Maren Morris’ songwriting skills, voice and performances are always inspirational. But the star inspired fans with something new at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 7: the fitness routine that led to her incredibly toned legs.
Wearing a lavender, off-the-shoulder Christian Siriano gown with a flowing train and super high hemline, “The Middle” singer — who was nominated for Female Artist of the Year, which Kacey Musgraves took home — flashed thighs and calves so sculpted, that Us Weekly went to her trainer Erin Oprea to find out exactly how she got them.
“We do lots of Tabatas,” Oprea tells Us of the HIIT variation that consists of eight rounds of strenuous exercise in intervals of 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of four minutes. “They are super effective, they turn fitness into a game and they are killer for your legs — or anywhere else on your body, for that matter!”
While the actual moves Oprea does with Morris in her Tabatas are simple, they also make for an exhausting fitness regimen. “We do a lot of variations on lunges and squats — with or without weights, jumping or not jumping — pulses and full range of motion movements,” she says.
The 28-year-old’s workouts last for an hour. And while the number of times a week she meets with her Nashville-based trainer vary based on her schedule, Oprea thinks three strength-training sessions a week is ideal. “My goal for all my clients is to do strength training three days a week with cardio thrown in on the other days,” the 4×4 Diet author explains. “But I really believe in all-day movement every day, like with my StepBet game, which is a fun and easy way to be accountable for getting your steps in every day.”
The former Marine — whose clients include Carrie Underwood, Jana Kramer and Kelsea Ballerini — also believes eating right is necessary to see results. “No matter how hard you work out, you can’t out-train a bad diet,” she advises. “It’s important to eat clean to reach your goals.”
For Morris — currently on her 2019 tour, Girl: The World Tour — staying active isn’t a problem. She’ll even FaceTime Oprea for sessions (like Ballerini does too!) on the road or follow Tabata routines online. “She is a hard worker! When she is training, she is completely there, kicking butt in the gym for the whole workout,” gushes the pro. “She is a super hard-working woman!”
Adds Oprea, “Her goals are no different from other women. She wants to feel strong and she wants to feel her absolute best.”