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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Celebrities have bodies that often seem unattainable. Don’t think you can get washboard abs like Farhan Akhtar, muscular legs like Rafael Nadal or a pert derriere like J.Lo? We think you can! Rhea Dhanbhoora & Dev Goswami help you get started with a few exercises that tone, trim and sculpt

How often while watching a movie or a game of football or tennis have you thought, ‘Oh, I wish I had a body like him/her!’ With the perfectly sculpted bodies that most celebrities have these days, we are sure that must have happened a number of times. So, what do you do to get a body like a star? You work out like a celebrity. But, you’ll need a good does of determination and the willingness to push yourself. We get Dr. Ajish Abraham, an occupational therapist and lecturer at Gold’s Gym’s fitness institute as well as Dr. A. Arun Kumar, fitness head at Snap Fitness, to give us a few workouts that will help you get an A-listers body. Keep in mind that most of these exercises (which involve weights or dumbells) can be dangerous, so always have a trainer by your side while performing them.

Jennifer Lopez has one of the most coveted derriéres in Hollywood. The star never misses a day of her intense workout and uses squats and lunges to stay in shape. Here are a few ways you can get a toned behind like Jenny from the Block.

Twisted lunge

  • Hold a medicine ball (with or without weights) in front of your body.
  • Step forward 1 ½ steps, with one leg forward till your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Twist your torso to face your moving hip and place the ball at an angle, upwards and perpendicular to your spine.
  • Reverse, step back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
  • Repeating will cause extension and external rotation of your hip and will give your butt muscles the exercise they need.

Squats with weights

  • Position the barbell on the rack slightly lower than your shoulder height.
  • Place it on the back of your shoulder, just above your neck.
  • Keep your heels below the bar block and dismount bar from rack.
  • Descend until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Extend your knees and hips until your legs are straight.
  • Return and repeat.

Channing Tatum owes his fit posterior to exercises such as sit ups, jump rope, box jumps and lunges. Compared to others, this is the easiest workout to do. However, it doesn’t make it is any less intense. Celebrity trainer Vinod Channa gives us these exercises:

Freestyle squats

  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your feet pointing slightly outwards.
  • Hold your arms straight out, parallel to the floor.
  • Lower yourself till your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Get back to the starting position. Repeat 8-12 times.

Jumping squats

  • Get in the starting position that you would for a squat.
  • Place your palms on the back of your head.
  • Lower yourself till your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • While going up, push yourself so that you jump and are in the air for a second or two.
  • Land softly and repeat.

Considering Rafael Nadal is an athlete getting legs like his will need intense exercises. Dr. Ajish says, “The workout should be a combination of strength and speed.” The exercises he does — running and working out on a vibrating platform — might not be feasible for most of us, but you can include these in your workout:

Lateral shuffle

  • You will need an agility ladder for this; floors with clearly demarcated tiles might work too.
  • Stand laterally at the start of the ladder. Your lead foot is the one that is right next to the ladder, the other is your trail leg.
  • Move your lead foot into the first square. Bring your trail leg into the first square and move your lead leg to the next square.
  • Repeat till the end of the ladder, with your back straight and knees slightly bent. Move as fast as you can.

Stiff leg deadlift

  • Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and hold a barbell in front of you with a dead grip (so that the knuckles are facing you).
  • Push your hips out, keep your back straight and bend slightly till the barbell is at the halfway point of your thighs — this is your starting position.
  • Push your hips out further so that you bend down till the barbell goes below your knees.
  • Come back up to the starting position and repeat.

We can’t all be as tall as the leggy lass, but there’s no harm trying to ape those gorgeous pins. She loves yoga, but that doesn’t mean she skips the gym. Her workouts include a lot of squats and exercises that focus on her lower body. Here’s how you can get started:

Jump lunges

  • Stand with both your feet together.
  • Jump in the air and at the same time, step forward with one leg.
  • Land with your leg extended and jump again, moving your other leg forward. 
  • Repeat for around 10-12 steps.

Warrior pose

  • Stand with your legs together and lunge by moving your left leg forward till your thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • Bring both your arms up.
  • Hold the position for about one minute and repeat with the other leg.


You might or might not have liked Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, but there is one aspect that we know you’ll agree on. Farhan Akhtar’s body in the movie is awe-inspiring. To get that body, he ran every day and did a 45-minute ab workout every alternate day. Vinod Channa gives us this workout that will get you abs like his:

Lying down crunches

  • Lie down on the floor with your knees bent at a 45° angle.
  • You can place your fingertips on your head for support.
  • Keep your back straight and bring your head towards your knees — do not use your hands to pull your head forward.
  • Lower your back slowly to the starting position, ensuring that your feet don’t leave the ground.
  • Do three sets of 15-20 reps.


  • Get into a standard push-up position.
  • Lower both your forearms till they are flat on the floor and your elbows are bent at 90°.
  • Ensure that your back is straight — this is your plank position.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.

We’d like to think that Gwen Stefani’s body is the result of all that jumping around on stage. But, balancing kids, a career and maintaining a body has to be hard, especially since both trainers believe that such abs are terribly hard to achieve.

Twisting crunch

  • Lie down on the mat and bend your hip and knees to 90°.
  • Keep your hands behind your head.
  • Twist and crunch at your torso and try to touch your elbow to your opposite knee.

Reverse crunches

  • Lie supine on a bench or on the floor and keep your hands besides your body, or hold a corner of the bench.
  • Lift your legs to keep them perpendicular to your body.
  • Lift your legs towards the ceiling to lift hips off the floor.
  • Return till your hips are resting fully on the floor and repeat.

One look at Hrithik Roshan’s arms and you’ll know why he is called a Greek God. His workout involves a lot of CrossFit training with cardio as well as weight training. This is what you can do to get arms like his:

Close grip pull-ups

  • Stand beneath a pull-up bar and hold it with your fists next to each other (a closed grip).
  • Pull yourself up until your chin reaches the bar. 
  • Slowly let your body down and repeat without letting your body touch the ground. 
  • For added resistance and intensity, add ankle weights (only do so after you have sufficiently mastered the exercise).

Close grip push-ups

  • Get into a push-up position with your legs shoulder width apart. Your hands should be next to each other, with just a couple of inches of space in between.
  • Keep your spine straight and lower your body bringing your chest close to the floor. 
  • Go back to the starting position and repeat.

With arms like Michelle’s, it’s no wonder she steals the spotlight from her President husband every time she waves at a crowd. She focuses on health and fitness and her workout plan includes lunges, bench presses, rows, hip raises and even cardio and kickboxing — a lot of strength training exercises. We don’t expect you to be able to do it all, but here are a few exercises to start with:

Incline arm curl

  • Sit back at a 40-60° incline on a bench.
  • With arms hanging down straight, position two dumbbells with your palms facing forward in a supine position.
  • With elbows back to your sides, raise one dumbbell and rotate your forearm until it is vertical and the palm faces your shoulder.
  • Lower to original position and repeat with the other arm.
  • Continue to alternate between sides.

Cable arm curl

  • Hold a low pulley cable bar with a shoulder width supine grip, standing close to the pulley.
  • Keep your elbows to one side and raise the bar towards your shoulder until your forearms are vertical.
  • Lower until your arms are fully extended but do not lock.
  • When your elbows are fully flexed, they should only travel forward slightly, allowing your forearms to be no more than vertical to allow for a relative release of tension in your muscles between repetitions.
  • Repeat for 6-8 reps and do around 2-3 sets.
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