Brooke Banker is often the leggiest model on the catwalk. At 5’11”, and with gams that go on for miles—well, 47 inches—her toned legs make up nearly two thirds of her body.
Not surprisingly, with legs as her bread-and-butter, Banker’s workouts revolve around them, too.
Although many models avoid adding the slightest resistance to their spin bike for fear of bulking up, the former Penn State Division I volleyball player is a fan of strength training and building lean muscle.
“As an athlete, I not only had to be strong, but also quick and light on my feet. Combining strength-training exercises with quick interval movements was key to my training. I do the same type of workouts now in order to keep my legs strong and toned,” the Brooklyn-native says.
What kind of paces is she putting her legs through? While she’s constantly flying her famous stems all over the world to be photographed (let’s hope in extra-leg-room Business Class), when she’s at home in New York, Banker hits group fitness classes at Equinox most days. Here she shares her leg-loving strengthening and sculpting regimen for the week. —Jamie McKillop
Monday: I like to start my week with one of my favorite classes at Equinox, Elev8. I wake up early and have a green smoothie before my workout. (Spinach, almond milk, frozen cherries, and cacao is my current favorite.) Elev8 is an interval-training class, combining weights with cardio bursts. This class helps me build muscle while maintaining speed and agility.
Tuesday: My favorite instructor, Nikki Bucks (of Equinox), has a great spin class Tuesday mornings. I’m always happy when my schedule allows me to make it. She plays a great mix of music—including my favorite, indie rock, which gets me pumped up. I love spinning—it keeps me lean and strong. Post workout I love to replenish myself with chia seed pudding and a scoop of peanut butter.
Wednesday: This is my mid-week “recovery and reflection” workout. I look for a barre, Pilates or yoga class that fits into my schedule. The stretching encourages long muscles while the postures and poses tone and lift. These type of workouts are great for triggering even smaller leg muscles.
Thursday: Stephanie Levinson teaches back-to-back classes at my local Equinox that I love: Cardio Core Ball followed by Body Bar Blast. Both use light weights and a step. Stephanie creates a high-energy class that keeps us in constant motion. We do lots of squatting, lunging, and leg lifts, and I do my best to do the full range of motion and get the most out of each leg movement. After 90 minutes, I’m eager for a hearty lunch. One of my favorites is lentil soup with a sweet potato and vegan cheese quesadilla.
Friday: Another spin class. And because my legs are usually sore by now, I’ll do some speed work to help flush them out. That’s exactly what I need come Friday.
Saturday: Time to hit the weight room and create a lift reminiscent of my volleyball days at Penn State. I focus on bigger muscles and more static lights. I use a range of weights depending on how I’m feeling, from body weight to medium heavy. I like to super set with a quicker more ballistic movement. This week it’ll be a weighted squat with speed skater hops, and weighted lunges with box jumps. To finish up my leg workout, I’ll use the machines to do some abduction and adduction for my hips, as well as quads and hamstrings and calf raises. Phew!
Sunday: Rest day!
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