We’ve all seen the Victoria’s Secret runway fashion shows — it’s a national holiday event.
Let us detail the scenario: you, sitting on the couch in your granny panties and working on your third 100-calorie pack of cookie wafers (feeling suddenly terrible about your own toosh, I might add) and them — Vicki’s models — the gorgeous, the thin, and the incredibly super fit with the enviable, lace panty-bearing bottoms.
Like with all fashion shows, there’s a string of behind-the-scenes gurus. The makeup artists, the stylists and — yep, the bottom sculpters. So who is the person responsible for those toned booties?
Cue fitness trainer Andrea Orbeck.
The fitness expert’s clientele list boasts the scantily-clad Heidi Klum, along with folks like Usher, Queen Latifah, and Alicia Silverstone. Yet despite being the best of the best at her game, she shies away from the term “celebrity fitness trainer” for fear of sounding exclusive.
(“Celebrity — it can seem so pretentious — only exclusive to those people,” advised Orbeck, “just say health and fitness professional.”)
What’s got the hottest runway models coming back to Orbeck, time and time again? Well, the trainer attributes her success to the combination of health and wellness programs individually tailored to each client’s needs.
“I apply the methods of kinesiology, rehabilitation, different body systems like aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, and cutting-edge nutrition and supplementation,” she said, “combined with a very real and personal relationship with clients to uncover what is really sabotaging their goals.”
As Orbeck explains, red-carpet trotters are self-conscious about the same image woes as us: for women, fear of muffin topping is a huge concern, as are other areas where the body typically deposits fat, like the back of the arms and in between the thighs.
Men are conscious of that image staring back at them in the mirror — they’re also fearful of developing a gut. “Everyone across the board covets a six-pack,” said Orbeck.
In terms of exercise favorites, Orbeck is a huge fan of compound exercises that involve working many muscles at once, including squats, abdominal planks, and deadlifts. She explains that those types of exercises are time efficient, promote coordination, and contribute to strengthening the postural muscles. In other words, think more bang for your workout buck.
Celebs have their favorite routines, too. As Orbeck discloses, Klum’s intense about busting her booty — quite literally: “Heidi loves the challenge of a really intense glute series,” she said.
Other new moms, like Becki Newton, are focused on re-defining their abs post-baby.
“Becki Newton recently had a baby, so she is very committed to gaining her core conditioning back,” Orbeck said. “Although very challenging, she does a lot of bridging and reverse abs for the lower attachment of the core muscles.”
Orbeck also promotes interval training and avoids having clients trot on the treadmill at a set pace. “The mindless cardio that hums the heart rate at one level is boring and not as efficient as a variety of intensities and movements,” she stated.
To combat that same old, same old 6.1 running speed on the treadmill, try sprinting at intervals of one to two minutes and walking on an incline at 10 to 15 percent. Not set on the treadmill? Then try jumping rope, instead.
Mixing up workouts to create interesting, efficient routines is crucial — once you’ve established a healthy relationship with exercise, lacing up the sneakers no longer remains a chore but serves as an outlet.
“When someone is capable of achieving goals that have endurance and strength,” said Orbeck, “there is a certain magic that happens both in and out of the skinny jeans.”
Think your toosh isn’t runway worthy? Then try these eight moves from Orbeck’s “Booty Killing Hip Series” for a toned and tighter bottom.
1. Glute bridges with dumbbell
Lie on your back in a bent-knee position, with your feet flat on the floor and an 8-pound dumbbell placed across your hips. Keep feet hip-width apart with the toes forward. Keep your hands on each end of the dumbbell to prevent it from rolling onto your face when you lift. Contract your abdominal muscles to flatten your lower back into the floor.
Upward phase: While holding your abdominal contraction, raise your hips upwards from the floor by contracting your glutes (butt muscles). At the same time, press your heels into the floor for more stability. Avoid pushing your hips too high as it increases the amount of arching in your lower back. Hold at the top position and find your butt in the movement. Slowly lower yourself back toward your starting position. Try and repeat for 30 repetitions.
Lying on your side with hips and knees stacked, pull the shoulders back and place your head on the bent arm closest to the floor. Maintain hip balance and good posture. With feet together, contract your glutes and raise your top knee (without moving or rotating your lower back) toward the ceiling, mimicking the motion of a clam opening. Pause and return the knee slowly to the start position. Repeat 20 times on each side.
3. Fire hydrants
Same posture as above; however, lift the knee and the ankle as high as you can without moving the lower back or losing balance in the hips. Repeat 20 times on each side.
4. Windshield wipers
Same posture as above, with top leg now straight and long down the length of your body. With a straight knee and pointed toe, slightly and outwardly rotate the leg, and slowly lift the leg as high as you can with control. Repeat 20 times on each side.
Maintain the above posture and transition from the windshield wipers to small, controlled circles. The circles should be approximately 5 inches in diameter. Think of drawing a circle with your toes, the movement coming from the hip. Repeat 20 circles in each direction and then flip to the other side.
6. Donkey kicks
Transition out of the circles, keeping the same hip posture. Bend the top leg and push the heel of the foot backwards as if you are pushing the wall behind you. Keep hips and ribs from moving while you push your heel back, and push until you feel like you could hold a pencil under your butt cheek. Slowly return to the start position. Repeat 20 times on each side.
7. Speed skaters
This is a great exercise for the inner and outer thighs and the butt. Stand with your feet close together. Bend your knees and hips slightly with your arms bent to your sides or raised to the front. Lift your right foot slightly off of the floor. Jump to the far right side and land on your right foot with your left leg drawn behind you. (Think of a long stride when skating.)
Next, jump to the far left side, landing on your left foot with your right leg trailing behind. Continue to bound from side to side in a slow, controlled tempo. Remember to land soft and through the heels to absorb the jump, and feel the legs and butt do the work, not the knees. Start with 10 jumps total. Repeat for two sets.
8. Squat arabesque
Stand in a squat position, hands extended in front to balance, knees and toes turned out. Squat by lowering your butt into a second position ballet squat. As you return to a standing position, extend a leg behind you and squeeze your butt firmly. Return the extended leg to the floor and squat again. As you stand, extend the other leg. Alternate legs, and squat for 30 reps.