I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “She has the body of an angel,” right? Well, there has never been a truer statement than when it comes to the sculpted women who strut their stuff across the stage in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. This year’s show, which was filmed in Shanghai, China and airs November 28, is no exception. Simply put: #bodygoals.
What exactly does it take for an Angel to get her wings–err, the right to rock those bedazzled bras? We asked Joe Holder, a Nike trainer and a performance coach at S-10 Training in New York City, just that. After all, when it comes to getting top models in top form, he has become one of the go-to guys. In fact, Holder helped get several women, including Bella Hadid, Cindy Bruna, Maria Borges, Romee Stridj, and Georgia Fowler, in shape for this year’s show. His first response: athletic-based training.
“No one has approached these women like athletes before,” he says, “which is odd, due to the amount they work out.” His approach was to focus specifically on compound movements, strategic conditioning, and weightlifting. “I am of the belief that if you fix proper compound movement overall, then the efficacy of the smaller micro-movements to target specific areas will be better,” Holder explains. “Strategic conditioning is also a necessity. They need a high-quality heart rate base for optimal fat utilization in my opinion.” And as for weightlifting? “It’ll help with injury prevention and lean them out without putting on excess muscle.”
RELATED: I Spent 7 Days Eating and Exercising Like a Victoria’s Secret Angel
Ready to train like an Angel? Try these five moves, all of which Holder used when whipping his model clients into amazing shape for this year’s show. And then get ready to hit the catwalk my dears—even if it’s just the personal one in your bedroom.
The model: Cindy Bruna
The move: Reverse Banded Prowler Push
How to do it: Stand with back facing prowler, a resistance band around thighs. Squat down and place hands on side handles. Keeping core tight and shoulders down and back, lean against the prowler and begin stepping backwards to move it across the floor for a set distance.
Pro tip: The prowler, which can be used for anaerobic strength conditioning and aerobic conditioning, helps build a solid conditioning base, which an athlete needs to be the best, in Holder’s opinion.
The model: Maria Borges
The move: Abs Series (Rotation, Press, Pulse)
How to do it: Tie a resistance band around a stable structure, such as a weight rack. Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, a slight bend in knees and right side of body facing resistance band. Hold band in hands (band should be taut) with arms extended straight out from body. With small movements, pulse arms up and down five times. Pull hands into chest and then press them out. Keeping arms straight, rotate torso and arms to left as you pivot on left foot; return to center. Pull hands into chest and then press them out again. Repeat entire sequence.
Pro tip: Remember to stabilize the body: “Don’t let the band push you back,” Holder tells Borges in the video.
The model: Georgia Fowler
The move: Renegade Row to Plank Banded Bird Dog
How to do it: Tie a resistance band around a fixed structure, such as a weight rack. Holding resistance band in right hand (make sure band is taut), get into a plank. (Keep a dumbbell near left hand.) Extend right arm and left leg out so that they are parallel to floor, and then lower back to plank; repeat three times. Grab dumbbell with left hand, bend elbow, and pull dumbbell back until elbow passes torso. Lower arm back down; repeat for three reps. Repeat entire sequence on opposite side.
Pro tip: “Do your best to keep hips square. Utilize a band that provides relative constant tension but is not overly difficult on full extension,” advises Holder in his caption.
The model: Romee Stridj
The move: Runner’s Deadlift to Banded Kickbacks
How to do it: Place a resistance band around calves with feet in a staggered stance, left in front of right; hold a dumbbell in each hand at sides. Hinge at hips and lower weights down as far as possible without rounding back. Rise back up; repeat three times. With a slight bend in right leg, pulse left leg up and back 13 times. Return to start and repeat entire sequence.
Pro tip: Holder recommends performing band walks with resistance above the knee prior to this exercise to help promote proper form during this sequence.
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The model: Bella Hadid
The move: Step-Ups
How to do it: Stand facing a step or bench, a dumbbell in each hand at sides. Keep shoulders down and back. Step left foot onto step or bench, pushing through leg to rise up to full extension; bring right leg up to meet left. Step back down to return to start. Repeat with opposite leg. Shoot for 10 per leg.
Pro tip: Try this variation Holder used with Alexina Graham, who he also trained for the show:
Anchor a band and place it around elevated leg. “It should be pulling you into a compensation pattern, trying to make your knee buckle in. Don’t let it,” Holder says. Press a light dumbbell in opposite arm above head. With abs tight and shoulders square, drive up through elevated leg. Return to start and repeat.