Sure, some celebrities go to group fitness classes, but others prefer to workout at home—which can be clutch when you’re bouncing between movie sets and award shows, as the glitterati do. Celebrity trainer Ashley Borden is the queen of crafting anytime-anywhere workouts for A-listers, a woman whose seriously enviable job it is to keep Ryan Gosling in shape. Oh, and Reese Witherspoon and Christina Aguilera, too.
In January, Borden will be making the 21-day training program she uses with her A-listers available online—a combo workout and meal plan (with 50 recipes) that includes a psychological component to keep your mind in check. Borden’s a big believer that home workouts don’t have to be less effective than group classes or training sessions…and the proof might just be in Gosling’s abs.
Before you press play on your next online workout or app, read on for her top tips for maximizing your home workout.
1. Really tune in to your form.
Without one-on-one attention, it’s easy to phone-in lackluster planks and squats, Borden warns. That’s why part of her forthcoming workout program will focus on breaking down the correct form for basics like push-ups, planks, reverse lunges, and squats, she says. “They’re moves used in virtually every fitness class,” she says, “but so many people do them incorrectly.”
Brush-up on the basics by reading about the mechanics to make sure you truly understand what muscles are supposed to be firing, or check-in with a trainer who can give you some pointers. Then do frequent scans of your form throughout your workout and adjust accordingly. When you’re sweating alone, you’ve really got to think of yourself as your own trainer.
2. Get away from the mirror
Borden’s studio doesn’t have any mirrors and that’s on purpose. “Mirrors are meant for people to correct their form, but what I’ve seen is that people don’t focus on what they’re doing right or wrong—they focus on things about their body they don’t like and what want to fix, and that isn’t helpful,” Borden says. “I don’t allow any negative talk in my studio.”
Likewise, don’t place your laptop in front of the biggest mirror in your house. Staring at yourself takes you out of the zone and can make you overly self-critical. If you really need help figuring out if your form is off, film your workout—you’re using your laptop anyway, so utilizing the computer camera should be easy—and play it back, analyzing your technique that way, Borden recommends.
3. Foam. Roll.
Borden is such a big believer in foam rolling that she offers a free how-to on her site, which you can do while you’re catching up on Netflix (as she admits to doing). “It’s especially important to do if you sit in front of a computer all day,” she says. Muscle tissue can form knots when it’s restricted, and foam rolling gets the muscles moving, which increases circulation, Borden explains. “Plus, it just feels so, so good,” she says. As Gosling himself might say—hey girl, you deserve a little TLC.