When it comes to fitness, supermodel Adriana Lima is one of the hardest working women in the biz. The Victoria’s Secret Angel’s been training with ex-boxing pro, Michael Olajide, Jr. at his New York City studio, Aerospace, for over 10 years. As you’ve probably guessed, their regular routines are intense in order to get her ready to walk the runway at the lingerie company’s annual holiday fashion show every fall.
Let’s just say that while Lima might look like an angel, she trains like a fighter, according to Olajide, who’s sharing one of the workouts he designed for the model below. “Our sessions are very efficient; they burn a lot of calories in a short period of time,” he explains. “It’s 60–90 minutes of intense intervals. Adriana loves to be challenged in a constructive way. She loves learning as she works.”
“Adriana loves to be challenged in a constructive way. She loves learning as she works.”
Olajide’s approach to fitness is simple: “Everything in moderation, but work out with a distinct level of intensity.” His sweaty secret weapon? “The jump rope.” The goal is to complete every round of exercises back to back, with 60-second breaks in between—keeping in mind that at its, er, core, the entire sequence is all about your abs.
“[They] should be engaged throughout every exercise,” says Olajide. “Even if you’re wiping buckets of sweat from your brow or rehydrating with water. Your physical movement, recall, speed, timing, coordination, and energy while doing these Aerodrills depends on it. Everything originates from your core.”
Needless to say, if you can master these moves, you’ll be flying high on endorphins and your own set of well-deserved fitness wings.
Keep reading to see Adriana Lima’s total-body toning workout for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
1. Circle your arms in one direction for 30 seconds and then reverse for another 30 seconds.
2. Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart, a slight bend in your knees, and your leg muscles engaged (AKA pyramid position). Make fists with your hands and lift them just below your cheekbones so they meet in front of your face, elbows in line with your wrists. Lean your upper body slightly forward, and start to twist at your core, keeping your lower body as still as possible. Continue for 60 seconds, then repeat for another 60 seconds with your elbows tucked into your ribs, fists framing the sides of your face just below your cheekbones.
3. Return to center and do calf raises for 30 seconds.
4. Next, stand with your feet under your shoulders and do 30 seconds of shallow squats (stopping at a 45-degree angle instead of a full 90-degree drop). Make sure to keep your knees over your ankles and stick your butt out.
5. Finish with 30 seconds of as many jumping jacks as you can muster.
Round 1: jump rope
“The basic jump is the easiest of moves,” explains Olajide. “Start with your feet together. Keep it to one revolution of the rope per jump—get the feet out of the way!” Complete one minute of your basic jump, then another minute at a slower speed, followed by one minute as fast as you can. After every three rounds, pick up your rope and jump for three minutes.
Round 2: jabs
Start in pyramid position, with your fists just below your cheekbones and elbows tucked into your ribcage. For an added challenge, hold on to 1–2 lb. hand weights. Punch the air as fast as you can for one minute with only your left hand, then repeat with your right for another minute. For the final 60 seconds, alternate hands.
Round 3: jump squats
From a pyramid position, crouch down into your deepest squat (as close to a 90-degree bend at the knees as possible) and then, with force, drive through your heels to lift off the ground and do a jumping jack before landing back in your squat.
Round 4: uppercuts
Start in pyramid position with your fists framing your face, holding the same hand weights you used in round two if you want an extra challenge. Then, keeping your arms bent at a 90-degree angle, elbows tucked close to your body, slice your arm up toward the sky like you’re trying to punch the ceiling without raising your fist past shoulder height (AKA an uppercut). Do as many uppercuts as you can for one minute on your left arm only, then repeat on your right. Complete a third minute of uppercuts alternating between both hands.
Round 5: side steps with a resistance band
Start with your feet far enough apart to maintain tension on your resistance band. (The goal is to never let it go slack for the duration of this round.) Lower yourself into a shallow squat (45-degree bend of your legs). Using only your right foot, take a step out to increase the tension on the band, then return to start. Do as many as you can in one minute, then repeat on the left foot. Afterward, alternate side steps for two minutes.
Round 6: hook-jab combo
Do this combination for 60 seconds on each arm, then another minute alternating between both. Maintaining the same 90-degree shape of your arm that you used for your uppercuts, this time, rotate it so your elbow is parallel to the ground instead of perpendicular. Swing it across your body, then snap it back and execute two quick jabs, punching the air in front of you. Repeat.
Round 7: Ali Shuffle
“The Ali Shuffle is a famous signature move from the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali,” explains Olajide. “It enhances cardio, coordination, and timing, as well as lower-body muscle endurance.”
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your left foot slightly forward of your right (AKA boxer stance). Simultaneously slide the left foot back as you bring the right foot forward. Bend into a deep squat, then rise back into your boxer stance and scissor your feet back so that your left is in front of your right. Do as many shuffles as you can in 60 seconds, only squatting when your left foot is back. Then switch and repeat on the opposite side for another minute, only squatting when your right foot is back. For the last 60 seconds, squat with every shuffle.
Round 8: uppercut-jab-hook combo
Combining all three punches from previous rounds, starting on your left arm, throw an uppercut, then a jab, followed by a hook as many times, in that order, as you can in 60 seconds. Repeat on the right arm for another minute. And end with a final 60 seconds alternating arms. Phew!
For a more in-depth explainer on the basics of boxing workouts, check out this beginner’s guide and see another fitness move Adriana Lima swears by for lower-body toning.
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