BACK IT UP!
To achieve her sculpted back and shoulders, Halle Berry goes row, row, rowing – doing dumbbell back rows, that is. “This exercise strengthens the rhomboids, the muscles in your upper back that connect your shoulder blades to your spine, giving you a toned back and much better posture,” her trainer, Harley Pasternak, tells Health magazine. “You’ll look great in backless dresses, too!”
KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL
Jumpstarting a shape-up plan doesn’t have to be complicated: Just begin with a realistic goal. “It doesn’t matter how profound or how shallow you think your goal is,” says The Biggest Loser‘s tough-love trainer Jillian Michaels. “If it motivates you, that’s all that matters.” One of her suggestions? Keep a food journal. “Write down everything you ate and at the end of the day, enter your foods into an online calorie counter. That way, you won’t forget about that handful of MampM’s!”
DO A PLANK POSE
Crunches aren’t the only way to get rock-hard abs. Doing a simple plank pose is “the best,” says Ky Evans, an L.A.-based instructor at Pilates Plus HBV, who has taught Hayden Panettiere and Marcia Cross. “It engages your entire abdominal wall and works the whole body.” To do the perfect plank, extend your arms in pushup position and keep your abs engaged – without dropping your hips. “The best part about it,” says Evans, “is you can do it in your office, at home – anywhere there’s a flat surface.”
STOP WATCHING THE CLOCK
Meeting in-the-moment goals is what helps Jessica Alba through her workouts. “Just like everyone, some days she enjoys it, other days it’s a chore,” says trainer Ramona Braganza, who helped the star with a program of strength training, cardio intervals and ab work. “We focus on burning a certain number of calories. Jess would average 500. And once the weight starts coming off, it’s much more fun!”
Sarah Michelle Gellar made sure that she was ready for strolls with new baby Charlotte Grace by prepping with private 55-minute sessions, two to three times a week throughout her pregnancy, at New York City’s Real Pilates Studio. “Baby care requires a tremendous amount of stooping as you cradle the baby and push a stroller,” says Real Pilates founder Alycea Ungaro who recommends that moms-to-be focus on strengthening the upper back, as well as the hips, glutes and abs, with exercises like side-lying legwork.
STRENGTH TRAIN TO BOOST METABOLISM
Just three months after giving birth to daughter Seraphina Rose in early 2009, Jennifer Garner was already working on getting her pre-baby body back. Her trainer Valerie Waters advises her new mom clients to focus on gaining strength. “If you can only exercise 20 minutes three times a week, you should be strength training – squats, push-ups, lunges, planks,” she explains. “You’ll burn the same amount of calories [as cardio] but you’ll also add lean muscle, which speeds up your metabolism.”
Click to learn more about how Jennifer got her pre-baby body back.
MAKE A GYM DATE – WITH YOURSELF!
If working out always ends up being the last priority on your to-do list, try making a firm date with yourself. “Schedule your workouts just like any other important appointment,” recommends celeb trainer Jeanette Jenkins, who’s worked with Queen Latifah and Carmen Electra. And to make sure you’ll stick to your plan, enlist a pal. “Be accountable to a workout buddy,” adds Jenkins.
TAKE IT ON THE ROAD!
Can’t make it to the gym? Jet-setting supermodel Gisele Bündchen rarely missed a workout in ’09 – even during her pregnancy! Her on-the-go plan? “She tries to do some yoga each day,” said instructor Amy Lombardo, who practiced Anusara (an intense flowing form) with the star. “She normally does an hour in the morning. It’s a great way to wake up your body and start the day.” The physical results aren’t bad either. “Yoga makes you really toned,” says Lombardo, who incorporated lunges, tricep push-ups and core work into Bündchen’s workout. “And she’s definitely strong!”
WORK OUT AT THE GROCERY STORE
“You don’t need to make a resolution to brush your teeth. Exercise should become just as much a part of your day,” says celeb trainer Kristin McGee , who works with LeAnn Rimes. McGee advises weaving exercise into your daily activities. “Do squats on the phone, zip-ups on the grocery line,” she says. And by making small changes, you’re more likely to stick to your plan to get in shape.
Even if you’re not on a celebrity budget, you can still get tips from a Hollywood personal trainer! Jarett Del Bene, who keeps Lauren Conrad in shape, is Tweeting some of his best fitness and diet advice every day. “Try wheel lunges today to get great legs. Lunge forward, lunge backwards, then lunge to the side! That is one rep, repeat 15 times each leg,” the fitness instructor Tweeted recently. Follow Del Bene on Twitter for more daily tips.