The year 2020 upended many people’s lifestyles, including their exercise routines. But for several celebs, the extra time on their hands only further motivated them to achieve personal health goals.
Sure, great genes and a go-to personal trainer are helpful, but these Hollywood stars and models insisted that putting in the work was key to shedding the pounds and feeling confident about themselves.
Whether you’re looking for some inspiration to kick off your resolutions for 2021 or simply want some fresh ideas to revamp your workout, discover how these ladies did it:
At age 51, Helena Christensen starred in the Victoria’s Secret 2020 holiday campaign more than two decades after making her VS runway debut in 1996. The Danish supermodel told Harper’s Bazaar in 2017 that her secret to having an enviable bod is to “think outside the fitness box” and challenge yourself with new, sweat-inducing routines. “I recently started pole dancing,” she said at the time. “It is the hardest physical activity I have ever done in my life and I have so much awe and respect for pole dancers. It’s like virtual ballet to me, so the perception of it as seedy doesn’t even annoy me; it goes right over the top of my head. To people who think like that, I want to say, ‘Well, you just go try it.'”
At age 56, Kathy Jacobs became a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model. Back in October, Jacobs revealed to Fox News her secret to having such an incredible figure. “Bellydancing is my form of exercise,” she explained. “… And I’m not great at all. I’m the one that stands in the back and follows my friends who are better than me. And these ladies are also in their fifties. [Bellydancing] gives you this excuse to put on a sexy outfit and dance around. If you want to feel sexy over 50 I really recommend it because I think it forces you to do that. It forces you to put on a bra, dance around with your friends and be free. It’s a great feeling.”
For Rebel Wilson, 2020 was her “Year of Health.” The 40-year-old documented her journey on social media throughout the year, encouraging her 9.4 million followers to take the first step in achieving a healthier lifestyle. Over the summer the Australian actress even unveiled a snap of herself wearing a lime green bikini while hitting the pool. The star’s personal trainer, Jono Castano Acero, told E! News in January he created a workout routine specifically for Wilson, which involves breaking a sweat six days a week and having one rest day. The routine primarily focuses on HIIT (high-intensity interval training), as well as weight-training and resistance “to ensure we’re covering all areas, including posture.”
Tanaye White, who was named Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s 2020 Search winner, told Fox News in August she’s a fan of one specific workout routine. “One of the things I took up, which was really a challenge for me because I’m literally the most inflexible person you will ever meet — I started doing hot yoga,” said the model. “I would wake up at 6 a.m. — mind you, I am not a morning person. It was so hard. I would get up, go to the 6:30 a.m. class and sweat for dear life… You’re sweating in places you didn’t even know you could sweat.”
Molly Sims made jaws drop when she rocked a skimpy purple bikini over the summer. The former model has no qualms sharing her workout routine on Instagram, but in 2011 the 47-year-old suggested a 30-day immersion plan for those fed up with weight fluctuations. “I wanted to be consistent with my exercise, so I committed to working out for 30 days in a role, no matter what,” she told Shape magazine. “For one hour every day, I did something. I was on the elliptical or the treadmill, and if someone asked me to go to a class — whether it was spinning, boxing, yoga, you name it — I went. By the end of the month, I felt so good, I just kept going. I didn’t want to lose my momentum.”
After modeling for seven years, Kim Riekenberg made her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit debut. And while the German star insisted she only had a mere 10 days to prepare for her sizzling shoot, she did tell Fox News in October her favorite workout routine. “I always do Pilates wherever I am,” she explained. “I always find myself a studio, because that’s the one [workout routine] I like. And I think it shapes your body well. And you don’t have to do it every day because it’s intense. At my studio, they just say, ‘Go two or three times, but no more.’ Because if you continue doing it, it will knock you out. We still need a lot of energy to do our shoots and jobs and travel. You have to find the right balance.”
Hips don’t lie — just ask Shakira. The 43-year-old, who stunned millions with her epic Super Bowl halftime performance with Jennifer Lopez, heated up Instagram in September modeling a unique bikini she designed herself. Back in February, her trainer Anna Kaiser told Harper’s Bazaar the singer relies on dance-based fitness routines and jump-starts every Monday morning with a 90-minute sweat session. The star is also a longtime belly dancer and incorporates it into her regimen. In addition, Shakira, who works out six days a week, switches things up with 40-60 minutes of weight-based strength training, HIIT circuits and swimming.
Samantha Hoopes proudly posed for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit just four months after giving birth to her first child. In July, the 29-year-old told Fox News she waited until getting the green light from her doctor to slowly get back into her exercise groove again. “I did about 20 minutes of stair steppers [daily],” she said. “I’m not good at cardio — I’ve never been a cardio girl. [The stair steppers] really destroy you. It’s really a mental thing on the stair stepper to keep going, you know? But that’s really the only way that I could have shed a couple more pounds. And then just Pilates, strength training — stuff like that.”
