We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!
Queen B released her fourth album — appropriately titled 4 — yesterday and, surprisingly, it's more slow-burning ballads than booty-shaking anthems. Still, the always-inspiring singer knows how to motivate us in the gym.
Beyonce, who has graced our cover no less than three times, has told us plenty about how she gets her bootylicious bod into shape. When she's gearing up for a tour (she killed it at England's Glastonbury Festival just this weekend), she works out five days a week with her trainer, and practices her choreography for nine hours a day, seven days a week--while wearing 5-inch stilettos. Her just-keep-going secret? The singer keeps a painting of an Oscar at the gym, so she's literally running towards her next goal. "I look at it, and I'm like OK, I have to stay in shape," she says. So download B's latest album, stick a picture of the chart-topper in your iPod case for extra motivation and hit the gym with this exclusive workout inspired by the singer.
First, let's start with the cardio: for a quick, 15-minute warm-up that will get your heart pumping, kick off your jog with the Kelly Clarkson-channeling kiss-off "Best Thing I Never Had," followed by the percussion-driven "End of Time," the reggae-tinged, high-energy "Countdown" and, of course, B's new anthem, "Run The World (Girls)."
Get the rest of the workout after the break!
Beyonce always shows some leg onstage, so it's no surprise that her workout includes 100 squats, step-ups and walking lunges (each!). Put on '80s throwback "Party," featuring Kanye and Andre 3000, and get ready to get low. This sneaky lunge works your whole body: Stand on balls of feet with legs together. Stay on tiptoes as you lunge forward with left leg, reaching arms up until body forms a straight line. Step back to start. Repeat on opposite side for 1 rep. Do 20 reps. Next, add in a curtsy lunge: Stand with legs shoulder width apart, (optional weights on thighs). Bring right leg behind the left and bend knees 90 degrees (like you're bowing to the audience), return to start position and repeat on opposite leg. Do 20 reps, then repeat both moves for the duration of the song.
Switch over to squats during "I Care" — don't be fooled by the slow-tempo; the consistent percussion is perfect for pacing. For this jump squat, you'll need a light to medium resistance band with or without handles. Place band on floor in an upside-down U. Stand with feet outside handles. Squat, arms extended behind you, to start. Jump, raising arms overhead, landing inside band, then jump back to start. Continue jumping in and out. Do each move for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat the 20-10 cycle for the duration of the song.
Give your legs a break and move on to arms. During "Rather Die Young," a Whitney Houston-esque jam, feel the burn with the dive-bomber: Start in an inverted V, hands and feet flat, butt raised toward ceiling (Downward Dog). Bend elbows and scoop forward until hovering above floor with back arched, arms straight, chin lifted, on toes (Upward Dog). Return to Downward Dog for 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Target your triceps with a supergirl soar (you'll need a pair of light handweights): Lie facedown, a light weight in each hand, arms at sides. Lift upper body and arms to start. Keeping upper body lifted, bring arms forward, shoulders next to ears. Pause; return to start. Do 12 reps. Repeat sequence for the duration of the song.
It wouldn't be a Beyonce-inspired workout without taking a moment for our calves - don't worry, we're not suggesting you slip on your stilettos for the rest of the album. During "Start Over," a midtempo love song, stand with feet shoulder distance apart, arms at sides, weights in hands. Without moving, pick up your left heel and quickly lower it down, while lifting the opposite heel up. Continue to quickly lift and lower in place for 10 reps, then lift both heels off the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat for the duration of the song.
"Love On Top" picks up the pace, so use it to power through a quick core workout. First, try Lady Gaga's bicycle crunch: Lie faceup, hands behind head, elbows out, knees up at a 90-degree angle. Reach right elbow to left knee as you straighten right leg. Switch sides; repeat. Then, the butterfly twist: Lie faceup, arms extended out to sides, knees bent, feet flat. Drop both legs to left, almost to floor, then lift back to center. Repeat on right side.
Finally, relax! Take a few minutes during the lush, sexy "1+1" and the synth-y, harmonic "I Miss You" to stretch, cool down and maybe try a few relaxing yoga moves, starting with the de-stressing Sun Salutation. Namaste!
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