Her hips don't lie… and neither do those abs! After welcoming her second son Sasha this past January, a fitter-than-ever Shakira shares a never-before-seen post-baby body picture exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly, along with details about how she reached her target figure.
In the first-look photo, the global phenom, 38, looks trimmed and toned as she showcases her six-pack in high-waisted leggings and a sports bra. The "Hips Don't Lie" singer (also mom to 4-year-old Milan) appears to be completely in her element at the gym, where she and her celebrity trainer, Anna Kaiser, have spent the last eight months sculpting her coveted physique.
"Anna and I have worked together for years," Shakira tells Us of the AKT InMotion founder. "We met when I wanted to get in shape to promote my album She Wolf. She's so determined and passionate about helping people reach their goals, and on top of that is just a really wonderful person."
Kaiser, whose other celeb clients include Sofia Vergara and Kelly Ripa, has even danced for the superstar at sold-out stadium events and more. For her latest challenge, the NYC-based fitness instructor customized her famed dance cardio routine for Shakira, and Skyped with the Barcelona-based songstress when they couldn't meet for personal training sessions.
"I love the combo of dance and strength," says Shakira. "Anna is one of the most knowledgeable people I know in the world of fitness. Aside from that, she keeps the workout varied and always makes it fun!"
Indeed, a well-versed Kaiser tells Us how she laid out the foundation for Shakira's success. "Most people don’t know that pre and post-birth workouts need to be really different, and target muscles differently than a normal workout," the fitness expert says. "People are told by trainers and fitness instructors, 'Just don’t do it if it hurts,' [when] in actuality, you need to develop a completely different program."
Without that basic understanding, Kaiser notes that the possibility of injury is imminent for new moms. "[Shakira's] workout after [initially] giving birth was different than her workout now, because I had to slowly work her back into shape in a way that was realistic for a new mom. And also safe for her body."
Together, they created a fitness schedule involving two types of workouts: a fun and energized treadmill session (featuring high knees and handlebars!) and a dance-based interval training regimen. Eventually, the workouts intensified, sometimes with two sessions per day. "She would do her workout in the morning, and then she would do a shortened 20 or 30 minute strength workout in the afternoon," Kaiser says.
Along with a fitness schedule, Kaiser helped Shakira develop a nutrition plan. "I don’t really believe in cutting things out or depriving yourself," she tells Us. "It’s more about portion control and eating, like, every two or three hours… Zero sugar. Really check and see how much sugar is in your food." Instead, Kaiser says to focus on all-natural foods, listing "fish, chicken, fresh vegetables, grains, seeds, barley, quinoa, natural spices, and herbs" as viable options. "Coconut oil is great when it’s heated," Kaiser adds.
They even found a way to make planning food fun for the family. Kaiser tells Us that the mom of two would have her boys, with soccer superstar Gerard Pique, help cook. "We made protein pancakes with the kids, and they have a Mickey Mouse pancake maker," the trainer reveals.
In addition to a disciplined diet, Kaiser concludes that the goal is to sweat daily, even if just a little. "It's about keeping it consistent. If you can only do 15 or 30 minutes that day, only do 15 or 30 minutes — but do it!" she encourages fans. "If your body continues to move and be challenged, that’s gonna be so much more effective with nutrition than burning yourself out and not being able to work out the next day."
Like Shakira, women can achieve that enviable six-pack. "It’s possible," Kaiser tells Us. "It’s actually possible to be smaller and fitter than you were before."
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