Kristin Cavallari had no qualms soaking up the summer while flaunting her beach-ready bod poolside wearing a daring neon thong bikini. In August of this year, the 33-year-old mother of three shared some insight on her fitness routine to Glamour South Africa. The former reality TV star told the outlet it wasn’t until her first pregnancy that she decided to revamp her lifestyle. “I lift weights five times per week and I eat real food,” she explained. “I never look at calories, only the ingredients label. If there are crazy additives in it, I stay away. When I’m cooking at home, I cook gluten-free and I never use cow’s milk. [I also do] some sort of butt exercise. Maintaining muscle in my butt is my forever challenge.” Cavallari added she wakes up at 5 a.m. Monday-Friday to work out before her kids wake up.
Brooks Nader admitted she indulged in chicken tenders and French fries right before her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit shoot, but the model insisted to Fox News in July that she’s big on boxing to stay in shape. “For my rookie shoot, I trained with my trainer probably like two hours a day in the months leading up to it,” she said. “Aside from that, he doesn’t put me on any crazy meal plans or anything like that. I just try to stay off the booze — no wine. I stay off alcohol for like a month and a half. I try and limit my carbs and my sugar intake. I’m drinking lots of water — I just try to keep it clean.”
In May, Toni Braxton took to Instagram where she unveiled her fit physique in a skimpy black bikini. However, the seven-time Grammy Award winner wasn’t soaking up the sun at the beach or even by the pool. Instead, the singer opted to take a mirror selfie from inside her closet. The 53-year-old previously told Healthy Living magazine she works out “every single day, seven days a week.” “If I do cardio, I work on my treadmill,” she explained. “I walk 40 minutes on my treadmill every single day.”
Haley Kalil, like many Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models, is a big fan of Pilates to help her stay in shape. But whenever she’s traveling, there’s one thing she won’t skip. “I’m always doing just weight training,” said the former cover girl to Fox News in August. “So body weights, small weights, five pounds, 10 pounds, and just a lot of reps so that you can keep that muscle strong, but keep it long.”
In May, Brooke Shields left many speechless when she proudly wore a neon bikini. Throughout the year, the 55-year-old took to Instagram to unveil her at-home workout routines. “I say I work out four times a week,” she told Fox News that same month. “And I do one day of rest or one day of yoga or just one day of walking. I try to vary it. You can lift things that are heavy, a dishrag can give an unbelievable hamstring workout. Even vacuuming the house nonstop can break a sweat. I think it’s all about committing to doing something, whether it’s an online yoga class, a Zoom session with a trainer — it becomes more of an opportunity than a chore.”
Eva Longoria strutted her stuff on social media when she wore a black two-piece bikini that put her incredible figure on full display. The former “Desperate Housewives” star, who is often seen on social media at the gym, previously told Health magazine exercise is part of her daily life even though, like many of us, she doesn’t necessarily enjoy it. “I’m a runner, first of all,” the 45-year-old explained. “I run a lot. But I also do SoulCycle, Pilates, yoga. I usually mix it up. Now I’m starting with weight training… I don’t like moves that incorporate a lot of stuff. Like, ‘Lunge while you’re pressing and balancing.’ … I don’t enjoy working out. I like the way I feel after a workout.” Longoria also told the outlet that a glass of wine is a great motivator to maintain her routine.
Carrie Underwood loves exercising and it shows. In June, the country crooner showed off her toned bikini body in a diamond-patterned piece from her own CALIA by Carrie collection. The 37-year-old mom of two told Shape magazine in 2019 she works out every single day, even when she hits the road. “I like traveling with a few things that are easy to pack,” Underwood told the outlet. “So, you can get an ab wheel you can put in your bag, and it doesn’t weigh a lot or take up a lot of space. It can be painful, but you don’t have to do many of them to feel it the next day. I like keeping it simple. I’ll also use [resistance] bands and jump ropes that you can pack and take anywhere with you and easily come up with a workout.”
When Jessica Simpson welcomed her third child in 2019, the 40-year-old weighed about 240 pounds. In September 2019, her trainer Harley Pasternak told People magazine she had the singer-turned-entrepreneur walk up to 12,000 steps a day outdoors to keep moving. Then for three days a week, Simpson would focus on toning at the gym for 45 minutes. She also stayed consistent with three meals and two snacks a day, with each meal having protein and fiber. The result was a 100-pound weight loss, which Simpson flaunted in June by modeling a cheeky bikini from her own line.
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