The One Surprising Thing Blake Lively Did to Get in Her Best Shape Ever

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Blake Lively welcomed her first child in December 2014 and snapped back into a bikini just two months later to shoot her shark thriller The Shallows. Now, she’s back at it again: Having given birth to daughter Ines in September 2016, next up the mom of two will get in fighting shape for the upcoming film Bruised about a single mother who does cage fighting.

So how on earth does Lively manage to drop the pounds so quickly? While it’s hard for us to relate to the pressure of having to film a movie months after giving birth, her surprising tip for shedding the pounds is something we could all learn from. Instead of focusing on cardio, the actress maintains her figure with a strict strength-training regime.

Both Lively and her husband Ryan Reynolds work with Don Saladino of Drive Gym, and the trainer has the power couple working it with the weights. “When you are doing those exercises, you are not training one area of the body. They are complex and compound and they are requiring the whole body to work. You also get that cardiovascular effect too,” he told Health of the strength-training circuits he does with Lively.

#FitnessFriday current mood. @donsaladino gives me reason to hide!....

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Some examples of the full-body moves that get the actress in top shape are farmer’s walks, sled pushes, squats, deadlifts, and incline pushups. “This is burning high calories, and getting her foundation really, really strong,” he added.

In fact, when Lively was training for The Shallows, she bumped up her workouts from one or two times a week to five or six, and most of those sessions were focused on weights, not cardio. “We would do an upper body workout Monday, lower body Tuesday. Wednesday was a playful pool workout where she would do laps,” Saladino told People. “Thursday was upper body, Friday lower body, and Saturday we were focusing on the accessory movers: the arms, the shoulders.”

Now you see why @blakelively was hidding. 😂😂😂

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While that sounds like a ton of time in the gym, Saladino promises that you don’t need a full hour each day to get results. “You can get in and do things in 20-30 minutes, and you could build a world-class physique in that time that moves the right way,” he told Health. And when Lively isn’t feeling a full workout, he encourages her to get active in any small way, even if it’s just spending 10 minutes on the elliptical.

“When you feel great, get on it. When you don’t feel great, shift down a gear. And when you feel like complete crap do really minimal work,” he told People.

And workouts are only part of the plan. To maintain her figure, Lively sticked to a mostly gluten- and soy-free diet, eating minimal processed foods. When she was training for The Shallows, she was particularly strict, eating mostly protein, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. But the actress doesn’t totally deprive herself: She sticks to an 80/20 diet, and allows herself to indulge on “cheat foods” about 20 percent of the time.

RELATED: Blake Lively Is Set to Star in Her Own Version of Big Little Lies

That sounds like a plan we can get behind.


[MUSIC] Hi, I'm Kim with InStyle. I'm here with Don Saladino, owner of Drive 495. He trains Blake Lively, and she has great legs. Great legs. Super toned. So you're gonna show us a two-part move today. Yes, yes. Very very simple. What I love about this is that we're going to hit the entire area of the legs. Se we're going to hit the quad, the hamstring, the glute. We're going to hit a little core, and we are also going to spice it up and add in a little bit of that fat burning component. Yes I like that. Let's have some fun. What I want you to do is line up in your split squat stance. All you're going to do is drop that back knee about an Quarter inch from the floor, so down and up, that's perfect, yes. And notice how Kim's got really good posture here. Shoulders are tall, chin's at a good kinda level. And we're gonna go for about, I want you anywhere from pretty much eight to ten repetitions. Okay. And let's switch it up. Let's go other side. Other leg. For eight to ten reps. Burn. Yeah. You're going to feel it, and that's what great about this is, you don't need weight for this exercise. I mean naturally in time it would become easy. The one thing I want you to focus on is do not allow this knee to drive forward, just additional stress that we don't want to put on the knee. So really keep it in line with the ankle? Yeah, pretty much vertical. From here to here is vertical. Focus on that, right now we're really hitting the glute, the hamstring, the quad, the core is getting some work. I think my leg is shaking. And rest, okay cool, we're done there. The next thing I want you to do is we're going to go into a lateral bounce. We're going to jump On the one side and we're gonna explode back to the other side, but you're gonna stick the landing. So, good. Stick the landing. One. Two. You don't even have to throw the leg behind you. Just like that? Yes, yes, yes, great. Okay. Four, give me ten. Five. Six, keep going. [MUSIC] And rest, that'll be cool. So what I love about this is we worked in this linear, this straight line pattern which most of us always work in when we're training in the gym. We have to do more lateral movement, and that's really gonna work on the inner and outer thigh, that's gonna work on the glute, that's gonna work on the core. Also gonna get your heart rate a little jacked up, so you're gonna feel it right now. Little out of breath. You don't need treadmills, you don't need all this cardio equipment. You really can use nothing. You just saw two really simple movements. What I would recommend doing is pretty much two to three sets of eight to ten repetitions of each movement. So we're gonna hit eight to ten reps of that split squat, both legs. Right when we are done, we are going to do eight to ten explosive lateral bounds. You want to do that about two to three times. I would do that once or twice a week. Do not kill yourself. Do not feel like you go overboard. Just touch it and go. You are going to see big results. What I like about this move is, you can literally do it anywhere, no excuses. You are in the airport, in the hotel room. You can just. Just all you need to do. If it's getting easy, and it's something where you don't even have dumbbells, you can go grab, I mean I've had people do crazy things, a pillow case, and you load it up, or a little briefcase, and you just fill it with knickknacks. Just something to add a little resistance. You can even hold the weight right in front of you, which is going to engage your core a little bit. So These are little tricks. You don't need all this big fancy gym equipment. Which I shouldn't be saying because I own a facility, but you really don't. But, on the go. On the go. There's no excuse. There's no reason why you can't go hit something like this for five, ten minutes. Really, really simple. Awesome. Thank you so much. Good work. Awesome. The best.
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