Secrets of the A-list trainers
Four fitness gurus tell Anjana Gosai how they helped their celebrity clients shape up post-birth – and better still, they share their surprisingly doable tips for the rest of us to try
Does anything wind mums up more than a celebrity who drops her baby weight quicker than the rest of us can say pass the biscuits? Now, we know some women do naturally just 'snap back' to the way they were before they gave birth, but that can't be true for every famous mama on the planet. Surely they must be doing something the rest of us aren't – so what's their secret?
We've tracked down four of the world's most sought-after A-list trainers and asked them to lift the lid on exactly how they got their superstar clients back into shape.
Just don't dive in before you're ready - and consult your GP before starting any high impact exercises. The first few months of motherhood are about focusing on recovery, enjoying time with your new baby, and getting a routine sorted. Been there, doing that, and the urge to slip on your favourite jeans has kicked in already? Ok, read on...
Achieve amazing abs like Heidi Klum - guru Andrea Orbeck leads the way
You've had your baby, but your belly is still round and squishy. This isn't unusual – it's taken nine months for your abdomen to stretch and accommodate a full-term baby, so it can take the same time to tighten up again. The good news is, the process can be speeded up with the right exercises.
'Great tummy-toning exercises include static contractions where you hold your abs in for one to two minutes (do three sets of these), then when your body is ready, move on to simple crunches and heel slides (aim to graduate to four sets of 25) and modified reverse crunches by bending the knees slightly,' Andrea advises.
Andrea's top tip: 'To tone Heidi's tummy, we worked on her core in phases, raising the intensity gradually, as every new mum should do. We started with static ab contractions, moving on to roll-downs, planks, oblique rotations and then more intense mountain climbers and elbow-to-knee crunches.'
Shape up your thighs like Halle Berry - trainer Ramona Braganza knows how
If your skinny jeans are still a bit of a tight squeeze, it's probably because our bodies tend to accumulate fat around the thighs in pregnancy. This can be a particular problem for Afro-Caribbean, South Asian and Latino women who, experts say, are more likely to gather fat on the hips too.
'Get moving whenever you can – make it a point to walk with your baby for 20 minutes a day, which will help build up endurance and burn calories. Then attempt some light jogging intervals in the garden while your baby's napping.'
Ramona's top tip: 'If you can't get to the gym, try skipping with a rope at home, walk or jog up the stairs several times, or throw kicks by holding onto your counter while waiting for coffee to brew – all this will help shape and tone the legs.'
Tone your arms like Kate Hudson - trainer Nicole Stuart recommends pilates
If getting rid of your bingo wings is proving tricky, you're not alone. That extra body fat you acquire in pregnancy (it's normal for most women to add on about seven pounds) doesn't, unfortunately, confine itself to the tum, bum and thighs area. It'll also build up on your upper arms.
'Kate's done Pilates for well over 15 years,' says her trainer Nicole. 'We did a lot of work using her own body weight and resistance, toning and defining her arms in a much leaner way than lifting weights does. Target trouble spots on the arms, especially the little bulge that develops where the shoulders and chest meet, with a combination of push-ups and the 'hugging a tree' exercise.
Nicole's top tip: 'Reach your arms out straight to the side, palms facing inwards. Bring both hands in and together, as if you're pressing two walls together. Then open the arms, creating your own resistance. Repeat 20 times and follow with 15 push-ups.'
Get a butt like Adriana Lima - boxer Michael Olajide Jr kicks ass
It's completely normal for your bottom to expand in pregnancy (don't you just love that fact?). The good news is, it's because your body creates extra deposits of fat, protein and nutrients while you're expecting, to prepare you for breastfeeding – who knew?
'Boxing played a major part in Adriana's weight loss,' says New York-based Michael. 'It worked her abdominals, legs and butt muscles for an all-over workout. We also did customised sculpting exercises, such as squats to tone the butt and 20 minutes of skipping.
Michael's top tip: 'Try skipping – even five minutes a day is brilliant cardio, and excellent for weight loss and working the bottom. Squats with a jump in the air as you rise up is a killer move for the glutes and legs. When you drop down, try to stay on your heels to work the butt deeper.'