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- I worked out with Justin Gelband, a celebrity trainer who has worked with Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show models Candice Swanepoel and Lais Ribeiro.
- Instead of launching clients into a one-size-fits-all routine, Gelband analyzes each person and creates specialty workouts to help create the best results.
- People of any age or fitness level can do Gelband’s workouts, not just Victoria’s Secret models.
- He designed his exercise method after being in a car crash that resulted in four herniated discs and a struggle to walk.
Social media is filled with videos of Victoria’s Secret models exercising to get show-ready and, oftentimes, their sweat sessions look intimidating. Take, for instance, models Taylor Hill and Jasmine Tooks completing high-intensity strength training workouts at New York City’s Dogpound.
So when I was offered the chance to train with Justin Gelband, a fitness instructor who has worked with Victoria’s Secret models like Candice Swanepoel and Lais Ribeiro, I was worried.
After I arrived at Gelband’s New York City studio, however, I was introduced to a variety of low-impact, functional exercises focused on toning the body and improving day-to-day movement and health. Each move required little equipment and the smallest of movements, making it a workout practically anyone can do.
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#correctiveexercise Great job ladies in our second class of the weekend we worked specifically on learning & understanding the bodies movements per body, bodytype & lifestyle! It’s a belief system that keeps you ladies all empowered to be your best! Every class I pride myself on making sure everyones form, posture & resistance is done properly! It’s easy to rush through your exercise program as you wanna get it done but to feel it & make the most of your movements is what makes you stronger, more agile & mobile! Thanks ladies again for a double amazing back to back class of empowered women looking to feel & be their best! #hardwork #hardworkpaysoffs Take care & see you all soon! So proud of you all! #fitnessmodel #fitnesswomen #fitness #fitnessgirl #fitspo #form #posture #resistance #empoweredwomen #goals #objectives #womenempowerment
Gelband believes a workout should be tailored to the person who is doing it
Today, group fitness classes tend to focus on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and assume all participants can complete the same routine. But Gelband believes differently.
Instead of launching clients into a one-size-fits-all routine, Gelband analyzes each person and creates workouts accordingly. That means a Victoria’s Secret model would perform exercises that prepare her to walk in seven-inch stilettos, while I, a desk-ridden worker in the throes of corporate America, would focus on hip-opening exercises.
Gelband created this special training method after he got into a car crash in 2004 and herniated four discs in his back, making even walking difficult. Since then, he’s gotten back on his feet and opened studios to share his fitness method with people of all lifestyles.
There is one central goal to every person’s tailored routine, including mine, though.
“My goal is to open people’s hips and lower back and everything, because the core isn’t just the stomach, it’s your hips, back, and butt area,” he told INSIDER. “If your core is working well, you’re going to be good.”
We started with a five-minute warm-up that focused on hip opening moves
First I completed a warm-up, where Gelband took note of my movements, something he does for all of his clients. He noticed my foot would turn out whenever I took a forward step, signaling tight hips.
Gelband then suggested a five to 10-minute warm-up to prepare the muscles for the toning, lengthening, and resistance exercises I would complete later in the program.
Each exercise focused on small movements and resistance
After the warm-up, I performed a series of slow, controlled movements using hand weights and resistance bands, which are essential to Gelband’s training method.
“Unless you’re training to play a sport, full range of motion isn’t important for your day-to-day, like if you sit at a desk all day,” Gelband told INSIDER.
Rather than doing the burpees, deep squats, or push-ups I often find myself struggling through in high-intensity classes, I was coached through tiny toe taps while I held a squat, or rotational movements that opened my hips and made my leg muscles burn.
Throughout the workout, Gelband stressed the importance of never locking out your elbows or knees, since doing so lessens the resistance and stops the muscles from getting a full burn.
Gelband then showed me an exercise that prepares Victoria’s Secret models to walk in mile-high heels
I also got to try an exercise that’s aimed at people who wear heels on a regular basis – aka Victoria’s Secret models.
“They’re torquing their bodies in strange ways, so a lot of what I do with the models is prepare their bodies for those torquing motions,” Gelbrand said.
For the high heel-prep exercise, I stood with one leg on a slanted wooden structure and another staggered behind me on an elevated box. Then, I did tiny toe taps backward and to the side with my back leg, using my butt muscles to guide the motion. Beware: even though the exercise looks easy, it burns – a lot.
Throughout the routine, I could feel tiny muscle groups in my thighs, abs, and glutes, core working hard. Although I didn’t sweat nearly as much as I would in a cardio or HIIT class, I felt challenged the entire time and sore the following day.
We finished the session with foam rolling to release any muscle tension
Following the workout, Gelband demonstrated how to properly use a foam roller for myofascial release, a technique that massages stiff body tissue to release pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. “Most people use big, sweeping motions when foam rolling, but that’s all wrong,” he told INSIDER.
Instead, Gelband said foam rolling should be done in, you guessed it, small and slow movements. We focused on rolling the areas I just worked out: my quads, butt, and hamstrings. While each motion looked like nothing, I could feel the tension releasing from my body and vowed silently to make the technique part of my regular workout routine.
After working out with Gelband, my body felt looser and more aligned, two things that anyone, not just Victoria’s Secret models, could use more of.
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You can find all of INSIDER’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show coverage here.
- Read more:
- 14 things about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show you probably didn’t know
- What it’s actually like to audition for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
- Victoria’s Secret says its ‘runways have been culturally diverse for a long time,’ but it has been accused of cultural appropriation over and over again