To feature on the cover of Vogue magazine over 35 times and walk down the Victoria Secrets requires you to stay in incredible shape! 

Many articles on the internet praise international supermodel Gigi Hadid for her hourglass figure.

Many have called her a ‘fitness freak’ or celebrated her genetics, and there is no doubt that a lot of hard work goes into maintaining a figure such as hers.

Whilst that may be the case, there are exercises we can use to target certain areas of your body associated with Gigi’s hourglass figure which, more importantly, will help you sculpt an impressive figure of your own.

The key is training smart and making the most of your time. 

To create the illusion of a slimmer waist and an hourglass figure we will have to put a lot of attention on a couple of key areas. 

The workouts below are a full-body blueprint to shed the extra pounds while putting extra emphasis on your shoulders, back and glutes to accentuate your physique.

Why This Workout Works

Lateral Raises: 

There are two types of lateral raises in this programme. 

These will allow you to add shape to those shoulders and make your waist look smaller. 

The cable variation will allow you to get more work out of the muscle in its most shortened range where most variations get too difficult as the load drops off slightly at the top. 

To do this, lie down on a bench set in a cable stack, and grab each cable on the opposite hand.

Key tips for lateral raises are…

Depress the shoulders before starting, think about pulling your arms wide and not up and lead from the elbows.

 

Incline Hyper:

The true booty builder! The key here is not to lift your torso, but drive your hips into the pad and let the upper body follow. 

Imagine you’re trying to pull the top of your hips to your heels.

 

Neutral-Grip Pulldown:

Strong lats create that taper to your upper body and makes your waist appear smaller. 

Key tips here are to choose a handle that is shoulder-width for you, ignore your hands, initiate by pulling the shoulder blades down and then follow it by driving your elbows down in a straight line. 

Here are two full-body workouts that can be alternated to help you get a body like Gigi Hadid:

The Workout

WORKOUT 1

How to Perform the Exercises

This guide is aimed at trainees with a good knowledge of the exercises and how to train safely and effectively. 

If you are unsure and want access to training programmes, nutrition information and over 250+ demonstration videos, sign up for LiveUP online coaching today or consult a qualified PT.

The Set-Up

  • Pick up the dumbbell using a neutral grip and sit on the bench, set to an 80-degree incline, with them resting on your thighs, close to your hip crease. 
  • Position your feet shoulder-width apart, under or behind your knees and flat on the floor. 
  • Lean back against the bench, using your thighs to help get the dumbbells into position, level with your chest and then up to a stacked position, with the wrist, elbow and shoulder all aligned. 
  • Point your chest upwards (but keep the ribcage tucked down) towards the ceiling and tuck your shoulder blades down into your back pockets. 
  • Your shoulders and glutes should be touching the bench and there will be a small gap between your lower can and the bench. 
  • This is the start and end position for each rep. 

 

The Movement

  • From the stacked position at the top, “pull” the dumbbells down towards your chest with the arms at an angle of 45-60 degrees to your torso.
  • You have reached the end of your range-of-motion when you can no longer lower the dumbbells without the shoulder rounding forwards.
  • Pause before reversing the motion, under control, to return to the start position.
  • Pause again before repeating for the desired number of reps. 
  • On the last rep, lower the dumbbells to the start position, tuck your elbows in and sit forwards using your legs to generate momentum. You can also ask a training partner to take one dumbbell from you at a time. 

 

Trainer Tips

  • The set-up and movement are the same as other versions of the dumbbell bench press but this angle places more emphasis on your shoulders. 
  • Make sure that the dumbbells do not clang together at the top of the movement. 
  • Ensure that you do not ‘shrug’ the weight up at the top. This reduces shoulder stability and increases the risk of injury. Focus on keeping the shoulder blades tucked down throughout. 

The Set-Up 

  • Sit onto a bench and lower yourself down until the bench sits just under your shoulder blades.
  • Roll a bar over your legs until it sits on your hips. Ensure you use a pad or rolled-up towel for comfort.
  • Place feet hip-width apart and lined up under knees.

 

The Movement 

  • Initiate the movement by squeezing your glutes (bum).
  • Push your hips into the bar to extend the hips.
  • Finish the movement when you reach full hip extension keeping your abs tight. Be sure not to go too far and hyperextend. If the abs are tight, it should stop you.

