Sofia Vergara may play a chatterbox on TV (Modern Family‘s Gloria: funniest character on the small screen, hands down), but the actress has been notoriously quiet about her workouts—until now.
Jennifer Yates, former ballerina, celeb trainer, and founder of the newly opened Studio Metamorphosis in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, has worked with Vergara for three years, fine-tuning her fitness routine. Her Seat of Power workout is all about increasing your lower body’s lean muscle mass, which Yates says will “allow you to burn more calories while working out and post-workout. Having a strong foundation to stand up on creates strength in the core and will give you more confidence to stand tall.”
While the star turns to Yates specifically for her sculpting superpowers, the trainer says that even Vergara sometimes struggles to find her #fitspo: “The fact that she refers to working out as ‘necessary torture’ pretty much sums up why she works out,” the trainer explains. “Plus, she loves to eat cake.” A girl after my own heart.
Scroll down to see Vergara’s go-to lower body workout, straight from her trainer.
Decline Wall Plank
1. Place the forearms on the floor 3-4 feet away from the wall or a stable chair.
2. Slowly—and with ease—walk up the wall so your body is inverted in a decline position. Engage your core by rotating your hips toward your upper body while keeping a neutral spine. Hold for 30-60 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat 3 more times.
Tip from Yates: Beginners may want to start with their feet or knees on the ground and hold plank before attempting to invert.
1. Lie on your side, supporting your head and neck with your hand. Wrap a resistance band around your outer thighs. Bend your knees and lift your ankles off the floor.
2. Slowly, at a four-count pace, open your top leg to the ceiling as you resist the band. At a slow, four-count pace, return the top leg to meet the bottom leg.
Tip from Yates: Squeeze the outer glute muscle as you open your legs apart from one another for 60 seconds on each leg. Hold open for the last 10 seconds to really feel the abductor and glute activate.
1. Kneel down on one knee with your forearms placed on the floor, elbows underneath the shoulders. Wrap a resistance band around your bottom knee while the other end is on the bottom of your other foot.
2. Raise the leg with the resistance band attached to the foot. Keeping a 90-degree angle with the leg, squeeze your glute muscle as you raise your leg for 2 counts up and 2 slow counts down. Perform for 60 seconds, then switch legs.
Tip from Yates: Do not lower the knee below hip height—the goal is to create tension in the resistance band.
1. Lie flat on your back, hips up balancing on your shoulder blades. Place your heel on the center of a foam roller. Extend the opposite leg up toward the ceiling to help lift your hips up.
2. Slowly, at a four-count pace, move the leg and foot that is on the foam roller out and slowly back in, stopping the ankle underneath the knee. Squeeze your glute muscle and hamstring as you move the foam roller. Perform for 60 seconds, each leg.
Tip from Yates: If you need help, place your hands under your back to keep your hips high and add extra support.
1. Standing up, wrap a circle resistance band around your ankles. Keep your chest lifted tall and extend your back leg away from the supporting leg at a slow, 4-count pace. Resist the band as you lift the leg up. Slowly lower the leg. Squeeze your glute muscle and engage your core. Do for 60 seconds, each leg.
Tip from Yates: Open out the hip of the leg being raised so the outside of the glutes are engaged. Keeping the chest upright will also allow the lower back to be stimulated along with the lower body.
1. Sit with your back against the wall. Bend your knees, placing them directly above your ankles. Drive your heels into the floor while you press your lower back against the wall. Hold without moving for at least 90 seconds, but up to 2 minutes for a real challenge!
Tip from Yates: The quadriceps should be parallel to the floor and the knees at a 90-degree angle for the best stimulation of the quads and glutes. For advanced clients, hold a weight at the center of your chest.
Walk at an Incline
1. Raise your treadmill up to a 6-percent incline and a speed of 3.0-5.0 mph, depending on the level. Walk for 2 minutes. Raise the incline 1-2 percent higher every minute after that. Walk for 20-30 minutes, pumping the arms to increase the heart rate. Advanced clients may raise the arms up straight to the ceiling to engage the core more.
Tip from Yates: If you don’t have access to a treadmill, go hiking or climb stairs or walk uphill. For the most caloric burn, do strength training first then cardio!
1. Stand with one foot on the floor. On your opposite leg, bend your knee and grab the top of your foot behind you.
2. Place your knees together, and gently press the foot of your bent leg toward your glute muscle. Hold for 20-30 seconds as you feel the stretch in the quadriceps. Switch legs and repeat.
1. Self-myofascial release—a simple way to loosen up tight muscles—is commonly performed with a foam roller. Apply gentle pressure by rolling back and forth onto your IT Band, hamstrings, calf muscles and quadriceps.
Tip from Yates: Don’t skip this step! It will aid in recovery and helps return the muscles back to being elastic, healthy and functioning properly.