When you see Madonna on a talk show this week promoting her new album MDNA (out today!) or during one of the stops on her world tour, which kicks off on May 29, you’ll be checking out moves choreographed by former Broadway dancer Nicole Winhoffer. She appeared in shows like Wicked and 42nd Street, among others, before joining the Material Girl for her Sticky and Sweet Tour in 2009. Winhoffer, who is also a personal trainer, now works in the gym with Madonna six days a week to ensure that she’s ready for her grueling performances.
We caught up with Winhoffer to take a peek behind the scenes and to learn more about how everyone can train just like the amazing 53-year-old pop star!
If our readers could steal one trick from your work with Madonna, what would that be?
Body awareness. One must engage their mind while performing their exercises. Time and time again, I see people reading papers or watching TV while they work out. This might bring about injury and if the mind is not connected to the body, you can’t exert the proper amounts of energy needed to gain the desired results.
You were in Indianapolis to help Madonna prepare for the Super Bowl and are now gearing up to go on tour with her. How do you prepare for each performance?
Right before the show, we warm-up in her dressing room. We complete active hamstring stretch sequences as well as other stretches, ensure joint mobility by performing jumps on the ground and on trampolines and do ab work. As a result, her body is connected, warm and ready for the performance.
Have you ever gone to a workout not really in the mood to sweat, but knowing it’s something you need to cross off your to-do list? That’s how I felt Tuesday when I headed to SoulCycle for my weekly spin session. I was excited because it was a themed ride, which are always fun, but after a less-than-stellar weekend, my head wasn’t in the game.
That all changed the moment I walked through the doors of the Union Square studio in New York City. The front desk was decorated with photos of Madonna and the staff was dressed in cute tanks that splashed her name across the front, long pearl necklaces and fingerless black gloves that instantly made me think of the star’s style. The first of many smiles spread across my face and I knew I was in for a wild ride.
MB taught this themed ride and boy, does she know how to get a crowd pumped up! We walked over to our bikes, only to realize we were all gifted with the same tank the staffers were wearing. Score! I instantly changed to channel my inner Material Girl.
A DJ was set up in the corner to keep our tunes flowing, one Madonna chart-topper playing after the next. MB took us through a killer workout, constantly varying between first, second and third positions, tap backs, hills and upper body strength work with light dumbbells. Sweat was dripping down my forearms and my tank was soaked halfway through the class, but the music and energy kept us all going strong!
In the end, we had a little dance party to just embrace the classic tunes of the marvelous musical icon. Everyone expressed themselves (pun intended) in their own unique way and left feeling empowered and invigorated. Not bad when I thought I was going to get a mediocre workout, huh? I should have known better. I never get a mediocre workout when I’m at SoulCycle.
For your Music Monday playlist filled with tunes from the Madonna ride, Read more