuts to your best butt, belly, thighs— every inch of you!—from people celebs trust with their bodies.
2 keys to finding the right routine
> Work out almost daily if…you have only a small window of time or just prefer shorter workouts. “You can go for less time; just be sure to do it nearly every day. My clients don’t exercise for more than 25 minutes. But they see me five days a week.”
—Harley Pasternak, author of The 5 Factor Diet(Clients: Alicia Keys and Eva Mendes)
> Meet with a personal trainer—even if it’s just once. “Tell the trainer you’re going to be doing only a single intro session. Get a plan from him or her and be sure to take lots of notes!”
—David Brainin, a master trainer at Crunch Fitness in Los Angeles, a celeb hangout
10 shortcuts to faster results
> “For flat abs, work your thighs. Adding lean muscle to large muscle groups like your thighs boosts metabolism and helps you melt fat off of your entire body—belly included.”
—Jackie Warner, owner of Sky Sport & Spa and star of Bravo’s Workout
> “Lift the heaviest weights you can once a week. To see that great definition, you have to kick your own butt once in a while. For your other weekly strength session (yes, you need at least two), you can use lighter weights.”
—Teddy Bass(Clients: Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu)
> “And lift those dumbbells slooowly. Take at least three counts to raise them and three to lower. If you speed through the reps, you’ll use too much momentum—and that’s cheating!”
—Yumi Lee, co-owner of Atom Fitness(Former clients: Demi Moore and Julianna Margulies)
> “Check your form. I see women crunch and crunch and never get the flat abs they want—the reason is that they aren’t getting into the right position before they start. Begin with a slight curve in your back, then pull your belly button to your spine tightly. Then crunch up. Your form really can make the difference between seeing results now—or never.”
—Gregory Joujon-Roche, owner of Holistic Fitness(Former clients: Pink and Demi Moore)
> “Use a heart rate monitor. I give one to every client to take the guesswork out of ‘Should I work harder?’”
> “Try a mini triathlon at the gym—hit the treadmill for 10 minutes, then the bike, then the rowing machine or stair climber. You’ll get results twice as fast because of the variety.”
> “If you’re not slimming down, check your diet and exercise habits. If weight loss is your goal, you should lose at least a pound after two weeks. Don’t wait a month to reassess. The sooner you figure out what’s wrong—such as not pushing yourself during workouts—the better.”
> “Get a big inflatable ball. Doing moves like crunches on the unstable surface will work lots of little muscles you never even knew you had.”
> “Grab some weights and walk. Set the treadmill for a comfortable but brisk pace as you do biceps curls, shoulder presses, triceps extensions, and front and side raises. You’ll get your cardio and strength training done even when you’re time-crunched.”
—Michael George, author of Body Express Makeover(Former clients: Reese Witherspoon and Meg Ryan)
> “Pick moves that tone several muscles at once. Do biceps curls while you do a lunge, for example. You’ll work your upper and lower body with one exercise.”
5 things to eat (and drink) more of
> Veggies, veggies, veggies.
> Lean protein “It’s what will keep you feeling satisfied,” says Peterson. Think chicken breast or fish.
> Good Fats like the unsaturated ones found in avocados, nuts and olive oil.
> Healthy carbs—the whole-grain and unprocessed kind.
5 basics every trainer believes in
> Do what you like.
> Add variety to your workout. “Otherwise, you will stop getting results,” says Bass.
> Lift more weight. “Many women use dumbbells smaller than their engagement ring,” says Peterson.
> Pull your belly to your spine during any move for added ab benefit.
> Do intervals (think two minutes at a fast speed, then two minutes at a slow one) to burn extra calories.
4 ways to stay motivated
> “Don’t hide your body in baggy clothes. If you wear something schlumpy, you’ll feel schlumpy and less motivated. Many of my clients love Nike Dri-Fit tights—they are the most flattering, cellulite-hiding pants in the world. I’ve had clients who weigh 240 pounds and clients who weigh 100 pounds, and they look amazing on everyone.” —Ashley Borden
> “Go to the gym, even though you don’t feel like it. Then get dressed and walk out of the locker room. If at that point you still want to go home, fine. Nine times out of 10, you’ll stay.” —Mike Alexander
> “Give yourself credit for what you have done, rather than beating yourself up for what you haven’t.” —Michael George
> “Work out in the morning. You’ll likely have more energy then. Plus, if something comes up and you don’t get to exercise, you still have a chance to make it up later in the day.” —Mike Alexander
4 classic moves that work
> Squats. They target your butt and legs.
