It’s safe to say that Kelsea Ballerini is a pro at juggling a million things. The 24-year-old country artist has been busy promoting her new album Unapologetically (out today!), wrapping up a tour with Lady Antebellum, and taking care of the last-minute details for her wedding to Morgan Evans. So how does she manage it all?
Keeping up a regular exercise routine is key, says Ballerini. It helps her stay energized and healthy, so she doesn’t get run-down and sick as often. Her workouts also help her be a better singer, she says—by improving her stamina and breath support. “That’s more important than how your jeans fit,” she tells Health.
Fitness really clicked for the “Peter Pan” singer when she connected with trainer Erin Oprea. (Oprea also works with Carrie Underwood.) “I guess I always had this thought that trainers just yell at you until you cry. But with Erin, she definitely pushes me, but she also just makes me feel really empowered when we work out,” Ballerini explains. “Afterward, I never feel stressed or exhausted; I always feel good, like I just accomplished something. Erin’s really encouraging like that.”
Oprea describes her client as “crazy fun,” and loves Ballerini’s work-hard-play-hard attitude. “She is all about balance,” Oprea says. “She enjoys her wine and her little goodies. But she also is very aware that eating healthy most of the time is going to make her feel her strongest—and she trains hard.”
Ballerini doesn’t approach her workouts with aesthetic goals in mind. She’s not trying to tone any specific body parts, or slim down for her wedding. “Kelsea came to me simply wanting to better her overall health and make [fitness] a lifestyle habit, and she’s doing that at a young age, and I admire that so much. She also wanted to learn how to make exercise fun and not a chore,” Oprea says. “So that’s what we do—we turn on the Nelly radio and we make it fun.”
Here, Oprea demonstrates a 7-move routine she does with Ballerini. Repeat each circuit three times before moving on to the next.
Hold onto a railing or bar and lower into a lunge. Come up halfway and extend the back leg while squeezing your glute. Do 15 reps on each side.
Using an underhand grip, grab a railing, piece of playground equipment, a bike rack, or any other structure that will allow your body to hang beneath it so your back is almost touching the ground). Pull your chest to the bar and lower back down. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Holding onto a pole or bar for support, lower into a squat on your right leg with your left leg suspended off the ground behind you. Drive through your heel as you return to standing. Do 12 to 15 times. Then switch legs.
Walking plank with push-ups
Place your feet on a bench or step and walk your hands out into a plank. Do a push-up, then walk your feet and hands one step to the left and do another push-up. Do 5 reps.
Lateral lunge to curtsy lunge
Perform a lateral lunge to your left, then drive back into a curtsy lunge. Do 12 reps, then switch sides.
Ankle weight bottom pulses
Attach an ankle weight to your right leg and go down onto your hands and knees. Raise your right knee up to your side. This is your starting position. Drive your right leg behind you, squeezing your glute as you extend your leg. Complete 20 reps on each side.
Get into a military push-up position—hands directly beneath your shoulders, elbows tucked into your sides, feet on the ground—and lower down.
Photo credit: Zach Harrison Photography
(Modification: rest your knees on the ground.) Pulse twice at the bottom of the push-up before returning to the starting position. Repeat 8 to 10 times.