5 Fitness Tips Brooke Shields Swears by to Look and Feel Stronger Than Ever at 55

Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

From Prevention

  • Brooke Shields, 55, recently opened up about her fitness routine to Prevention.com.

  • The model and actress says her workouts have changed over time, especially after having a partial knee replacement at 53.

  • Shields now focuses on low-impact workouts and building stability and strength.

Brooke Shields has made her health a top priority—but when the coronavirus pandemic changed life as we knew it, she had to get creative to keep up with her fitness routine.

“When COVID hit, I couldn’t go to a gym or see a trainer, and I needed to keep some semblance of control in my life,” Shields told Prevention.com in partnership with Life Happens for Life Insurance Awareness Month.

In 2018, Shields had surgery for a partial right knee replacement. “I never thought I’d have knee problems, and I’ve got nothing but knee problems,” she says, explaining that her knee function has gotten incrementally worse over the years. Overhauling her approach to fitness has been a key aspect of her recovery.

So, she began virtually working with trainer Ngo Okafor and sharing her at-home sweat sessions on Instagram Live—building an active social media community along the way. “Doing these little workouts was sort of the only area that I felt I had an ounce of control,” she explained.

Shields took her workouts indoors throughout quarantine, using equipment you could find anywhere, like water bottles, soup cans, and resistance bands. “I’ve always maintained a very active life,” the former dancer says. “I’ve done it for health and strength reasons, because I noticed that I’m also healthier minded when I’m physically active.”

Ahead, Shields dishes on her top fitness tips at 55.

1. Learn to activate different muscle groups.

To help regain strength in her knees, Shields began educating herself with a trainer. “I really started reintroducing myself to the many different muscles we have in our bodies that lay dormant or don’t become activated,” she explains. “I started feeling much more balanced and stronger, but instead of being incredibly dominant in one area and weaker in another, I became much more overall activated as far as my muscles were concerned.”

The actress said targeting areas such as her quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and hips has helped strengthen her knees, and focusing on her core has reduced back pain.

2. Low-impact workouts are key.

“Before I got my partial knee replacement, I worked out for a year just to prepare myself so that my recovery would be faster,” Shields says. “So I exercised to maintain the strength and the stability in and around the area that’s been the most compromised.”

The actress says her left knee now seems to be “heading towards full replacement,” so she’s working to build up strength and stability with that knee, too. “I hope that maybe I will be able to avoid a full replacement by doing every other thing that’s an option for me,” she says.

Strength and stability are key, so she focuses on low-impact workouts

Gal Gadot’s Trainer Swears by Sprinter Lunges For a Stronger Core and Cardio Training

Image Source: Getty / The Good Brigade

Those heavy-breathing, sweaty, heart-pumping moments in a workout are challenging, but they’re also so rewarding – there’s no denying how hard your body is working. Sprinter lunges always get me to that place.

“Sprinter lunges develop speed [and] power, build muscle mass, improve balance and coordination, strengthen the core, and correct imbalances within the body, while also improving metabolic conditioning (cardio),” Magnus Lygdback, EREPS-certified celebrity trainer to Gal Gadot and Mark Ruffalo, says.

According to Lygdback, this lunge variation targets the entire muscle system that manages your core, like your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and intrinsic foot muscles. Your hips, knees, spine, ankles, and feet are getting worked, too.

But, don’t let this news excite you to the point of doing sprinter lunges daily. Lygdback says they should only be done once every 3-5 days (no more than 2-3 times a week), to avoid overuse injuries. He adds that the move fits well in any workout intending to develop the glutes or to boost athletic performance.

Listen to your body, too – if you’re unprepared for this dynamic and explosive exercise, know that you can potentially experience knee and lower back pain.

“If you feel uncomfortable with the exercise, prepare yourself with planks or anti-rotational core exercises, as well as reverse lunges and step-ups,” Lygdback says.

“Build your spinal stability with plank variations and dynamic core work. Prepare your knees and hamstrings with split squats, other lunge variations (in multiple directions), squats, standing on one leg, etc.”

Once you’re ready to take sprinter lunges on, Lygdback offered the step-by-step instructions below to get you started.

His biggest tip: remember to keep your shin as vertical over your leg as possible during the lunge portion of the move – you’re shin shouldn’t be over your toes. This will prevent you from using your quad-and knee-strength over the power from your glutes and hips.

Related: Double Duty: This Trainer’s Favorite Lunge Variation Will Also Work Your Abs

Image Source: Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone

  • Start standing – step your right foot back to a lunge position and place your right hand on the ground.

  • Explosively drive your left heel into the ground to extend your knee and hip, while accelerating your right knee to your chest. Let your left hand rapidly move toward your chest as a reciprocal movement.

  • Reverse the movement to place your right hand and foot back to the ground and repeat.

  • Try to keep the shin of the working leg as vertical as possible throughout.

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