Shakira's Longtime Trainer Shared the Ab Exercises That Keep Her Shredded
Between her new single "Shakira: BZRP Music Sessions #53" and the "jam gate" alleged cheating scandal with Gerard Piqué, Shakira is probably all over your news feed. With the star top of mind, you may be wondering what kind of training she does to keep those "Hips Don't Lie" dance moves so on point.
In general, Shakira isn't shy about sharing her workouts, and neither is her longtime trainer, Anna Kaiser, NASM-certified personal trainer and CEO of Anna Kaiser Studios. The duo has been training together for more than a decade, including in preparation for Shakira's halftime performance with Jennifer Lopez at the 2020 Super Bowl. Back in 2018, POPSUGAR just spoke with Kaiser, who shared how she was training the Colombian singer and mom of two to prep for an international tour. At the time, they were "working on increasing her endurance and stamina because she's going to be on stage for two hours at a time, singing and dancing," Kaiser said. Around the same time, Kaiser also shared a butt workout on Instagram she was doing with the singer.
Now, Kaiser is opening up about Shakira's current fitness lineup. "She loves core work but knows she needs the cardio," Kaiser said in an interview with Shape.
Kaiser shared six Pilates-style core moves that she does with Shakira using a towel, a Pilates ball, and light weights, saying the sequence trains "every muscle in your core." It also works your body "as a unit, not a combination of parts," she says, which is important for building functional core strength. ICYMI, Pilates has been having a serious moment lately, so it's no surprise that Shakira and Kaiser are on board with the practice (along with plenty of other celebs).
Want to try all of Kaiser's go-to ab moves for yourself? Here are some of the exercises Kaiser recently shared with Shape, as well as some of the core exercises Shakira and Kaiser shared around the 2020 Super Bowl. Cherry-pick a few for your next ab workout, or try them all in a row (for example, doing each move for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between) for a circuit that's sure to burn.
—Additional reporting by Lauren Mazzo
Side Bend With Dumbbells
In January 2020, Shakira did this classic weighted oblique move while her kids pegged her with exercise balls (likely relatable for moms everywhere). Then Kaiser shared this move again with SHAPE in January 2023.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding lightweight dumbbells at your sides.
- Bend sideways to the right, thinking about lengthening through your spine — not crunching down into your right side body. Keep your neck as neutral as possible, looking forward not down.
- Engage the left obliques to pull the left ribs down and return to standing upright.
- That's one rep. Do an equal number of reps on each side.
High-Knee March With a Twist
In the ab workout Kaiser shared with Shape, she demoed a weighted variation of a standing march crunch. Try this one without weights if you're a beginner or don't have any equipment on hand.
- Start with your right foot extended back behind you and your hands together, reaching up and out to the left (at about a 45-degree angle from your face). Keep your core tight and your weight in your left foot, with little to no weight in the right foot.
- Drive your right knee up and toward your chest as you bring your hands down and twist your upper body to the right.
- Re-extend your hands up and out while you tap your right foot back behind you. Tip: keep a soft bend in both knees.
- That's one rep. Do an equal number of reps on each side.
Pilates Ball Ab Curl
Kaiser shared a few Pilates ball core moves with SHAPE, including a (literal) twist on this classic Pilates ab exercise. Perform the move as shown in the photo, and follow the written directions to incorporate a little rotational work from Kaiser's SHAPE move.
- Start sitting on the floor with your feet flat on the floor in front of you and your knees bent. Place a Pilates ball behind your back at your low ribs.
- Inhale and lean back, so your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Place your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows wide.
- Exhale, pulling your abs to your spine while pressing the low ribs into the ball to perform a curl. The movement is small but concentrated.
- Inhale, then exhale and rotate your torso to the right while extending your left arm across your body, reaching your hand outside your right knee. Inhale to return your left arm to behind your head.
- Inhale, and lower your chest without arching your back.
- That's one rep. Repeat, alternating sides.
Side planks challenge your obliques enough as is, but if you want an extra challenge, drop down to one knee and crunch it up to tap your top leg, as Anna demoed in this Super Bowl circuit just before the 2020 Super Bowl.
- Balance on your right hand and the outside edge of your right foot, with your body in one straight line.
- To modify, stagger your feet and bring your top leg forward.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Your glutes are a key part of your core, and Shakira strengthened hers with classic squats in one of her Super Bowl prep workouts.
- Start standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Sit back and down like you're sitting into an imaginary chair. Allow your torso to hinge forward a bit, but keep your chest up and back straight.
- Pause when your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as is comfortable), with your knees tracking over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
- Keeping your core engaged, push through your mid-foot to return to standing. That's one rep.
In a January 2020 Instagram post, Anna demoed a version of this exercise using a ball to support the lower back, but you can do this simplified version with just your mat.
- Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your abs down to also target your deep abs). Interlace your fingers, and put your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees in toward your chest, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
- Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep. Do this exercise with slow and controlled motion.
Lying Overhead Reach
This compound move challenges both your shoulders, chest, back, and core, so it's no wonder it was one of Anna and Shakira's go-tos.
- Lie on your back with your hips and knees both at 90-degree angles, using your low abs to press your lower back into the mat. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms toward the ceiling, keeping the elbow joint slightly bent.
- Reach your arms overhead, bringing the dumbbells to tap the dumbbells on the floor above your head (or as low as is comfortable). Don't let your back arch away from the floor as your lower the weights.
- Raise your arms back to the starting position. That's one rep.