 

Trainer Tips

  • Do not swing the torso back, the movement comes from the hips only.
  • Keep your chin tucked. 
  • Keep the rib cage down. 

The Set-Up

  • Grip the cable attachment with a neutral grip and sit down on the bench with your upper thighs securely positioned under the padding. 
  • Sit up as tall as possible (keeping the ribcage tucked), with your arms fully extended above your head but avoid shrugging your shoulders up to your ears.
  • This is the start and end position for each rep.

 

The Movement

  • Keeping your torso still, initiate the movement by dropping your shoulder blades down into your back pockets (closing the gap between your armpit and your hips). Think ‘taking the elevator down’ not ‘pinching’ when it comes to the shoulder blades.
  • Draw the elbow downwards vertically (not backwards), maintaining the same torso position and high chest throughout. 
  • You have reached the end of your range-of-motion when your elbows cannot travel any further without your shoulders rotating inwards and upper back rounding. 
  • Pause for a moment and focus on contracting the lats by squeezing your elbows into your sides. 
  • Reverse the motion, under control, to return to the start position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps. 

 

Trainer Tips

  • Imagine you are taking your shoulder blades up and down like an elevator; allow them to move through their full range of motion rather than yanking the bar with your arms. 
  • Avoid using cable attachments that are narrower than your shoulders as this can restrict your range-of-motion. 
  • Use lifting straps to avoid grip becoming a limiting factor in the movement.
  • Watch how far the weight stack travels on each rep as a reference point for your range-of-motion. If this shortens significantly between the first and last rep, the weight is too heavy. 
  • The arm muscles will contribute to this movement, but they should not be doing all the work. Focus on drawing the weight down using the back only; the arms should simply assist in the movement.

The Set-Up

  • You may have access to either a 45-degree incline leg press or a horizontal leg press but the set-up is similar for both. 
  • Load the weight plates onto the machine or set the pin to the desired weight. 
  • Set the safety stop in the right position for your range-of-motion. 
  • Sit down on the machine and place your feet on the platform shoulder-width apart (a wider stance will favour more glutes/hamstrings but we want a quad-dominant focus here).
  • Position your feet at a level that is comfortable for your ankles (so that your feet remain in full contact with the foot plate at all times).
  • Grip the handles firmly and pull yourself down into the seat. 
  • Straighten your legs to take the weight off the racks.
  • Your knees should be slightly bent (not locked out).
  • This is the start and end position for each rep. 

 

The Movement

  • Start the movement by lowering your legs to bring your knees towards your chest. 
  • You have reached the end of your range-of-motion when you cannot lower your legs any further without your heels lifting or buttocks lifting off the seat. 
  • Pause for a moment at the bottom position, keeping tension in your legs (do not let the weight “sink” into the hip joint at the bottom. 
  • Press both legs into the platform to return to the start position. Focus on pushing through the entire foot; the toes, ball of the foot and the heel equally.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps. 

 

Trainer Tips

  • Keep your knees in line with your feet and do not allow your knees to “lock-out” at any point.
  • Practise keeping a rock-solid brace throughout. 
  • Only pause briefly at the top position between reps, not several seconds.

The Set-Up

  • Position your feet hip-width apart with your heels elevated on the edge of a bench.
  • Hold your hands across your chest
  • Brace your abs and squeeze your glutes to stabilise the hips.

 

The Movement 

  • Initiate the movement by driving the knees forward and pulling hips towards the back corner of the room.
  • Keep your torso upright and achieve as much knee flexion as possible.
  • Push the ground down through your heels to return to the top position.
  • Do not lock your knees so you keep tension in your quads.

 

Trainer Tips

  • Keep the tempo slow, aiming for 3-4 seconds down and then 3-4 seconds up. The aim here is slow, controlled reps.
  • Screw feet into the floor to create tension.

Reverse Ab Crunch

 

The Set-Up

  • Lie on a flat bench and hold on to the sides of the bench behind your head.
  • Lift your legs to a 90-degree angle.
  • Engage the abs by actively bracing (push your lower back into the ball as you posteriorly tilt your pelvis).

