South African actress Charlize Theron is known for her gorgeous figure, but she does have to work at it just like the rest of us. She gained and quickly lost 30 lbs for her 2003 role in Monster, and she admits that she has to watch her diet and work out a lot to stay in shape. As she told Easy Living magazine: ”I get fat. I need to work out. I have pimples and I’m getting older. Everything is happening for me exactly as it is for everybody else.” Sure sounds familiar to me…does it to you?
Charlize is also an ex-smoker who admitted to smoking several packs per day. When she quit, she made it through not only the withdrawals but also the associated weight gain by embracing a healthier lifestyle, including healthy eating, yoga and pilates.
So what does Charlize do nowadays to stay healthy and keep the extra pounds at bay? And how did she train in preparation for her role in Snow White and the Huntsman?
First, Charlize eats a clean diet including proteins, vegetables, dark colored greens and organic fruits. She often sticks to a largely vegetarian diet, eating just chicken for animal protein just once in a while. Rather than eating big meals twice or three times a day, she also eats 6 smaller meals per day to keep her metabolism revved up.
Charlize is very active, heading to the gym about 5 times per week and hiking with her mom at least 3 times per week. According to her trainer, to prep for her Snow White and the Huntsman role, Charlize focuses on ballet-based total body workouts to keep looking long and lean. Since Charlize was a trained ballet dancer, this is a workout she particularly enjoys. All of us will enjoy the lovely bum we’ll get from performing these ballet-inspired moves for a firm, toned behind.
The Plié Squat is one of the most beneficial booty moves out there, targeting both your gluteus maximus as well as your inner thighs. Kill two problem area birds with one stone – can’t go wrong there!
Stand with your legs two to three feet apart with your toes turned out at about 45 degrees. Choosing a weight that feels challenging to you (perhaps start out with about 10 lbs and increase if you need more of a challenge), hold the weight in front of you from one of the weighted ends using both hands. Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps.
Bridge or Butt Lifts
There are several variations on this excellent move, which works the glutes and low back. This can be done with your two feet on the ground, on an exercise ball for a stability challenge, or even on a chair at home.
Lay on the floor with your feet flat on the on the ground, the ball or the chair. Your hands should be beside you, palms face down to help you stabilize. Contract your glutes and lift your butt off the ground pushing your hips toward the ceiling. Hold at the top position for about one second and then lower down, but without resting completely. Try to keep your hips about 1 inch off of the ground before pushing toward the ceiling again. Perform 3 sets of 10 – 12 of these.
This exercise by former New York City Ballet dancer Mary Helen Bowers (who also trained Natalie Portman for her Black Swan role) lives up to its name.
With a mat underneath, get onto your hands and knees. Tuck your left knee to your chest, then straighten it out directly behind you. With knee straight, lift your leg up toward the ceiling as high as you can, then bring it back in to your chest. Perform 3 sets of 10, and then switch to the right leg.
Dumbbell Step Ups
While this one is not ballet-inspired, perform it with grace between the ballet moves to work your glutes AND get your heart pumping. Do these a bit more quickly to get the cardio benefits of this circuit move.
Find yourself a 12-inch platform. This can be an aerobic step with risers added, a 12-inch box at the gym or even a tall stair at home. Grab a pair of dumbbells of a challenging weight for you – try 5 or 10 lbs to start and make adjustments if needed. With one dumbbell in each hand, step up onto the platform with the right leg first, bringing the left up to meet it. Step off of the platform with the right leg, the left foot following it. That’s one rep. Complete 12 reps leading with the right leg and then 12 reps leading with the left.
It can be both relieving and rewarding to be reminded that celebrities are people just like we are who have to work hard for their star-quality figures. It means that we can get ourselves into amazing shape if we are dedicated enough to get there AND know the right moves! Do these ballet-inspired exercises once or twice per week to get your bum looking glute-iful!
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