Steal these moves for a tighter core, leaner legs, and a firmer tush.
There’s no doubt Dakota Johnson will be showing a good deal of skin in 50 Shades Darker, out tomorrow. We couldn’t help but notice how toned and fit the 25-year-old actress looks in the trailers, and of course, we wanted to know how she got ready for all those steamy nude scenes. Lucky for us, Johnson’s trainer, Ramona Braganza, shared some of her secrets with Health. During the five months of filming in Vancouver, the pair worked together five times a week on routines that combined cardio and strength training. “For [Dakota], it was about lengthening, and looking long and lean,” she says. So their focus was on slow, controlled, pilates-style movements.
Below are three of the key moves that helped Johnson tone her legs and tighten up her core:
Start by sitting tall with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lean back slightly and scoop in your abs. Then slowly lift your legs, one at a time, so your calves are parallel to the floor. When you're ready, extend both legs to form a V shape with your body. Hold for a count of 10. Do 3 reps. Remember to keep your back straight—and don't forget to breathe.
Lying leg raises
“[Dakota] really liked to do legs and glutes," says Braganza, and this was one of her go-to exercises: Lie on your side in a straight line with your bottom arm extended past your head. Rest your head on that outstretched arm. For support you can place your top hand on the ground; but the goal is to use your core to stabilize your body. Now raise your top leg and, without rolling your hips backward, use your leg to write the alphabet in the air. Then switch sides and repeat with the other leg. Braganza's tip: As you do this exercise, "reach your legs far away from your body and think lengthening."
This move tones your glutes and tightens your core at the same time. Star on all fours; lower to your forearms and clasp your hands. Pull your right knee toward your chest, with foot flexed, then extend right leg back and up. Reverse the motion to bring your right knee back toward your chest. (It should hover over the floor.) Do 20 reps, and switch legs. Need more of a challenge? Add 3-pound ankle weights.