 

The Movement

  • Example: Bring the top of the pelvis to the bottom of the ribs. Another way to think about it is to bring the top of the knees to touch your elbows
  • Concentric: The fully-shortened position is determined by how close you can bring the bottom of the ribs to the top of the pelvis without allowing the hips to move.
  • Eccentric: The fully-lengthened position is determined by how far you can pull the bottom of the ribs away from the pelvis without allowing for the lower back to move.
  • Common Mistakes: Not shortening the ab wall and instead swinging your hips up and using too much arms as you hold on to the bench.

 

Trainer Tips

  • If the bench is too difficult, start on the floor first. If the exercise is still too difficult, regress to a regular crunch as this is a more advanced variation.

Decline Reverse Crunch

The Set-Up 

  • Start by lying on a decline bench with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
  • Hold onto the top of the bench.
  • Push your rib cage down and push the abs out to create a brace.

 

The Movement 

  • Slowly lower your legs down until you begin to lose the position of your pelvis.
  • At this point, re-initiate your brace
  • Focus on pulling your pelvis to your rib cage and curling one vertebra off the bench at a time. 
  • Do not swing the legs up; they should follow and not lead the movement.

 

Trainer Tips

  • Forcefully exhale on the way up.

The Set-Up 

  • Lie down on your back with your arms stretched out overhead and your legs straight and together, toes pointed.

 

The Movement

  • Brace your core and lift your arms and legs off the floor. 
  • Focus on pressing your lower back into the ground while squeezing your entire abdominal wall.
  • Shoulders should be slightly lifted and your ribs are tucked in you are aiming for a banana shape.

 

Trainer Tips

  • Focus on keeping your brace as tight as possible.
  • This exercise can be regressed by keeping the arms alongside the body or bending the knees and flexing the hip so that there is a 90-degree angle at both the hips and knee.
  • This exercise can be progressed by adding weight to the ankles or hands for added resistance.  Another popular movement for progressing this exercise is to remain in a dish position and slowly rock backwards and forwards whilst maintaining a tight brace.
  • Remember to breathe.

WORKOUT 2

How to Perform the Exercises

The Set-Up

  • Attached a neutral-grip attachment to a seated cable stack. This attachment will have your hands in a position where your palms will be facing each other.
  • Extend your legs out onto the platforms in front for stability.
  • Sit back so that your legs are almost straight.
  • Keep a vertical torso 

 

The Movement

  • Begin to pull the handle towards yourself, leading with the elbows. 
  • As you pull the elbows back, pinch your shoulder blades together, making sure not to raise them up and hunch.
  • Ensure you keep a vertical torso throughout. 
  • Now guide the weight back towards the stack in a controlled manner.

 

Trainer Tips

  • To get an optimal contraction and muscle stimulation, as you pinch your shoulder blades together, keep your chest pushed upwards.
  • Make sure the movement is kept under complete control in order to maximise the benefits.
  • If your grip begins to fail, you can use straps so that grip does not become a limiting factor.

The Set-Up

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a big step back with one foot so you are positioned in a lunge position
  • Raise your back heel off the ground. Screw your feet into the ground to create stability

 

The Movement 

  • Slowly pull the back knee down to just above the floor in a controlled movement (don’t just drop down).
  • Push both feet down into the ground to initiate the movement
  • Do not lose tension at the top – this is when people often lose balance.

 

Trainer Tips

  • Keep a focus point with your eyes to help balance.

The Set-Up

  • Set up the machine so that the hip pad rests just below your hip bone so that you can get into full hip extension.
  • Start in the prone position with your feet flat on the footpad and in front of the ankle pads.
  • Your thighs should be against the thigh pads and your legs should be straight but with soft knees.
  • If using weights, hold a plate across your chest or hold a dumbbell in each hand and let this hang beneath you.  If not using weight cross your arms over your chest.
  • Brace your abs.
  • Internally rotate your shoulders and deliberately round your upper back. 
  • This is the start and end position for each rep.

 

The Movement

  • Keeping the knees soft, contract the glutes hard and drive your hips into the pad.
  • Keep squeezing the glutes as your upper body slowly lifts up. 
  • Your shoulders should be rounded with your eyes looking down.
  • Hold for a second when you get to the end of your range, your back should remain flexed throughout so the end of your range will be when you cannot get any higher without extending your spine.
  • Sit your hips back and slowly lower down to the start position under control.

