Everybody loves a good comeback, and no one in Hollywood has perfected the art quite like Britney Spears. Not only has the pop star managed to resurrect her career in the most epic way possible (with her long-running Las Vegas residency), but after two children, the 36-year-old looks sexier and stronger than ever. It is impossible to deny that Spears has a come a long way since her infamous 2007 breakdown (and that disastrous MTV Video Music Awards performance), but how does she manage to look so freaking amazing? Sure, Spears follows a strict "Work B*tch" diet and fitness plan, but her secrets to health and wellness success are a lot more doable than you would think. Here are 10 tips and tricks that will help you get her signature tone and definition.
1. Love your workouts.
Spears avoids saying "baby one more time" to the same old workouts by getting creative with her routine. That's easy enough for the singer, since her love for dancing ensures there's always new moves to learn. "It always amazes me how different your body looks and feels when learning new moves and creating your own routines!" she captioned a July Instagram post. "Doing the same things while working out can get pretty stagnant, which is why I love dancing!" Finding the perfect workout involves thinking about everything from your goals (for example, taking up swimming might not be the fastest way to a bigger booty) to whether you're introverted or extroverted. Here's a list of questions you can ask yourself if you're in search an exercise routine you'll love!
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2. Keep your workouts short and sweet.
You won't catch Spears pedaling at SoulCycle or breaking a sweat at Tracy Anderson's studio. The pop star refuses to rely on trendy workouts, instead taking a practical, no-frills approach to fitness. "I like my workouts to be effective in a short amount of time. I start with 20 minutes of intense cardio — usually running — move on to light free weights, body-weight exercises, such as push-ups, squats and sit-ups, then finish it off with a stretch," she told Women's Health.
Celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza, who has trained leading ladies like Jessica Alba and Halle Berry, totally endorses Spears' old-school, high-intensity workout ethos, explaining to LIVESTRONG.COM that it keeps your heart rate high, burning fat more quickly. Want to try for yourself? Here is the perfect short and effective workout you can do anywhere.
UP NEXT: Here's how Spears manages to keep her momentum going.
3. Know the importance of staying motivated.
Staying motivated is key when it comes to fitness, and Spears has no problem getting revved up for a workout. "Daily exercise is important for me both mentally and physically," Spears told Women's Health. "I don't have a problem being motivated." One of the ways she does this? By documenting her fitness journey on social media. "Being accountable is smart training," Braganza says of Spears' habit and suggests another way to get motivated: working out with a buddy. The pop star often enlists her pals — including boyfriend Sam Asghari — to join her during her workouts and hikes.
UP NEXT: The secret to Spears' diet is actually quite simple.
4. Portion size is key.
According to Tony Martinez, the trainer who helped Spears prep for her Las Vegas residency, a key component to getting her diet on track was teaching her about portion size and the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods. He also made sure she was getting enough protein — between 75 to 80 grams per day.
"Most people are unaware of portion size," celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza says. "Often, too many calories are consumed during the day for each individual's needs." To avoid overeating, she suggests scraping one quarter of the food off your plate. As for "healthifying" your diet, she encourages making over your plate — think more good fats and proteins and less carbohydrates.
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5. Don’t deprive yourself.
Spears is one of the few stars who hasn't endorsed any fad diets — nor does she regularly discuss her food choices. While it's rumored she has banned some of her old faves (like Frappuccinos, Cheetos and french fries), she revealed she does cheat occasionally with tacos, pizza and ice cream. "When I'm hungry, it's like, 'Don't talk to me.' I am the devil. I am so moody," she told People. "I love food so much."
Braganza points out that not all cheat choices are created alike. Spears' previous faves are empty calories, while tacos and pizza can be consumed as meals. When you do cheat, she suggests finding healthy versions of your favorites and controlling portion sizes.
UP NEXT: Britney Spears is crazy about keeping it real on the dance floor.
