Jennifer Aniston has found a new love — boxing. Her trainer, Leyon Azubuike, owner of Gloveworx boxing studio, exclusively reveals to Us details of their workouts.
“The thing with Jen is that she works out very hard and very intense, so the workout is ever changing. It is always evolving because I have to continue to challenge her,” the fitness pro tells Us Weekly exclusively.
Azubuike tells Us that for all of his clients, sweat sessions are broken into four parts: dynamic warm-up, grind phase, core work and cool down. The reasoning behind this flow, he explains, is “to keep it smart and strategic, we are not always going super hard all the time so we can keep her performing at her very best no matter what phase of the workout we are in.”
First, he starts with a dynamic warm-up, “which is getting the body ready to go — you need activation … engage your glutes and engage your core and make sure neuromuscular stabilizers are firing, ” he explains. “For example, one thing I like to use is jogging and getting the body sweaty and ready to go, also something like butt kicks, where heels are coming to the glutes and you are pumping your arms in a swinging motion or they are behind your back.”
Next, he moves to the grind phase, which is where the Friends alum, 49, would throw punches. The pro says this is when he focuses on “hard activity such as boxing, asymmetric holds, light weights with high reps or something that is challenging like jump rope.” He also says that this is when he incorporates a lot of punch combinations “to get the waist to turn and … sometimes I call things that force her to defend herself like duck underneath the punch … that will tax the legs, the posterior chain, the hamstrings, the glutes, the calves and force you to engage that core. This also works concentration at the same time, because as you change levels you have to keep your hands up, so there are a lot of things going on both mentally and physically.”
Her guru also says there are mental pros of boxing: “Boxing is very metaphysical, so it is something people learn to enjoy,” says the founder of Gloveworx, which has locations in Santa Monica and Century City, California, as well as a downtown New York City spot in the World Trade Center set to open in December 2018.
To help sculpt flat abs, he may have Aniston use “mini bands placed slightly above the knee and one slightly about the ankles and we do things called monster walks or lateral steps to activate the glutes and make sure they are firing.” Another staple of his workouts: battle ropes. “We love the ropes, they are something you can do to add resistance to a movement and it really makes your core fire,” says the former pro sparring partner.
According to Azubuike, the actress, who is currently filming Netflix’s Movie Mystery, finishes her 45-minute to two-and-a-half hour sessions with core work and a cool down. “We really like to keep this evolving because if you do something for too long, your body may adapt to it and your changes will be more subtle, if at all,” he tells Us. “We like to introduce things that are muscle confusion, new movements that she is not used to that will continue to challenge her to give her very best.” This part of the workout, he says, also typically includes many plank variations: side planks, elevated planks and forearm planks or, as he notes, “it could be anything that is isometric in nature that really taxes that core. We don’t like to do a lot of crunching movements, we want long lean muscles.”
During his cool downs, he has clients use a foam roller and trigger point balls to release muscle tightness in areas like the glutes and back. “It give you a jumpstart on the next session,” notes Azubuike. “Recovery is key.”
Although Aniston clearly kicks butt in the ring and works hard to maintain her physique, she’s also hit the genetic jackpot. “Jen is one of those anomalies, she is ageless,” the trainer tells Us. “So at this point in her career, it is about keeping her there. That is the difference between Jen and someone who is going through some sort of transformative program. With Jen, the challenge is less on Jen and more on her coach — me. She is at the top of her game all the time.”
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