Get Minka Kelly’s Body!

How Charlie's Girl Got Those Angel Abs
Gunnar Peterson and Minka Kelly
Gunnar Peterson and Minka Kelly
Actress Minka Kelly
Actress Minka Kelly
Rachael Taylor, Minka Kelly and Annie Ilonzeh
Rachael Taylor, Minka Kelly and Annie Ilonzeh
Minka Kelly
Minka Kelly
Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh and Rachael Taylor
Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh and Rachael Taylor

When it comes to fitness, Minka Kelly isn’t afraid of  hard work. Named Sexiest Woman Alive by Esquire magazine in 2010, the stunning brunette is no stranger to getting her body bikini perfect for countless photo shoots – but the 31-year-old actress has buffed up like never before to take a starring role in the long anticipated TV reboot of Charlie’s Angels.

Dedicated to getting into top, butt-kicking shape alongside fellow Angels Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh, Minka’s exercise regime is as disciplined as they come.

“If I didn’t work out as hard as I do, I’d be really thick,” says Minka.

“It’s hard, because I love to eat. But it’s about wanting to take care of myself, as opposed to wanting to look a certain way.”

Working with personal trainer Gunnar Peterson for the past two years, the celebrity fitness expert has helped Minka sculpt a terrifically toned body, with some of the most awesome abs in Hollywood. Want a washboard tum as taut as Minka’s? Star Style reveals all!

The woodchop
“The standing one-legged woodchop works on the obliques, the upper part of the abdominal wall and the entire core muscles through balance,” says Gunnar. “Your entire muscular core will fire as soon as you stand on one leg. You can do this move anywhere.You can do this in a hotel. You can do this in a closet or on a bus. There is no excuse not to do this.”

1. Bring a dumbbell (or any weight) up beside the ear.
2. Move the weight diagonally across the body and bring the opposing leg up and in.
3. Exhale as you come through the move, and crunch to the side through the obliques.
4. Aim for between 8-20 repetitions each side.

Gunnar’s top tip: “Go for traction – not repetitions.”

Standing rotation
“You can vary the intensity on this by how far away from the body you keep the weight,” says Gunnar. “Whether you’re tight rotating or extended rotating, every time you pass the centre line, it should be your reminder to pull in and stand tall. Your posture will be affected, and you should feel it most in the lower back, which is also part of your core, so don’t neglect it.”

“If you feel some soreness and tightness and you work the muscle, the chances are you are going to get injured. It’s the antagonist of the abs, so you have to work it as well.”

1. Stand with feet hip width apart.
2. Hold your weight with both hands in front of you.
3. Rotate from side to side – holding the weight close to the body and abs you increase, pushing further outwards.
4. Go for 20-40 reps (one side is one rep).

Gunnar’s top tip: “Remember, the further away from the body you hold the weight, the more challenging it is.”

Touch and extend

“You want to work your abs for a full range of motion, not just contracting, but also extending,” says Gunnar. “Once you throw in a touch and extend move, where you come down with the weight, and then push up and extend, the more tension you place on the weight coming down, the more of a contraction and extension you’ll get. Arch your back, so when you’re reaching over the top, you can’t see the weight.”

1. Stand with feet hip width apart.
2. Hold the dumbbell with both hands and extend in front of you.
3. Bring both arms down and squat slightly with the natural movement, then swing both arms over and above your head. In a swooping movement bring the weight back down, being careful not to crash the weight onto the floor.
4. Aim for 20-40 reps.

Gunnar’s top tip: “The extension allows the abdominal wall to work its full range of motions. You are targeting your entire core with this move. You are also going from high to low, and low to high, so your heart rate is elevated.”

Don’t forget
“The key is working consistently and working with different weights during your abdominal workout,” says Gunnar. “Use whatever weight you have available – even a couple of bags of sugar work if you have no dumbells. Don’t make having no  weights an excuse for not doing it!”

And Minka’s advice for kick-starting a fitness routine? Just get the basics right. “Getting enough sleep and drinking lots of water are the most underrated, simple and beneficial things you can do for your health,” she says. “I have to sleep a full eight hours. And I like to take my half-hour power naps in the middle of the day. It makes me feel so much more energetic!”