 

Trainer Tips

  • You should feel most of the tension in your glutes and hamstring.  If you start to feel this in your lower back check your form and decrease your range of motion.
  • Your range of motion will vary depending on your individual mobility and flexibility. You may find it helpful to enlist the help of a PT or video yourself to determine your exact set-up and range of motion,
  • Be careful not to overextend the lower back as this can lead to injury.  Your core should be engaged throughout and keep the lower back rounded.
  • Initiate the movement by squeezing the glutes together. This should be the first bit that moves.
  • Your range of motion will vary depending on your individual mobility and flexibility.
  • Perform the movement slowly and carefully and don’t use momentum or jerk your torso.  

The Set-Up

  • Pick up the dumbbell using a neutral grip and sit on the bench, set to a 60-degree incline, with them resting on your thighs, close to your hip crease. 
  • Position your feet shoulder-width apart, under or behind your knees and flat on the floor. 
  • Lean back against the bench, using your thighs to help get the dumbbells into position, level with your chest and then up to a stacked position, with the wrist, elbow and shoulder all aligned. 
  • Point your chest upwards (but keep the ribcage tucked down) towards the ceiling and tuck your shoulder blades down into your back pockets. 
  • Your shoulders and glutes should be touching the bench and there will be a small gap between your lower can and the bench. 
  • This is the start and end position for each rep. 

 

The Movement

  • From the stacked position at the top, “pull” the dumbbells down towards your chest with the arms at an angle of 45-60 degrees to your torso.
  • You have reached the end of your range-of-motion when you can no longer lower the dumbbells without the shoulder rounding forwards.
  • Pause before reversing the motion, under control, to return to the start position.
  • Pause again before repeating for the desired number of reps. 
  • On the last rep, lower the dumbbells to the start position, tuck your elbows in and sit forwards using your legs to generate momentum. You can also ask a training partner to take one dumbbell from you at a time. 

 

Trainer Tips

  • The set-up and movement are the same as other versions of the dumbbell bench press but this angle places more emphasis on your shoulders. 
  • Make sure that the dumbbells do not clang together at the top of the movement. 
  • Ensure that you do not ‘shrug’ the weight up at the top. This reduces shoulder stability and increases the risk of injury. Focus on keeping the shoulder blades tucked down throughout. 

The Set-Up

  •  Set up the machine so that the back pad sits comfortably against your lower back and your knees are in lines with the pivot.
  • Place your legs on the padded lever so it sits just below your calves.
  • Set up the upper pad so that it sits tightly on your thighs just above the knees.
  • This is the start and end position for each rep.

 

The Movement

  • Hold the handles, engage your core and slowly drive your heels back towards your hips.
  •  Pause for a second then slowly return to the start position under control.
  • That is one rep.

 

Trainer Tips

  •  Don’t rely on momentum and focus on contracting the hamstrings as hard as you can throughout the movement.
  •  Keep your torso braced and your lower back pressed against the back pad throughout the movement.
  • Don’t allow the weight plates to touch down between each rep, stop just above the plate stack to keep tension in the legs throughout the set.

The Set-Up 

  • Pick up the dumbbells, sit on the end of a flat bench bench and lean forward slightly from the waist, keeping your back straight. 
  • Hold the dumbbells with a neutral grip and let your arms hang just outside of your thighs (to maintain a slight level of tension throughout) with a small bend in your elbows. 
  • This is the start and end position for each rep. 

 

The Movement

  • Push the dumbbells out to your sides while keeping your shoulders depressed. Your elbows should travel just in front of your shoulders. 
  • You have reached the end of your range of motion when you cannot lift the dumbbells any higher without your shoulders shrugging upwards. 
  • Pause for a moment before reversing the motion, under control, to return to the start position. 
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps. 

 

Trainer Tips

  • Do not use momentum to ‘swing’ the weight upwards. Keep control of the dumbbells at all times. 
  • Keep your little finger slightly higher than your thumb throughout the movement to keep maximal tension on your medial deltoid. 
  • If you cannot pause briefly at the top and bottom of the rep, the load is too heavy. 
  • Single-joint exercises like the lateral raise require less effort than multi-joint movements but make sure to stick to the prescribed rest period to ensure you can maintain performance. 
  • This is a complex exercise so start light and only increase the load when you are happy with your technique. Use a mirror to monitor your form.

The Set-Up

  • Grab the handles, arms bent or straight.
  • Flex at the hip to allow enough room to push.
  • Keep the spine neutral.
  • Push and sprint as fast as you can.

By Simon Dutton

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