6. Just dance.
Spears has been dancing since she was a kid — and, man, does she have moves. The star doesn't just reserve dancing for the stage, either: She also hits the floor to burn calories. "Dancing is a great cardio workout. Tough and fun at the same time," Spears told Women's Health. An hour of moderate dancing can burn up to 488 calories, with factors such as body weight determining exactly how many calories per minute are burned. "As a former NFL cheerleader for over 10 years with the Raiders football team, I can attest to the calories burned and the endorphin high dancers get from doing what they love," adds Braganza. Even better for those who loathe the gym? "It never feels like exercise!"
UP NEXT: Spears knows the importance of changing up her workouts.
7. Switch up your workout routine.
In April, Spears revealed that she was switching up her workout routine to get ready for her Piece of Me tour. The new, full-body routine consisted of some seriously hardcore moves, ranging from jumping squats and ball crunches to leg lifts and kettle-bell swings.
No matter what your routine looks like, taking a page from Spears' book and constantly changing it up is a great idea. Doing the same exercises every day will cause your body to adapt and plateau, meaning you will stop losing weight. Even small tweaks — changing the order of your workout, choosing a different time of day, adjusting your speed, increasing your repetitions, choosing a different mode (treadmill, bike, elliptical) or going outside instead of inside — can amp up your body for weight loss.
UP NEXT: You won't find Spears sipping on a Frappuccino at Starbucks.
8. Replace sugary drinks with protein shakes.
For several years it was almost impossible to find a photo of Spears sans her prized Starbucks Frappuccino. But these days the calorie-rich frozen beverage has been replaced with something more nutritious — namely an energy-inducing smoothie made with milk, ice and ViSalus shake mix. "It's the one protein shake that actually tastes good," the singer told Women's Health.
Braganza is a fan of Spears' beverage swap. "Sugary drinks are empty calories, while protein shakes have value and are a great way to increase overall daily protein intake," she explains, adding that they are a good choice for a pre-workout meal.
UP NEXT: Spears is all about this aquatic workout.
9. Lap it up in the pool.
In addition to her impressive gym routines, the singer also dabbles in some aquatics. In a Women's Health interview, she revealed that swimming "really relaxes" her after "super high-energy" workouts. In addition to its relaxation benefits, the American Heart Association (AHA) says you can burn up to 650 calories per hour via freestyle swimming — the fastest and most frequently used stroke in fitness and competitive swimming.
If you're just looking at swimming as a relaxing post-workout treat, Braganza agrees that it "helps with the mind as well as the body, working to cool down and relax the nervous system." If you don't have a swimming pool in your backyard or at your gym, she suggests taking a hot bath, which can have the same relaxing effect (just without the major calorie-burn payoff).
UP NEXT: Spears also gets going for this outdoor workout.
10. Take a hike.
Spears' social media is filled with hiking photos alongside family and friends. While the number of calories burned per hour by hiking depends on your body weight and level of difficulty and intensity (among other factors), a 200-pound person burns about 550 calories per hour.
Braganza believes hiking is a great workout for a variety of reasons. "Hiking and being in nature is a natural thing for people to want to do," she explains. "Making the time to do it is essential for leading a balanced life." It's also a great workout for social reasons, she maintains, because friends, family and pets can do it together. So next time you are looking for an effective workout while enjoying the great outdoors, hit the trails.
UP NEXT: This workout also helps Spears with her dance moves.
11. Stay limber with yoga.
Spears obviously kicks butt at the gym, but she also knows the importance of a good stretch. In fact, the gym rat strikes some poses twice a week for 60- to 90-minute yoga sessions with Elizabeth I. of EQI Yoga Studio in Los Angeles. While the total calories burned per hour can depend on factors like body weight, the type of class and intensity, it's possible to shed up to 713 calories in just one 60-minute class. And aside from weight loss and the fitness aspect, yoga also has benefits when it comes time for Ms. Spears to hit the stage. "As a dancer, Britney needs to maintain flexibility, and yoga is an excellent way to keep limber," explains Braganza. "Stretching reduces risk of injury and allows her to perform some of the harder dance combinations."
What Do YOU Think?
What do you think about Britney Spears' workout tips and tricks? Do you find her commitment to fitness inspiring? Which of her tips is most helpful? Let us know in the comments section!