As we adjust to a new way of life in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, Naomi Campbell continues to be an exuberant resource.
It began with lessons in extreme sanitation by way of hazmat suits and antibacterial wipes, and now the supermodel is offering motivation to get moving, inviting her followers to join her sweat sessions with her trainer Joe Holder on Instagram Live daily. “With everything going on, she wanted to keep working out and had the idea to get other people involved, showing the hard work that she puts in each day while creating a space of joy and community as things slow down,” says Holder of their full-body workouts designed for public participation.
Of course, for many, a major draw is learning the secrets behind Campbell’s incredibly sculpted legs. And while social distancing renders us more static in a lot of ways, it also affords ample opportunity to work out—and there are many benefits to targeting the legs specifically, insists Holder. “The lower half of your body has the biggest muscles—your glutes, quads, and hamstrings,” he explains. “If you can really concentrate on movement patterns in these areas, it works your body harder while having a circulatory effect that activates the lymphatic system to get rid of cellular waste. It goes a long way and is a good strategy for most people to take since they won’t have access to a gym.”
Here, Holder gives a master class on how to get long, lithe legs in five easy steps.
1. Stretch With a Foam-Roller
“Soft-tissue mobilization gets the body moving correctly, and that’s when great things happen,” says Holder, who starts every workout with clients with 5 to 10 minutes of foam-rolling to stretch quads, calves, hamstrings, and glutes.
2. Boost Your Heart Rate With Cardio
Holder’s cardio warm-up of choice is a jumping-rope circuit of 30-second intervals, alternating between faster and slower paces, for at least 10 minutes, followed by a 10-minute run or brisk walk on the treadmill at an incline. This really increases muscle elasticity, he insists.
3. Activate the Glutes
Once the blood is pumping, Holder focuses on a targeted trio of “butt-busting” mat moves in reps of 10: bird dogs (extending the opposite arm and leg in unison); fire hydrants (raising one leg at a right angle out to the side until your thigh is parallel to the floor); and single-leg elevated side planks, with the top foot placed on a bench to work the glutes and adductors as the body lifts.
4. Break Out the Resistance Bands
For proper conditioning, Holder relies on resistance bands. “They activate the leg and posterior chain muscles,” he explains of the benefits of placing bands around the knees while lying on your back and driving the hips upward, holding the position for a few seconds in reps of 15 to 20.
5. Build Strength and Muscle
A great workout ends with strength training, says Holder, whose go-to moves include “the step-up”—bring one foot onto a bench, and then bring up the other in reps of 8 to 15—and dead lifts. Bend at the hips with dumbbells in hand, and lift as you return to an upright position in 3 sets of 10. “Typical squats don’t work the butt nearly as much,” he reveals.