Taraji P. Henson's larger-than-life portrayal of Cookie—the outfits, the attitude, the music—on Empire is a dramatic treat, that's for sure. And with the success of the show and her new icon status comes many red carpet appearances and plenty of time in the gym. One thing you can tell she's been working on: her sculpted upper body.
We caught up with Henson's trainer, Mike T. of Force Fitness Inc., who shared one of her secret moves: the Incline Front & Lateral Raise. "These exercises in particular have been a key element in the outstanding changes Taraji's back and shoulders have been undergoing for her most recent appearances on the red carpet," he said. He recommends 4 sets of 10 to 15 reps 2 0r 3 times a week, followed by stretching and cardio.
How to do it: Lie facedown on an incline bench. Hold a 3-pound dumbbell in each hand (palms facing in), letting arms hang down (A). Raise arms out to sides until they reach shoulder height (B). Hold, then slowly lower. Raise arms again, this time straight out in front of you (C). Pause when they reach shoulder height, then slowly lower. Repeat entire sequence.