The singer’s trainer, Eve Overland, says Carrie Underwood is mega strong thanks to these five workouts (which, BTW, you can easily do at home).
Carrie Underwood has been working with her trainer, Eve Overland for more than a decade. They team up to create workouts for Underwood’s fitness app, Fit52, and Overland gets the singer in top shape for performances. (Remember when the two of them stood up to workout shamers on social media?)
Whether Underwood is on the road for her tour or hanging out at home with her family, Overland says the mom of two always finds time for movement. “One of her big messages is that you can work out wherever; your home can be your fitness studio, so she squeezes it in when she can. If she’s at the playground with her kids, she’ll also do pull-ups, hanging leg raises, and Bulgarian split squats on the equipment. Carrie is so strong and well-rounded,” Overland tells Shape at a BodyArmor event. The duo is a big fan of the brand, and Underwood, now a spokesperson for the sports drink, loves BodyArmor’s sweet flavors for a post-workout treat, according to her trainer.
These days, Overland says Underwood’s “all movement counts” mentality has led her to stick with basic, tried-and-true functional exercises — think: squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, push-ups, and rows. “We keep it engaging and progressing and we’ll phase in and out of rep ranges, as well as time under tension, depending on her goals,” says Overland. One way Overland increases time under tension? She adds pulses to moves like lunges and squats or slowing down moves like rows and presses. The duo will also occasionally mix in high-intensity interval workouts, sometimes on the treadmill, adds the trainer. (Try this 20-minute HIIT running workout to build speed in four weeks.)
When it comes to maintaining full-body strength, Underwood relies on five go-to exercises, according to her trainer. Below, Overland breaks down each exercise and how to replicate them at home.
Bodyweight Squat to Tuck Jump
Overland says she loves incorporating explosive movements in her workouts with Underwood as a way to keep the singer moving. With this bodyweight squat (do 10 air squats) into tuck jumps (do 10 of these right after) move, “you’re triggering different muscle fibers, and working on strength, agility, power, and control,” Overland says. The trainer notes that you can mimic this exercise even if you’re lifting heavy weights: Do a set of barbell squats, put the weight down, then go right into a set of air squats or jump squats. If you’re looking for more strength, increase the weight in your barbell squats; if you’re hoping to improve endurance, cut back on rest and just keep moving, suggests Overland. (Related: 10 Power Plyometric Leg Exercises You Need to Start Doing)
Squats and lunges — and the countless variations you can do of each exercise — are Underwood’s go-to leg workouts, says Overland. The singer especially loves walking lunges because you can easily do them while you’re cooking food or watching TV, adds the trainer. The functional exercise, which you can do with or without weights, builds lower-body strength and improves balance, notes Overland.
This move challenges core stability by working anti-rotation (meaning your ability to perform each row without rotating your torso), says Overland. The goal is to keep the hips and torso as steady as possible as you pick up one arm at a time for the row, she explains. You’ll also work the back and shoulders with this exercise, adds the trainer, giving you 360 degrees of upper-body strength.
Underwood will do biceps curls whenever she can, says Overland. If the singer sees a set of weights, she’ll probably pick ’em up and just start curling, jokes Overland. Whether you have weights at home — or even some wine bottles — begin curling them up to your shoulders until you feel that burn, says Overland. This move pays off in overall strength for your arms, notes the trainer, making it that much easier to carry groceries, kids, or anything else you have to tote around. (Related: The Biceps Workout You Can Do Without a Huge Rack of Dumbbells)
Hanging Leg Raises
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