People tend to think that models are born with naturally perfect bodies. While it’s true that no one can really choose what they look like (short of extreme plastic surgery), that doesn’t mean models don’t have to work hard to stay in shape. Unfortunately, a lot of models just starting out think the best way to do that is to follow extremely unhealthy diet and exercise programs.
Models are constantly being scrutinized by everyone. Even if they do have a flaw that shows up in a photo, it can be retouched, making them appear impossibly perfect. But on the runway, there’s no photoshopping, no filters, and no do-overs. The audience is only a few feet away, and they can see everything up close and personal.
There are some models who have to worry about the parts of their body people aren’t usually invited to scrutinize. Lingerie models, like the Victoria’s Secret Angels are known for their bodies, and it’s their job to look good. So how do they stay in such great shape, in some cases even after multiple pregnancies? Good question. Here are the fitness secrets of 10 Victoria’s Secret Angels.
10. Heidi Klum
One of the most famous Angels of all time, Heidi Klum, is also the one with the most children. She’s given birth to four children during her 13 year reign as a VS Angel, but still managed to walk in 11 shows. Fitness is clearly important to her, and she even has a new line of clothes and shoes out with New Balance. She told Glamour, ” My best advice is to work out with a buddy. They keep you motivated and get you out of bed. I think it’s also important to set goals. For example, when I started to run, I would run a mile and then walk a mile and kept building up as time went on.”
9. Gisele Bundchen
She may have just retired from runway modeling, but Gisele Bundchen is no stranger to showing off her amazing body. She spent seven years as a VS Angel, and walked in seven fashion shows for them. Although she didn’t have her two children (with husband Tom Brady) until after she retired as an Angel, she still knows how to work to get her pre-baby body back for other modeling commitments. She enjoys pilates, and boxing, and appeared in a commercial for Under Armour, showing off her boxing skills. She also trained in kung-fu through both her pregnancies for benefits like a “strong body, a clear mind, and a calm spirit.”
8. Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks is a certified expert on the modeling industry, and she’s dealt with her share of body shaming. She was a VS Angel for eight years, and walked in nine fashion shows. She was also on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated twice, so she understands the pressure of having a perfect bikini body. Banks is an advocate for curvier models and prefers a more balanced approach to maintaining a hot body. On mentoring young models, she says “I’ll tell them to relax a little, keep working out, stay healthy, keep the muscle tone, but eat healthy.”
7. Lily Aldridge
The 6-time fashion show Angel (and Sport’s Illustrated cover model), Lily Aldridge knows the secret to fitting into the Victoria’s Secret lingerie is all about diet. “Being an Angel, you’re in shape all year long, but before the show, you amp it up a lot,” the 29-year-old told Life & Style. “I start about two months ahead, so I can get in top shape healthily and steadily and have time to feel good.” Her food intake includes lots of lean protein, low-glycemic fruit, and vegetables, and she’ll cut out alcohol completely. For exercise she loves ballet, boxing, pilates, and yoga.
6. Miranda Kerr
Australian model, Miranda Kerr was an Angel for six years, and has had one child (a son with Orlando Bloom). In her blog for Kora Organics, Kerr advocated the importance of daily exercise even if you can only manage to fit in 15 minutes. “Like most busy working women and mothers, I can find it difficult to fit everything into the day, and more often than not exercise can get relegated to the bottom of the list.” She also loves doing resistance training, yoga classes, hiking or going on a bike ride with her son.
5. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was only an official VS Angel for one year, but she still walked in five of their fashion shows. She told Harper’s Bazaar that she tries to drink a liter of water every morning, and makes sure to stay hydrated all day long. For exercise, she focuses a lot on her core with pilates and high intensity dance-inspired workouts. “Skipping is a really good way to get the heart rate up immediately,” she says. And these days, you can always look up a quick workout to follow along to on YouTube if you’re short on time.
4. Alessandra Ambrosio
Alessandra Ambrosio has spent the last 11 years as a VS Angel, and walked in 14 of their fashion shows. She’s also had two kids in that time, but has always managed to get back into shape for the next runway show. Like most of the Angels, she loves pilates and tries to eat healthy the majority of the time. Since she has two kids to raise, it’s important for her to make her workouts as efficient as possible by making them short, intense, and beneficial for the whole body. She’s also a huge fan of the trendy “Brazil Butt Lift” program.
3. Candice Swanepoel
Candice Swanepoel has been an Angel since 2010 and she’s still going strong. She has an athletic build and enjoys intense full-body workouts that make her feel strong. She has said “everyone’s body is different” and she actually eats more leading up to a big runway show just so she can have the energy to work out even harder. To prepare for a show she said, “I do boxing. I do Pilates on the machine. I do a lot of lunges. I ran on the beach this year, which really tightens everything up.”
2. Adriana Lima
33-year-old Adriana Lima has been a VS Angel since 2000, when she was only 18. She even opened the show in 2012, only two months after giving birth to her second child. She’s been training in boxing for years, calling it the only thing she does for exercise because it’s her passion. Her long time trainer trains her the same way he would a professional boxer usually with 90-minute workouts. Luckily, “throwing technically perfect hooks, uppercuts, and jabs defines her Victoria’s Secret–worthy abs, meaning she never needs to do crunches,” her trainer told Vogue.
1. Karlie Kloss
Karlie Kloss was an official Angel for two years, and has been in countless other high fashion runway shows. She told Harper’s Bazaar, “I’ve been doing a combination of high-intensity cardio like SoulCycle and Pilates-type strength training, isolating certain muscle groups and using rubber bands to strengthen legs and arms.” She also likes to switch up her routine by focusing on cardio one day and then strength training the next. She also can’t stress enough how important it is to get enough protein to fuel her workouts, and also get enough sleep so she has the energy to push herself.