ICYMI, here’s the main takeaway from, oh, any of Carrie Underwood’s recent performances: Legs. For. Days.
So how in the world do her legs (and entire body for that matter) always look so amazing? One training secret: active recovery.
“Carrie is in incredible [shape] and is always up for an extra challenge,” says Eve Overland, Carrie’s on-tour trainer. “Often, we will jump rope in between lifting sets as [a form of] active recovery.”
The good news is that active recovery isn’t some fancy workout trick that nobody knows how to pull off. Simply put, active recovery is when, instead of standing or sitting still to rest after an intense bout of exercise, you keep moving. Be it through jumping rope, doing butt kicks or high knees, or even just walking around, active recovery means staying in motion to keep the momentum going (and calories burning) during your workout.
Tight on time? This 5-minute butt workout will help you squeeze in some exercise:
Overland says Carrie is a big fan of the jump rope as her form of active recovery. And often, rather than just skip rope, Overland says that Carrie will incorporate the tool into a full-body routine. Steal her exact circuit below—just be ready to feel the burn when you do. (PS: I Tried Jumping Rope Every Day for 2 Weeks—Here’s What Happened)
And here’s how to do each of those moves:
How to: Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
How to: Get into a pushup position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from your head to your ankles. Keeping your core tight and back flat, bend your right knee and raise it toward your chest. Reverse the movement to return to start, then repeat with your left leg. That’s one rep.
How to: Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Raise your torso to a sitting position. The movement should be fluid, not jerky. Slowly lower your torso back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
How to: Set a bench under a pullup bar. Step up onto the bench, and grab the bar with an overhand grip that’s slightly wider than shoulder width. Hang from the bar, bend your knees, and cross your ankles behind your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and raise your body until your shoulders are just under the bar. Lower back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
How to: While jumping rope, pass the rope under your feet twice in a single jump. But don’t just jump higher; keep your hands by your waist and quickly rotate your wrists to create the right rope speed.
Source: Women’s Health Mag