A 25-Minute Leg and Cardio Workout From Gigi Hadid’s Trainer

Gigi Hadid has walked her fair share of runways wearing next-to-nothing. But the 22-year-old model recently told SELF that she feels most sexy (and comfortable!) in a pair of high-waisted leggings. Regardless of whether she’s rocking Victoria’s Secret lingerie or tights with a crop top, the Reebok spokeswoman knows it’s important to stay active and more importantly, stay strong.

“For me, I celebrate strength, not only the physical but mental and social,” Hadid said at a recent holiday event put on by Reebok in New York City. “You have to nourish all parts of yourself.” Her advice: Try writing down little ways you can build all types of strength each week. “Make sure you give attention to everything. It’s not just [working out].”

Touche, Gigi. Turns out her trainer and owner of Gotham Gym, Rob Piela, is on the same page. When Hadid’s home in New York City, she spends a lot of time training with Piela. But when she’s not? Piela’s still there to motivate and support her.

“We get together as often as possible, and when she’s here—we turn it up a notch,” says Piela. “But she’s a great friend of mine. We FaceTime when she’s on the road. The motivation and support, no matter where she may be, is critical.”

We asked Piela about a typical workout that Hadid will do when they’re sweating together. Here, he shares a lower-body workout with SELF that will build strength and get your heart rate up. The best part? It’s easily customizable.

Gigi loves boxing, so we use it in a lot of her workouts,” he tells SELF. “This workout involves 3 minutes of boxing, and then 1 minute of doing a lot of different leg-focused strength-training moves. If boxing isn’t your thing, you can swap it out for another cardio activity. I’ve always liked jump rope—it’s great for legs—or running if [you prefer]. You just want to keep your heart rate up the entire time.”

Here’s how the workout is set up:

You’ll alternate 3 minutes of boxing (or another form of cardio) with 1 minute of strength training. For each strength-training interval, you’ll pick two exercises from the list below, and do one set of each, ideally within the minute—if it takes a little longer, that’s OK. For the next strength interval, pick two different exercises.

Continue alternating between 3 minutes of boxing/cardio and 1 minute of strength exercises until you’ve done six rounds of each.

One of the exercises (banded squat walks) requires a looped resistance band—but for the rest, all you need is your bodyweight.

Here’s how to do the strength-training moves:

1. Squats — 20 reps

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out with your weight in your heels.
  • Hinge your hips to sit your butt back and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Drive through your heels to stand back up straight. Squeeze your butt and keep your core tight as you stand.
  • Do 20 reps.

2. Donkey Kicks — 12 reps each side

  • Start on all fours with your shoulders over your wrists.
  • Lift your right knee to hip height behind you as you flex your foot, pushing it toward the ceiling.
  • Lower your right leg to starting position for one rep.
  • Do 12 reps, and then repeat on the other side.

3. Plié Squats — 12 reps each side

  • Stand in a wide squat position with your feet about two to three feet apart and toes pointing out.
  • Come onto the ball of your left foot, raising your left heel.
  • Keep your back straight and abs tight and bend your knees a few inches. Bring your butt straight down, don’t hinge back like you do in a regular squat. Press your knees out slightly as you lower.
  • Hold this position and pulse up and down (moving just an inch or two) 12 times.
  • Lower your left heel and repeat with just your right heel raised.

4. Banded Squat Walks — 12 reps each side

  • Start in a quarter-squat position (a shallower squat) with a mini looped resistance band just above your knees.
  • Take a giant step to your right with your right foot, then follow with your left, keeping tension in the band. That’s 1 rep.
  • Do 12 reps, and the repeat in the other direction.
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