Jessica Alba's Simple, Total-Body Strength Workout Hits Every Muscle in Just 4 Moves
If you've ever wondered what a workout with Jessica Alba might look like, you're in luck. Yesterday, the actor and entrepreneur shared a generous peek into her sweat life via a time-lapse video she posted on Instagram. In the post, she's crushing a workout with trainer Ramona Braganza set to the summer's breakout hit (and perfect motivational workout soundtrack), Beyonce's new single, "Break My Soul."
"Sharing some #mondaymotivation," she wrote in the caption. "I've been working with my girl @ramonabraganza to try and get back on my ish — it ain't easy, but we're doing it!"
First, Alba gets to work on the at-home SoulCycle bike, doing a 30-minute class with trainer Claire Jones — and that's just her warmup. Next up, Alba does three rounds of a brutal-looking strength circuit, which she details in the caption of the video, including TRX rows, plyometric Bulgarian split squats, barbell bench presses, and plank crunches with sliders. She finishes up with some yoga poses and stretching — "so important, don't forget," she writes in the caption.
This total-body strength circuit is masterfully designed with just four exercises that, together, hit every muscle group (back and biceps; legs and glutes; shoulders, chest, and triceps; and core, in that order). And Alba moves through it just as masterfully, even adding a small jump onto the Bulgarian split squats (not easy).
For the record, while many experts recommend doing strength before cardio (to save your energy to perform more high-quality reps of your strength moves), it's OK to warm up with some low-intensity cardio to get your blood flowing to your muscles — just be sure to save some juice for the rest of your workout.
And in case you're just here for the outfit deets, her cute matching set appears to be part of Adidas's Stella McCartney collection, while her ultrawhite sneakers come from the brand's signature Ultraboost line. Her clip-in cycling shoes come from the brand Sidi.
Want to give her workout a try? It is a solid workout routine for anyone — beginners to advanced — and can be easily modified for your current abilities or if you don't have much workout equipment at home. As Alba says, "If you're game, try out the below & lmk what you think."
Jessica Alba's Total-Body Strength Workout
Equipment needed: a barbell or set of dumbbells, a TRX or resistance band, a set of sliders or two small towels, and a bench or step that's one to two feet tall.
Directions: Start with a light cardio warmup, whether for five, 10, or 30 minutes, like Alba. You can walk, bike, or do a dynamic bodyweight warmup. Do each move for the number of reps listed, and then rest as needed before moving on to the next exercise. Do the whole circuit three times total, and then cool down with some stretching or yoga.
- If you don't have a TRX, you can do a dumbbell bent-over row or resistance-band row.
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart, holding a TRX handle in each hand, palms facing each other. Walk your feet forward until your body is at a 45-degree angle to the floor, arms fully extended and your body in one straight line. (To make this harder, walk your feet forward so your shoulders are even closer to the ground. To make it easier, walk your feet away from the TRX anchor point.)
- Keeping your body in a straight line and core engaged, bend your elbows to pull your chest up between your hands, keeping your elbows close to your ribs.
- Slowly straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
- Do 15 reps.
Bulgarian Split Squat
- Start standing a few feet in front of a bench, box, stair, or chair, facing away from it. Extend your right leg behind you, and rest the top of your foot on the bench.
- Make sure your left foot is out far enough so that when you lower into a lunge, your knee stays directly over your ankle.
- Bend your left knee to lower into a lunge, pausing when that knee is bent at 90 degrees (or as low as is comfortable).
- Push into your left foot to straighten your left knee, and return to standing. (To make it harder, like Alba, tap the floor with the hand opposite the front leg, and add a small hop at the top.)
- Do 15 reps per leg.
Barbell Bench Press
- Grab a barbell (or a set of dumbbells, holding one in each hand), and lie face up on a flat workout bench or on the floor. Hold the weight directly over your chest, arms extended above your shoulders, so that your wrists are straight and your palms are facing your feet.
- Slowly lower the weight toward your chest until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Push the weight up, fully extending your arms.
- Do 10 reps.
Plank Crunch With Sliders
- If you don't have sliders, you can use two hand towels on a smooth floor.
- Start in a plank position with a slider under each foot.
- Engage your core to pull your knees into your chest, sliding your feet toward your hands on the floor.
- Without letting your hips drop, spread your feet apart, and circle them open and backward to return to plank position. Do five reps.
- Then, reverse the direction: starting from plank position, slide your feet apart, forward, and then together, so your body is in a crunch with your feet near your hands. Do five reps.