David Kirsch shares 9 moves he used to tighten and tone every inch of that bikini body
Kate Upton looks absolutely gorgeous on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but how did she get her bodacious bod in bikini-ready shape for the infamous issue? One thing’s for sure; it required a whole lot of dedication! The blonde bombshell trained with fitness expert extraordinaire David Kirsch and let’s just say, the workouts were intense.
“Kate is the consummate professional—focused and disciplined and did whatever I asked of her,” Kirsch says. “She’s the best client a trainer could hope for.”
We got the scoop from the personal training powerhouse himself to talk about Upton’s cover-ready shape-up plan. Read on for more!
SHAPE: Kate Upton looks incredible on the SI cover! Give us the scoop on your workouts.
David Kirsch (DK): Kate and I started working together in August. At the beginning, we did two-a-days seven days a week. Then, we did one-and-a-half or two hours five to six days per week. The idea was to create a strict cardio and sculpting boot camp that entailed weights and resistance bands, sprinting and calisthenics, shadow and kick boxing. The workouts were very intense cardio sculpting circuits centered on core, legs, butt, and arms.
SHAPE: Did you ramp up the intensity even more as the shoot got closer, within one to two weeks?
DK: For the cover, we stepped up the intensity and added an additional 45 minutes of cardio—rowing, sprints, and elliptical. She also restricted her diet to shakes, greens, and one snack bar per day.
SHAPE: Did Kate have any specific fitness goals for the swimsuit edition?
DK: Kate has really beautiful curves and I was determined, no matter how hard we trained, that I didn’t want her to lose a crazy amount of weight. The goal was to lengthen and tone her thighs and inner thighs and keep her butt perky. It wasn’t about dramatically changing her body, I didn’t want to do that. Just tighten, tone, and lengthen. I’d say she met them; She’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition!
Whether you have a big event coming up or you just want to tighten and tone your body before spring, check out the super-effective exercises Kirsch used with Upton on the next page!
Kate Upton’s Sports Illustrated Workout Routine
The most important parts to focus on before Upton's SI cover shoot were legs, inner thighs, hips, butt, abs, and arms. To really target those areas, we did circuit training featuring each of the below moves, with cardio (elliptical, sprinting, rowing) interspersed during the two weeks before the shoot.
You'll need: Medicine ball, stability ball, dumbbells, body bar, exercise mat.
Sumo Lunge with Side Kicks (DK signature move)
A. Stand in a "sumo" position with your feet slightly wider than hip width, knees bent, and your body weight in your heels.
B. Take a large step sideways with your right leg, bringing your right knee in toward your chest and then over to the right in one continuous motion.
C. As soon as your right foot touches the ground, bring your knee back into your chest and complete a side kick, kicking your right heel out to the side into the stomach of an imaginary opponent (or jaw if that imaginary person is height compromised).
D. Lower your right leg to the floor into the sumo position. Squat down while sticking your butt out. Keep your knees just above (not in front of) your toes.
E. Spring up while thrusting your arms overhead. Land on your heels, rolling forward onto your toes. Repeat with a sumo lunge and side kick with your left leg and another frog jump. Continue alternating right to left until you have completed 10 lunges on each side and 20 frog jumps.
Platypus Walks (DK signature move)
A. Grab a medicine ball with both hands and extend your arms overhead. Squat in a sitting position with your knees aligned with your toes and your butt sticking back as far as you can get it.
B. Keep your core tight as you walk forward, pushing off through each heel. If you perform the move correctly, your butt and inner thighs will be on fire. Walk across the room in one direction and then reverse and walk backward. If your room is small, repeat crossing the room one time.
Pushups/Knee Tucks on a Stability Ball
A. Begin in an all-fours position with your torso on the ball and hands and feet on the floor. Lengthen your legs and stretch your heels to the back of the room. Your hands should be under your shoulders.
B. Once you have established your abdominal engagement, slowly walk your hands forward until your feet come off the floor. Continue walking out until the fronts of your thighs or knees are resting on the top of the ball in a plank position.
C. Exhale and slowly bend your knees toward your chest. The ball will roll forward as your knees tuck under your torso and your hips lift toward the ceiling.
D. Inhale and straighten your legs, rolling the ball back the plank position.
Stability Ball Scissors
A. Start by sitting on the floor with legs straight in front of you, back straight and abdominals engaged.
B. Place your feet on either side of the stability ball at its widest point, then flex your toes and squeeze the ball with your ankles for a 10 count. Release and repeat.
C. Do pulse scissors, squeezing for a second or two in rapid succession, to create variation.
Plank Rotations on a Stability Ball
A. Kneel with chest or waist on an exercise ball. Dive over top and place hands on floor with arms extended down, supporting upper body.
B. While keeping body horizontal, walk hands further away from ball until thighs are positioned on top of ball. Bend knees so feet are up above knees. Rotate hips so thighs roll over top of ball to one side.
C. Rotate to opposite side and repeat.
Stability Ball Handoffs
A. Lie on your back. Place a stability ball between your knees and shins. Extend your legs toward the ceiling, forming a 90-degree angle with your torso. Extend your arms overhead.
B. Curl your tailbone toward your navel as you lift the ball up, bringing your arms and shoulders up to meet the ball.
C. Grasp the ball between your hands. Hand off the ball to your hands. Lower your hands and the ball to the floor overhead and your legs to the floor.
D. Repeat by using your arms to lift the ball and hand it back off to your legs. Continue to switch handing it off from your legs to your hands and hands to your legs a total of 10 to 15 times.
Reverse Crossover Lunges to Lateral Lunge
A. Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms down at your sides.
B. Take a large step diagonally forward with your right foot, planting your foot at the eleven o’clock position. Sink down until your thighs form right angles. As you bend your knees, curl the dumbbells toward your upper arms.
C. Extend your legs, then lift your right knee and bring it in toward your chest as you lower your arms. Step back with your right leg, this time lunging behind your torso and stepping back to the eight o'clock position. As you sink down into the reverse lunge, complete another biceps curl.
D. Repeat 15 to 20 times with the right leg and then switch to lunging with the left leg, stepping forward to the one o'clock position and back to the five o'clock position.
Reverse Walking Crabs
A. You might remember this one from elementary school gym class. Sit on the ground and prop yourself up on your hands and feet, facing the ceiling. Walk backwards, propelling yourself with your hands and feet.
B. Once you reach the wall or your stopping point, turn around, and reverse crab walk back to the starting point.
A. Holding a body bar, dumbbells, medicine ball, or even a broomstick in a pinch, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
B. Bend forward, hinging at the waist. Keep your knees soft and back flat. Come back to starting position. (Make it easier: If you're feeling shaky, hold the back of a chair or the edge of a table for balance. Make it harder: If you're feeling great, try lifting your alternate leg as you go down.)
Huge thanks to David Kirsch for sharing Kate Upton’s Sports Illustrated workout! For more info on Kirsch, visit his website.