How the actress burns fat, sculpts lean muscle, and improves overall fitness outside.

By Kristen Aldridge
February 14, 2012
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Reese Witherspoon recently stepped out on the red carpet looking stunning for the premiere of her new movie, This Means War, out today (February 14). Decked out in a sexy strapless Miu Miu dress and sky-high Christian Louboutin pumps, we couldn't help but be inspired by her beaming confidence over the years and strong, healthy bod to match.

That's why we were excited to get the deets from her former trainer Michael George on one of her movie star workouts! George, who worked with the Oscar-winning beauty 3-4 times a week for a year, says a mix of cardio, strength training, and eating healthy is the best way to sculpt a fit and strong physique like Witherspoon.

"Eat clean and healthy with small meals and snacks daily, reduce alcohol consumption, and do cardio 30 minutes a day for 6 days per week," George says. "Do not dismiss the strength training as well, which is the activity that fires up your metabolism."

To improve her overall fitness, drop a little body fat, and sculpt lean muscle, the dynamic duo went on hikes and did strength work with light dumbbells.

"Reese was already in great shape, but we wanted to improve her general fitness. We definitely accomplished that!" George says.

"The most rewarding part of what I do is to watch the transformation process at work. Of course clients bodies change expediently, but I like to watch as their personality becomes lighter… they smile more… joke around and feel more self-confident. In essence, they take life a little lighter with a more positive attitude."

The next time you go on a hike, spice up your workout like Witherspoon with these great strength-training moves from George!

You'll Need: Good hiking spot, quality hiking shoes, light dumbbells

How it Works: During your entire hike, you'll stop along the way and do strength work with light dumbbells. After, you'll cool down with yoga postures like the sun salutation and warrior pose. Get ready to work the entire body, feel rejuvenated, and be one with nature at the same time!

Lunge Walk with Bicep Curls

2 sets of 15-25 reps

Works: Legs, butt, front of arms

Begin with feet hip-width apart, holding a light dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides and palms facing in toward your body. Step right foot forward as you lift left heel off the floor.

Lower your back (left) knee toward the floor into a lunge position. At the same time, bend your arms, bringing the dumbbells toward your shoulders, palms still facing each other.

Straighten your arms as you return to the standing position. Immediately step left foot forward as you lift right heel off the floor. Do another biceps curl as you lower your right (back) knee into a lunge. "Walk" forward as you alternate between right and left lunges. Repeat 15-25 times per leg. Do 2 sets.

Walking with Shoulder Press

2 sets of 15-25 reps

Works: Shoulders, triceps, upper back

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend your elbows and raise your upper arms to shoulder height so the dumbbells are at ear level. Push the dumbbells up and in until the ends of the dumbbells touch lightly, directly over your head, and then lower the dumbbells back to ear level. Repeat 15-25 times. Do 2 sets.

Walking with Tricep Extensions

2 sets of 15-25 reps

Works: Triceps, triceps, triceps!

Position one dumbbell overhead with both hands under inner plate (heart shaped grip). With elbows overhead, lower forearm behind upper arm by flexing elbows. Flex wrists at bottom to avoid hitting dumbbell on back of neck. Raise dumbbell overhead by extending elbows while hyper-extending wrists. Repeat 15-25 times. Do 2 sets.

Walking with Side Laterals

2 sets of 15-25 reps

Works: Deltoids, forearms

Grip a light dumbbell in each hand and hold them in front of your waist, palms facing each other. With your elbows slightly bent, raise the dumbbells by your side with a forceful movement slightly higher than shoulder height.

At the top of the movement your thumb should be below your pinkie finger. Control the weight back down to the starting position in a slower manner. Repeat 15-25 times. Do 2 sets.


2 sets of 25-50 reps

Works: Quads, glutes, hamstrings, lower back

Stand with feet hip-distance apart with your toes, knees, and hips in a straight line. Pull your belly button towards your spine and contract your abdominal muscles. Slowly lower your body, as though you are sitting in a chair. If you can, go down until your butt is in line with your knees (knees at 90 degree angles).

Keeping the weight in your heels, slowly push your body back to starting position. At the top of the movement, do NOT lock your knees. Keep a slight bend in them. Repeat 25-50 times. Do 2 sets.

Side Leg Raises with Glute Kickbacks

2 sets of 25-50 reps

Works: Hips, thighs, butt, obliques

Stand behind a bench and hold on to the back. Lift your right leg straight out to the side until your foot is about 6 to 12 inches off the floor, and hold for several seconds. Keep your torso erect throughout the movement and slightly bend the leg that is supporting your weight. Return your leg to the starting position.

Now, slowly move the leg back as far as you can, feeling the contraction in your butt. The knee of your weighted leg should be slightly bent. Don't arch your back or overextend your leg. Hold for a few seconds before lowering. That's one rep. Repeat 25-50 times on each leg. Do 2 sets.

For more info on fitness-trainer-to-the-stars Michael George, check out his website or connect on Facebook and Twitter. You can also email him at

If you have XBox, you'll love the advanced martial arts and personal training programs he did on the XBox 360 Kinect game Your Shape Fitness Evolved.