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Maggie Q, Nikita
If we ever find ourselves in a boxing ring — which would be unfortunate in itself — we wouldn't want Maggie Q to be in the opposite corner. The action star is trained in martial arts and frequently boxes as part of her workouts when she's not kicking butt on screen as an assassin. There's no stunt double filming those tough fighting scenes. She's dabbled in it all — kung fu, sword fighting, and numchucks, just to name a few.
Kerry Washington, Scandal
There's no get-fit-quick gimmick to Kerry Washington's hot bod. She doesn't just sweat to fit into a new dress — she actually enjoys it and tries to squeeze in a workout every single day. Her trainer, David Kirsch, who's also worked with Heidi Klum, uses classic boot camp-style circuits that she tops off with some cardio.
Emily VanCamp, Revenge
In Revenge, Emily Thorne, played by Emily VanCamp, is an aggressive vigilante out for, you guessed it — revenge. In reality, Emily VanCamp describes herself as "polar opposites" with her character and prefers Pilates and pool workouts to martial arts techniques. The easygoing star has us fooled yet again.
Joy Bryant, Parenthood
Joy Bryant takes the fast track when it comes to fitness. The model-turned-actress practices Kundalini yoga for a mind-body workout that has been said to produce results 16 times faster than other forms of yoga, and is a fan of snowboarding with her stuntman husband, Dave Pope. She's also been spotted biking in the streets of New York City. She follows a strict vegetarian diet, and credits her grandma for teaching her how to be more eco-friendly. Let's set up a yoga/snowboarding/flower planting/bike date, Joy!
Robert Voets/Warner Bros.
Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory
Penny, Cuoco's character on The Big Bang Theory may be a terrible driver, but maybe that's because she prefers horses? When she's not acting, Cuoco's go-to form of sweat is a horseback ride, which works her core, butt, and legs while helping her chill out. When a stable isn't available, she takes up Spinning. We'll pass on the horses, but we wouldn't mind being on a bike next to this funny gal.
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Gloria Delgado-Pritchett makes us laugh until our sides hurt, but in real life Vergara's workout is no joke. To get toned muscles without losing her famous curves, she trains with Gunnar Peterson, the same man trusted by Jennifer Lopez to get red carpet ready. Her hour-long circuit workout is fast and sweaty, using short, intense moves to burn max calories and keep her heart pumping. We've done Peterson's workouts before, so we know his routines are no laughing matter.
Christina Applegate, Up All Night
Her strength is the kind you can't get from just going to the gym. Applegate already stole our hearts for her courage battling breast cancer and starting her foundation Right Action for Women, which helps young high-risk women get MRIs, so of course we swoon over her for her views on health and fitness! Since her diagnosis, she's switched to a macrobiotic diet (a diet of mostly grains and veggies) and getting her new post-baby body fit. As her character on the show Reagan once said to her husband (played by Will Arnett), "Our bodies can't do what they used to be able to do. Yours can't play hockey with 22-year-olds and mine can't laugh really hard without peeing a little."
Vanessa Williams, 666 Park Ave.
We're pretty sure her Ugly Betty character Wilhelmina Slater's secret to staying fit is by sucking the energy out of fashion assistants, but Vanessa Williams' usual routine is something most of us can actually copy. The former Miss America and mom of four swears by Pilates, outdoor walks, strength training, and salsa to stay in shape. No evil eyes required.
Katharine McPhee, Smash
Katharine McPhee's typical workday for Smash makes our 9-5 routines seem like naptime. The actress and singer wakes up at 5 a.m. to get ready for filming and then taps her way through 5-hour dance rehearsals. On her days off, McPhee works with a trainer to build endurance for long days on the set. Which doesn't sound like much of a day off, does it?
Grace Park, Hawaii Five-0
When your job requires surfing and chasing bad guys, it's pretty difficult to fake being in shape. As Officer Kono Kalakaua, Park's role keeps her on her toes. The actress says exercise is one way she unwinds from her busy schedule — not to mention it making her feel more confident donning a bikini. One look at her on her surfboard gets us motivated to move. And do some more yoga, because if we popped up on the board as fast as she does, we'd most likely pull a muscle.
Connie Britton, Nashville
You probably know her as Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights, the woman who managed say "y'all" more times than we could count on our fingers and toes, but did you know Connie Britton was also an aerobics instructor? Though her days of donning spandex are over, the 44-year-old credits swimming, hiking, and Pilates for keeping her fit. And while her day-to-day diet consists of vegetables and fresh foods, the star doesn't turn down the occasional treat. Now that's a diet we can get down with.
Jennifer Morrison, Once Upon a Time
She may star in a fairy-tale drama, but she's not your typical princess. Morrison, who plays Snow White's daughter in the show, can throw a punch or two. The actress likes to box, run, strength train, and do yoga for her workouts. Watch out, Prince Charming.
Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, September 2012.