We spill the beans on the latest exercise secrets of the hottest A-list bodies, so you can look as good as they do.
Jessica Biel loves Jacobs Ladder
The striking star, who recently broke up with heartthrob Justin Timberlake, owes her perfect physique to her consistent workouts. Said to work out five times a week, the 28-year-old has been using the latest cardio machine, Jacobs Ladder, to complement her usual running strength, yoga and hiking workouts.
What is it?
Jacob’s Ladder is a cross between a moving ladder and high-tech climbing frame set at a 40° incline to take stress off your lower back. The device reacts to your speed, so the faster you go, the faster the ladder moves.
‘This is a low-impact machine, good for people who want to take the stress off their lower back, hips, knees and ankles, while getting the heart pumping,’ says celebrity trainer and inventor of the AB-MXR core trainer, Joanna Kabbani (ab-mxr.com). ‘Studies confirm exercises working the arms and legs at the same time use more energy, burning more calories than moves that use just the arms or the legs.’
To burn fat and lose weight, consistently do at least 20 minutes of cardio exercise to raise the heart rate four times a week,’ says Kabbani.
Beyoncé loves hula hooping
Bootylicious singer Beyoncé has to work hard to keep her curves in check. As well as doing lots of cardio, such as running, she also puts her body through its paces using a hula hoop. The core movements this involves are great for maintaining her perfect pear shape and she’s such an expert she even hula hooped during one of her concerts to her song, ‘Work it out.’
What is it?
Hula hooping is a fun hip-swivelling workout. You can either use a regular plastic hoop or a weighted version to make your workout harder.
‘Hula hooping has a great reputation for cinching the waist, but it also uses the muscles in your core and legs, which helps with all-over toning while improving your flexibility and posture,’ says Kabbani.
Hula hooping isn’t enough to push your heart rate right up to the max, so make sure you combine this with some high-intensity cardio, such as running, to help you burn fat and improve your fitness levels,’ says Kabbani. ‘Keep moving around and swirl the hoops around your arms, thighs and shoulders to get your whole body involved.’
Katy Perry loves skipping
American beauty Katy Perry keeps her body beautiful by skipping. She’s not a fan of the gym so skips for at least 25 minutes every other day and does some resistance training too. ‘I hate working out, but I love jumping rope. There’s a rhythm. It’s like dancing,’ she says.
What is it?
Skipping is a quick and easy way to get your heart rate pumping and burn fat. All you need is a rope and plenty of floor space.
What are the body benefits?
‘Skipping is a good cardio workout,’ says Kabbani. ‘Not only will it improve your coordination, agility and endurance, but it also works the muscles in the upper and lower body and burns loads of calories.’
‘Mix up your skipping for a great interval workout,’ says Kabbani. ‘Stick on some funky music and alternate a minute of fast skipping with a period of slow skipping. This type of interval training will burn lots of calories during and after your workout, because high-intensity training raises your metabolic rate.’
Gwyneth Paltrow loves Callanetics
Paltrow’s latest hot-body secret is out – she does Callanetics. The method obviously works well for the mother of two after she recently showed off her enviable figure as a guest in the latest series of Glee. ‘I’ve found what works for me,’ Paltrow says. ‘I know if I put in an hour and a half, five days a week, I’m good.’
What is it?
‘It’s a non-impact exercise technique that uses just your body weight or very light weights for resistance,’ says Kabbani. ‘The method is based around micro movements, or pulses, that work the muscles at very deep levels for dramatic toning effects.’
What are the body benefits?
‘Callanetics can benefit muscular and cardiovascular fitness, as well as balance, agility and posture,’ says Kabbani. ‘There’s no need for expensive equipment or gym membership and there’s a huge variety of exercises that can be done anywhere.’
‘Keep your reps high (over 20) and change the moves you do regularly to keep your muscles guessing,’ says Kabbani.
Scarlett Johansson loves kettlebells
This golden girl has always looked fantastic, but late last year she had to turn it up a notch to fit in that skintight jumpsuit for the movie Iron Man 2. Johansson, who isn’t a gym person, worked out seven times a week using kettlebells alongside her core and bodyweight circuit sessions. So how did she stick at it? She visualised her goal – the Lycra catsuit!
What are they?
‘Kettlebells are bowling-ball-sized cast-iron weights with a looped handle on top,’ says Kabbani. ‘They range from 4kg to over 24kg and you can do exercises such as the kettlebell basic swing, which tones your hamstrings and gluteal (bottom) muscles.’
‘Kettlebells are fantastic at sculpting muscles, especially the bigger ones, such as your legs and arms,’ says Kabbani. ‘You also have to use your entire body to perform each movement, which will tone you up and burn loads of fat.’
‘Stick to a low weight while you perfect your form,’ advises Kabbani. ‘Ask a trainer to talk you through the technique and watch over you for the first few sessions to help you avoid injury.’
Eva Longoria loves pole dancing
The former cheerleader, gymnast, personal trainer and aerobics instructor likes to have fun with fitness by doing a spot of pole dancing. The Desperate Housewives star recently showed off her pole dancing skills on a US TV show after her pal actress and model Carmen Electra sent her a pole for Valentine’s Day.
What is it?
‘Pole dancing, long associated with strip clubs, has been gaining popularity in recent years as a form of exercise,’ says Kabbani. ‘It’s a performing art and a combination of dancing and gymnastics. Plenty of dance studios and gyms are now offering pole dancing.’
‘Pole dancing requires you to support your body weight with your arms and legs, which is great for toning your upper and lower body,’ says Kabbani. ‘It’s also a great way to improve posture, build confidence and make you feel good about yourself while getting an incredibly good workout.’
‘Don’t be shy. Feeling nervous for your first class will be normal,’ says Kabbani. ‘Just remember everyone will be in the same position.’ Don’t wear moisturiser – it’ll make the pole slippery and unsafe.
Sheryl Crowe loves the P90X system
Sheryl, who used to be a big runner, also loves outdoor activities, such as tennis and surfing. But to maintain her muscle tone, weight and flexibility, she follows the P90X workout programme, so she can work out at home and fit in exercise around her three-year-old son. The breast cancer survivor loves the variety of the workouts and the fact she can do them when it suits her.
What is it?
Power 90 Day Extreme is a workout plan on DVD,’ says Kabbani. ‘During the 90 days, you do different workouts each day, six days a week and it also comes with a 90-day eating plan. The DVDs include workouts for your arms, legs and abdominals as well as aerobics, martial arts, yoga and Pilates.
What are the body benefits?
‘This is a great system for consistency and convenience,’ says Kabbani. ‘It’s aimed at those with a good fitness base. The variety of the workouts constantly challenges your body, so you’ll see results faster because you never get used to one routine.’
‘Don’t do this if you need a personal trainer to push you or if you like the motivation of going to the gym,’ suggests Kabbani. ‘You need to stick to the programme or you won’t see the results it promises.
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We spill the beans on the latest exercise secrets of the hottest A-list bodies, so you can look as good as they do. Jessica Biel loves Jacobs LadderThe striking star, who recently broke up with heartthrob Justin Timberlake, owes her perfect physique to her consistent workouts. Said to work out five times a week, the [...]
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