You are here

Secrets of the Stars: Fitness Tips from Celebrity Trainers

1 of 4

Hollywood Fitness Secrets of 20-Year-Olds

Terrific Twentysomethings

Push it, PYTs. Your strength and speed are at their peak right now.

Find Balance
In addition to regular strength training, Hunger Games: Catching Fire star Jennifer Lawrence, 22, practiced yoga daily, says trainer Mandy Ingber, the author of Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover. Capture your inner Katniss with the Standing Bow: Balance on left leg while lifting right knee forward to hip height. Then raise right leg behind you, bringing right heel to butt. Reach right arm back to grip top of right foot, palm facing out; then reach left arm forward, hinging from hips and pressing right foot into palm. Hold 20 seconds, switch sides.

Build Your Bod from the Ground Up
Get down with your workout, like Hilary Duff, 25. Trainer Harley Pasternak, the author of The Body Reset Diet and a FITNESS advisory board member, often starts the new mom's routine on the floor. "I'll make the moves absolutely killer," says Pasternak, who combines exercises like stability ball hamstring curls (lie faceup with legs extended and heels resting on a stability ball, then bend and straighten knees to roll the ball toward and away from you), bridges with triceps extensions, V-up crunches, and windmills. "Once she realizes that being on her back is more difficult, she wants to stand up and get moving."

Go Off-Road
When she got bored with the treadmill, Les Mis?rables star Amanda Seyfried, 27, turned to celeb trainer Ramona Braganza for a new way to get a sweaty cardio high. "She loves going for walks with her dog, Finn," says Braganza, who has led Seyfried on treks through Lynn Canyon Park in Vancouver, Canada. "Taking your workouts outside every now and then is a good way to feel rejuvenated and to give your muscles a new challenge," Braganza explains. For a butt-shaping bonus, tackle some hills.

Be Fierce as You Firm
Rihanna's sleek, sexy physique is the result of a serious workout ethic. The 25-year-old diva does twice-weekly cardio-and-strength circuits with Pasternak. A small sample of her sweat factors: skater lunges, overhead triceps extensions with dumbbells, and Russian trunk twists with a medicine ball. Perform three sets of 20 reps each for head-to-toe results, Pasternak suggests.

Take Action
Scarlett Johansson, 28, was able to rock a leather catsuit while filming The Avengers by doing loads of functional, power-building exercises. "Scarlett really pushed herself with kettlebell moves, rope drills, and weighted lunges," says trainer Bobby Strom, who worked with the blond beauty to get her ready for the action-hero role.

Rock and Row
"If you want to burn more than 250 calories in 20 minutes, hit the rowing machine," says trainer Johnny Damon, who works regularly with hot new mom Kristin Cavallari, 26. Even short bursts — as brief as 200- to 300-meter sprints — are enough to get your heart rate soaring, plus a whole lot more. "It really opens up your chest, sculpts sexy legs, and strengthens your glutes," Damon says.

Take a Spin
"My favorite workout on tour is riding around town on my bike, seeing the city I'm in and giving out tickets for the show while in disguise," says singer Katy Perry, 28. "I feel best about my body once I get into the routine of waking up early, exercising, getting some fresh air, and meditating." Perry — who, as the new face of Popchips, created her own flavor, kettlecorn — works out three or four times a week, then does something fun, like going hiking, on alternate days.

Hit the Water
Revenge star Emily VanCamp adds a splash to her routine by diving into the pool. "Getting in the water allows your body to move in a completely different way," says trainer Lalo Fuentes. The 27-year-old actress spends at least half of her workouts doing high-intensity aquatic exercises, including Eggbeaters (left leg goes clockwise while right leg goes counterclockwise; at the same time, arms move forward and back to keep you upright). "If your legs stop moving for a second, you start sinking. Emily can do it for 15 minutes straight!"

Hollywood Fitness Secrets of 30-Year-Olds

Thirty Wow!

Families, kids, and multiple career changes may keep these Hollywood stars busy, but training hard means they're staples of the paparazzi's hit lists.

