15 times celebrities inspired us to get fit
by Deepa Menon
While you and I are hitting snooze on our morning alarms for the fifth time, somewhere in Mumbai, a star is getting her pert little ass kicked by a trainer. That’s just the admission fee for celebrity these days, and don’t these guys know it. But even if you’re not planning to walk the red carpet and subject yourself to the judgement of every troll out there, it’s nice to have a little motivation to actually get out of bed and work up a sweat every morning. Let ELLE Active and the tautest, tightest, most impressively muscled folk in Bollywood inspire you to try something new tomorrow morning.
Flip through to find out what gets the stars in shape
Photograph: Varun Dhawan/Instagram
Jacqueline Fernandez loves her some Pilates.
Huma Qureshi’s trainer explains what makes Pilates different from other gym workouts: “These movements tone and create length, which is why you get a more curved and lean body rather than a muscle-y, blocky body.”
If you’re looking for personalised attention that gets results, check out our list of fitness boot camps across Indian cities.
Deepika Padukone is clearly a star pupil at Karachiwala’s gym. This is her angling for an A+ in Pilates.
Yasmin Karachiwala puts together a four-week exercise routine to get you a flat belly like Padukone’s: Pilates exercises like the single-leg stretch, hundreds (similar to crunches, and held for 100 beats), criss-cross crunches, planks and the side-lying double-leg lift are great to tone your tummy.
Bipasha Basu relies on friend and fitness expert Deanne Panday to stay in top form.
Panday gives us the 101 on the TRX workout, which was created by a former US Navy Seal and is a hit with movie stars: The great thing about working with your own body weight? You’re not bound by traditional machines, which means you can perform a far greater range of exercises. Plus, ripped abs, owing to the absence of a stable surface.
Gym sessions can get boring, though. Shraddha Kapoor danced the blahs away, as she trained for ABCD2.
Zumba can burn anywhere between 700 and 1000 calories an hour, and it’s basically very smart dancing. Read our primer here: The intermittent training in Zumba is unique because unlike routines that follow high-intensity-low-intensity training for equal periods of time (cardio for three minutes followed by strength training for 3 minutes), in Zumba, the intervals are not timed equally, and focus enormously on the dance-cardio part of the workout. This combination of slow and fast moves results in sculpted arms, a toned upper body, a flat stomach and muscle strength.
Also training for ABCD2, Varun Dhawan coaxes out his inner MJ.
If you want work a little more rhythm into your routine, try dancehall. Elle’s fashion editor tried it and shared her experience here: Dancehall requires you to be fast, and switch between forceful, power moves and loose-limbed ease. Try doing all of that andremembering which step comes next. In the last 15 minutes of the class comes the part I initially balked at, but now enjoy: solos. In front of an entire class.
Aditya Roy Kapoor works hard on keeping those muscles in top shape.
Kapoor explains to ELLE why he’d rather cut back on cardio than weight training. Plus, he shares his diet mantra for keeping fit: “Watching your food, is more than 50 per cent of the battle. I kind of eat 5-6 times a day, small meals, high protein, also a lot of fibre.”
But even the musclemen can’t ignore cardio altogether. Shahid Kapoor gets his heart rate up with a treadmill session.
Planning to take up running? Let Gul Panag’s new app show you how to pace yourself and work up to your best speed. We previewed it here: Based on Josh Clark’s Couch-to-5K programme, the app is designed to transform couch potatoes into seasoned runners within nine weeks. “As a beginner, I found it difficult to continue running, so we made sure our app puts focus on building the user’s strength and endurance,” says Panag.
You know Rahul Khanna pumps iron—just look at those arms. But he also often takes the action outdoors, by hiking, swimming and running on the beach.
To stay motivated on the go, invest in a fitness tracker. Read up on the latest ones in the market, which can track everything from runs to laps in the pool.
Lisa Haydon too likes to change things up every so often. She ran a marathon last year, and she surfs and plays basketball.
What else does the model and actor do to look as good as she does? Read about her fitness and diet philosophy here: “I know how to manipulate my body to make it look a certain way. I know what food works. I don’t enjoy cold food, like salads and hummus. I prefer a Thai curry with lots of fish and vegetables, or Indian food. Over the years, I have become more intuitively switched on to my body’s needs.”
Siddharth Malhotra stays indoors and comes to grips with the halasana or plough pose.
Always do yoga with a trainer when you're starting off. Get your basics right with these video tutorials by yoga guru Deepika Mehta.
Lisa Ray glows with good health, thanks to the yoga habit of years.
If you’re a pro on the mat, take things to the next level with acroyoga. Here’s a primer on the yoga that’s got celebs like Lena Dunham hooked: This looks like really hard yoga, but because you’re taken through it in phases, only moving to the next level when you’re stable at the previous, it might not actually be so bad. And it looks like fun.
Ranbir Kapoor seems to be feeling the burn as he does his floor exercises.
You don’t need expensive equipment to get the most from your workout. A level floor is all you need for these butt-firming moves.
Kareena Kapoor and Malaika Arora Khan too team up to hit the floor and torch those calories at the gym.
These two girls also know a thing or two about staying bikini-ready: Elle cover girls Monia Tomas and Radhika Nair give us the skinny. "Stretching your body does wonders. What’s amazing is that it can be done at home, saves you a lot of injuries and just makes you breathe better," says Nair.
Photograph: Yasmin Karachiwala/Instagram
Sonakshi Sinha catches her breath after a session with an exercise ball.
Make sure your diet doesn’t sabotage your workouts by cramming your kitchen with healthy snacks. Here are some gluten-free and vegan alternatives to candy and chips.