Gisele Bundchen’s Kung Fu Workout
How the stunning supermodel keeps her mind clear, her spirit calm, and her body strong
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen hasn’t officially announced she’s expecting her second child with hubby Tom Brady, but she’s definitely going to have a hard time denying it now. The bikini-clad bombshell was recently spotted in Costa Rica sporting a growing baby bump. With another bundle of joy on the way and a 32nd birthday last month (July 20), there is a lot to celebrate!
No stranger to showing off that incredible bod, the Victoria’s Secret angel sure makes staying in shape look easy. During pregnancy No. 1 (with son Benjamin, now 2 years old), she was still wearing non-maternity clothes in her ninth month! Bundchen told Vogue in 2010, “I was mindful about what I ate, and I gained only 30 pounds. I did kung fu up until two weeks before Benjamin was born, and yoga three days a week.”
There’s no doubt she’ll be continuing her dedicated workouts during pregnancy No. 2, so we spoke with her kung fu instructor, Yao Li of the Boston Kung Fu Tai Chi Institute, to get the scoop on her routine.
“Gisele is very focused and very disciplined. I am often surprised by how quickly she grasps the nuances of the movements. When I teach her new techniques, it often seems as though she already knows them,” Li says. “She is very intuitive and knows what it takes to make the move look right.”
Bundchen, who has worked with Li for the past four years, trains an average of three times per week for 90-minute sessions. The benefits of kung fu for a strong body, a clear mind, and a calm spirit—as well as learning self-defense—are truly inspiring.
“The stance work and kicking techniques improve muscle tone and flexibility in the lower body. Blocking drills and hand techniques do the same for the upper body, especially the shoulders and arms,” Li told SHAPE. “Drills that combine hand and foot work require strength and agility in the core muscles, and help to increase coordination and balance.”
The dynamic duo begin their workouts by stretching for 10 to 15 minutes, followed by individual kicks and sparring drills. Next, they practice forms (a set routine of choreographed techniques that can be either a hand form or weapon form such as the bow staff, spear, or straight sword). Lastly, they do additional upper-body strength training and abdominal work.
Clearly it’s working for Gisele! “Learning kung fu is exciting and energizing… you’ve got to feel what it is and if you don’t try it, you won’t know!” Li says.
That’s why we were stoked when the kung fu master shared a sample routine from his model client. Read on for more!