Punch Things Up
Alicia Keys' fave way to melt off more than 600 calories? An hour of high-octane kickboxing with trainer Jeanette Jenkins. "It's a fun way to let out all the stress while toning your entire body, especially if you blast music and do it with a pal," says Jenkins, who often leads Keys, 33, through combos like a front kick, double jab, and cross-body punch, 20 to 25 reps, alternating sides.

Push Yourself
Minka Kelly, 32, is always looking to challenge herself in her workouts, says Anna Kaiser, a trainer for AKT Inmotion. One total-body move that gets the job done: the jackknife. Begin in full plank position with hands on floor and shins on an exercise ball behind you. Keeping legs straight, lift hips toward ceiling as you roll ball toward hands; then roll back to plank. Do 10 to 12 reps. "It's a fantastic full-body move that will work both strength and stability," Kaiser says.

Don't Waste Time
"People think that celebs are working out for four hours a day, but that's not true. They are actually in and out in an hour," says trainer Ashley Conrad, the owner of Clutch in Los Angeles, who has worked with Kate Hudson, 34. "It's not about how long you're working out; it's about how hard you're working out." Try this quick cardio-and-strength circuit: Do 15 seconds of push-ups, 10 seconds of rest; 15 seconds of lunges, 10 seconds of rest; 15 seconds of high knees, 10 seconds of rest; 15 seconds of ice skaters, 10 seconds of rest.

Play Ball
She's known for busting dance moves, but Britney Spears, 31, trained like an athlete to don those curve-hugging minis for The X Factor. "We focus on total-body exercises, like side shuffles while catching a medicine ball," her trainer Derek DeGrazio says. He also makes her play this ab-carving game of toss: As Spears kneels about 20 feet away, DeGrazio rolls a medicine ball to her, which she picks up and throws back to him as hard as possible. "Then she drops onto her hands, does a modified push-up, gets up, and does it all over again," DeGrazio says. Shoot for 20 reps.

Swing It
Megan Hilty, 32, is an accomplished Broadway vet who's in great shape from singing and dancing, so trainer Dasha Libin Anderson says she has to pull out "the big guns" to truly challenge her. One of the Smash star's favorite moves is the Kettlebell Killer Combo: Hold a kettlebell (or any weight of eight to 12 pounds) in both hands at chest level. Squat, keeping body weight over heels, then quickly explode up onto balls of feet while raising kettlebell overhead. Return to start position, then explosively pivot off both feet as you turn to left and lift kettlebell overhead. Repeat on opposite side; do this move continuously for one minute.

Hollywood Fitness Secrets of 40-Year-Olds

Fierce at Forty-Plus

Having an age-defying body and the bragging rights that go with it is all about keeping muscles toned from head to toe.

Get a Booty Lift
It's hard to pick just one part of the perennially fit Cameron Diaz, 40, to admire most, but let's start with her derriere. "For a more rounded, lifted booty, add a heavier weight to lower-body exercises once or twice a week," her longtime trainer Teddy Bass says. Hold a 15-pound dumbbell in each hand while doing reverse lunges and squats. "You shouldn't be able to complete more than 12 reps," Bass says.

Keep It Moving
When working with Jada Pinkett Smith, 41, trainer Darrell Foster uses techniques of the martial art aikido, like this ab- and arm-toning exercise: Stand with feet staggered, left leg pointed forward and right leg back with toes pointed to right, knees bent. Imagine holding an oar with both hands, elbows by sides. Lean forward from hips, extending arms in front of you, then row back. Continue rowing for 30 seconds; switch legs and repeat.

Up the Intensity
Cardio workouts were not something Cougar Town star Courteney Cox, 48, loved to do, her trainer Michelle Lovitt says. "Then I introduced her to interval training." The key is to keep your heart rate in a fat-burning zone without having to do continuous running, as in this 40-minute sweat session: Warm up, then run for one minute; walk to recover for one minute. Do five reps. Then sprint for 30 seconds; walk to recover for 30 seconds. Do 10 reps. Repeat the run-walk section and then cool down.

