How Do Victoria's Secret Models Stay So Toned? This Paddle Board-Inspired Workout
Ever wonder exactly what it takes to get a core as toned as a Victoria's Secret model? Yoga with a twist, it turns out. Regardless of whether you'll be strutting down a catwalk anytime soon, try taking your yoga practice out of the studio and onto an Indo Yoga Board for a balance-based workout that simulates the experience of being atop a stand-up paddle board. Alessandra Ambrosio is a fan, and the board was even featured in the Victoria's Secret spring catalog. Here the are key moves to master—trust us, the results are Instagram-worthy.
With your feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent and hips slightly forward, balance on the Indo Yoga Board without rolling to either side. Keep the board centered on the rockers for one to three minutes or until your legs start to burn. Step off and repeat three to five times.
Place both hands underneath your shoulders on the Indo Yoga Board, step back into a plank position. With arms straight, center the Indo Yoga Board and hold the balance. (Tip: avoid holding the sides of the board so you don’t pinch your fingers if you rock to one side or the other.) Bend your elbows and lower your chest until it is in line with your elbow. Using your triceps and some of your pectoral muscles, press your upper body back up to the starting position and squeeze your chest. Breathe out as you press up to the starting plank position.
Downward Facing Dog Leg Lifts
Begin on your hands and knees. Exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor. Reach your pelvis up toward the ceiling, then draw your sit bones toward the wall behind you. Gently begin to straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Bring your body into the shape of an “V.” Step both feet together. Then, with your arms and legs straight, inhale and lift your right leg straight back and up, high in the air. Flex your right foot and reach back through your heel. Sweep your right leg back and up behind you, keeping your toes pointed toward the floor and hips in line. Lift your leg as high as you can without letting your stomach and ribs pop forward. As you exhale, lower your toes back to the floor. Repeat 5 times, then switch to the other side.
Standing Yoga Lunge (Warrior 1)
Begin in downward facing dog. Inhale and extend your right leg high. As you exhale, step your right foot forward into a low lunge position. Spin your left heel flat so your left toes are pointing slightly forward, and inhale your arms and chest up. Reach your arms toward the ceiling as your pinky fingers turn in toward one another. This will allow your shoulders to relax down your back. Maintain a deep, 90 degree lunge in your right leg. Your lower core muscles are engaged here, which should allow you to find length in your low spine. Work on squaring your hips toward the front of the room, while grounding the knife edge of your left foot into the mat.
Stand in the center of the Indo Yoga Board, shift your weight into one foot and find the balance as you begin to draw the opposite knee to your chest. Find your center and balance standing on one leg with both hands holding the shin of the raised leg. Inhale and move the same hand as the leg lifted to the outside of your left ankle. Begin to bring the ankle behind you, moving slowly. Move the knees so they are in alignment with the hip joints. Hold here and breathe. Inhale and extend the arm of opposite side-body directly up from the shoulder, towards the sky. Hold here for several breaths. As you hold the pose, breathe into the stretch on the inhalation and relax on the exhalation, creating an equal and opposite stretch forward through the arm and backward through the leg. Slowly reverse the steps and switch legs.
Upward Plank Pose
Begin by sitting on the Indo Yoga Board with your legs extended in front of you and your hands planted behind you with palms rotated so your fingertips point in the same direction you are facing (toward your toes). Keep your hands shoulder-distance apart. Externally rotate your upper arms and slowly begin to press down into your hands. On an inhalation, press your hands and feet down firmly and lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Keep your chest lifting and your spine in one straight line. Work toward pressing the soles of your feet into the floor while keeping your legs straight and firm. Hold for up to 30 seconds. To release, slowly lower your hips to the Indo board.
Start lying on your back, bending both knees and placing your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your arms alongside your body, palms facing down. Press your feet into the board and find the center of balance. Inhale and lift your hips up, peeling your spine off the mat. Engage your legs and butt to lift your hips as high as you can. Hold for five breaths. To release, exhale and slowly roll your spine back onto the Indo Yoga Board.