> Push-ups. “The regular kind work at least five major muscle groups all at once,” says Waters.
> Biceps curls. Lift five pounds, minimum.
3 secrets to looking slimmer than your size
> “Focus more on the muscles that people see. If you have a closet full of sleeveless dresses and tank tops, then you should be doing twice as many moves for your shoulders and arms as for, say, your abs. People will assume everything else is toned to perfection too.”
—Mike Alexander(Clients: Jessica Simpson And Amanda Bynes)
> “Don’t slouch! Good posture will instantly make you look 10 pounds thinner and 10 times more confident. Keep it up at the gym, too. Standing tall while you’re working out actually makes every move you do more effective.”
—Ramona Braganza(Client: Jessica Alba)
> “Stop obsessing about the number on your scale. Not one of the female celebrities I train weighs what you would think. They’re all heavier but they’re still tiny, sizewise, because incredibly toned muscles weigh more than flab but take up less space.”
—Ron Mathews, co-owner of Atom Fitness(Former client: Sarah Chalke)
8 genius eat-right rules
> “Don’t ask too much of your diet. Is it possible to drop 10 pounds in 10 days? Yes, if you’re willing to starve and exercise incessantly—but you’ll regain the weight and then some. One to two pounds a week should be your goal.” —Gunnar Peterson
> “Plan ahead. All my clients carry snacks like string cheese or yogurt. If you wait until you’re starving, you’re going to break down and order the 600-calorie croissant with your coffee.” —Valerie Waters
> “When you eat out, order whatever looks good to you—but cut the portion in half. This way, you don’t have to count calories or consider every single morsel that goes in your mouth.” —Ramona Braganza
> Add something crunchy to your plate. “Throw a few sliced almonds on your salad rather than just soft greens and chicken cubes. It makes you feel like you’ve eaten more than you have.” —Ashley Borden
> “Watch your daily caffeine intake. A lot of women guzzle coffee to squelch their appetites. But you need to be in touch with those internal cues; they tell you what to eat and when you’re full. Override them and you could end up eating more in the long run when nothing is hitting the spot—because you’ve killed the spot.” —Ashley Borden
> “Let yourself eat one or two ‘bad’ things each day. Women often give up if they’re not perfect one day, and then eat like they’ve been stranded at sea for a week. You’re much better off eating 80 percent well consistently.” —Ron Mathews
> “Skip the pre-gym snacks. Unless you’re working out hard for more than an hour, you don’t need one.” —David Brainin
> “And beware the postworkout nibbles. A lot of women end up having, say, three slices of pizza or the chocolate layer cake because they think, hey, I’ve earned it. But if your goal is weight loss, you need that calorie deficit from exercising to slim down.” —Valerie Waters
5 moves to remake your body
> For abs… The plank. In a raised push-up position, pull your belly button to your spine and hold for 30 seconds. “It works that hard-to-tone part of your lower belly, which makes your torso look slimmer.” —Valerie Waters
> For butt… The butt lift. Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor, with a towel rolled between your knees. While squeezing thighs and butt, lift hips up as high as you can; pulse a tiny bit higher for 50 counts. —Mari Winsor, owner of Winsor Pilates
> For thighs… The modified leg lift. Stand with arms lifted out at shoulder height. Lift right leg a few inches off the floor and turn foot in; lift leg up to the side as high as you can; lower. Do three sets of eight on each leg. —Teigh McDonough, co-owner of Swerve Studio
> For shoulders and arms… The push-up/punch combo. Start by doing as many push-ups in a row as you can. Then stand up, grab a couple of soup cans and punch one arm out, then the other, for one minute. —Jackie Warner
> For posture… The dumbbell row. Holding weights, stand with feet hip-width apart; bend at hips until back is slightly arched. Reach toward floor; bring weights to armpits, bending elbows and squeezing upper back; lower. Do two sets of 20. —Michael George
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