Balance Your Hourglass
No wonder bombshell Sofia Vergara, 40, favors strapless gowns: She's got the carved shoulders and toned triceps to top off a slammin' figure. Follow her trainer Gunnar Peterson's three-part series to sculpt sexy arms: 20 shoulder presses, 20 triceps dips, and 20 alternating reverse lunges with biceps curls.

Band Together
Use a resistance band to get the sleek, sexy arms you see on the red carpet, says trainer Valerie Waters, who has worked with Jennifer Garner, 41, for years. "It's the perfect tool for opening up your chest, improving posture, and toning your arms." Start with reverse flyes: Place hands shoulder-width apart on a resistance band, with tension, and extend arms in front of you. Keeping shoulders down, bring arms out to sides, squeezing shoulder blades together. Return to start. Do 20 reps.

Get Ripping Abs
Halle Berry's trainer of more than two years, Nat Bardonnet, says the star, 46, works hard for that bod. Try his ab-sculpting Ripper move: Lie faceup on an incline bench with head below legs, holding a six-pound medicine ball. Extend arms behind you, then sit up, bringing ball toward legs; slowly return to start. Repeat for 30 seconds, then twist from side to side while sitting up for another 30 seconds.

More Hollywood Fitness Secrets of 40-Year-Olds

Better Body After 40

Talk about forever hot! These A-listers are out to prove that they've only gotten sexier with each passing decade.

Gwyneth Paltrow, 40, was a yoga and Pilates devotee before she started working with trainer Tracy Anderson more than six years ago. Paltrow still trains up to two hours a day, six days a week, doing sculpting moves with light resistance and about 45 minutes of cardio. One favorite multitasking tool is the mini trampoline; it works her lower body while boosting the calorie burn, Anderson says.

Jennifer Aniston, 44, runs and does yoga regularly. "Jennifer knows that yoga is all about core strength," says trainer Mandy Ingber, who has worked with the actress for more than seven years. Try Temple Squats for a stronger butt and core: Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, feet turned out, palms in front of chest in prayer position with elbows out to sides. Squat; hold for five breaths, then press into heels, squeezing glutes to stand back up. Do 10 reps. On last squat, gently pulse hips up and down eight times.

Jennifer Lopez, 43, has been using the Tracy Anderson Training Method for about two years. Try this move: Stand facing the back of a chair, holding onto the corners, and lean body forward so elbows are bent. Bring right knee up toward left shoulder, then extend right leg behind you. Repeat. Do 30 to 40 reps. Switch sides.

Hollywood Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss

Better Body After Baby

These celebs went from bump to back in shape by putting in the reps and the sweat.

Trainer Harley Pasternak came to the rescue of Jennifer Hudson, 31, when she needed help losing baby weight. "Once she started seeing results and getting compliments, it changed her outlook on all the hard work she was putting in," Pasternak says. Hudson mastered Pasternak's 5-Factor workouts, alternating cardio (power walking) with an upper-body move (reverse flye), a core exercise (Superman), and a lower-body move (sumo squat) on her own. Do three sets of 20 reps of each strength move.

Post-baby, pop star Pink, 33, kicked things up a notch with trainer Jeanette Jenkins, the creator of the Bikini Bootcamp DVD. "I love doing Power Jacks with Pink," Jenkins says. "This move recruits your fast-twitch muscle fibers, tones your entire body, and boosts your metabolic rate so you burn more calories throughout the day." Do two jumping jacks; on the third jack, jump as high as you can with arms and legs out wide; repeat.

To get your abs back in action, try a plank with a twist, says Ramona Braganza, who trained Jessica Alba, 32, after Alba gave birth to her first daughter. "Hold a plank for 10 seconds, turn to your right for a side plank; hold for 10 seconds. Return to center; hold for 10 seconds. Turn to your left for another side plank; hold for 10 seconds. Follow with 10 Supermans."

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2013.