Although Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are already in great shape, the two worked with former NFL cheerleader and fitness trainer Ramona Braganza to keep in shape while shooting Fifty Shades Darker.
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One area that Braganza felt needed some attention was their legs, an area that many people, including celebrities, ignore. “Our legs drive our bodies, and yet so many of us overlook them because training your legs is painful, both emotionally and physically,” Braganza told Yahoo. “To really achieve your training goals, though, you need to step outside your comfort zone, push yourself. Training our legs, which are such an essential part of our bodies, and keeping them strong makes us so much more empowered.”
Braganza created individual leg workouts for the stars. While Dornan’s focused on lean muscle growth, Johnson’s was made to increase flexibility, speed up her metabolism and promote weight loss.
To begin, Johnson started every morning with the yoga staple, Downward-Facing Dog. Braganza recommends holding the position for a minute or two before repeating the sequence two or three times.
Next, Braganza focused on training Johnson’s glutes and legs to tone and increase the metabolism through a series of low-impact exercises:
Side Leg Raises
To do this, lay on your side propped up on your elbow…legs are extended and stacked up on top of one another. Then, placing the other hand on the ground for balance, raise your top leg 6–8 inches up. You want to make sure to keep you leg completely stretched out and foot flexed. Once you’re in position, you do three sequences. First, make 32 small pulses up with the top leg. Second, move your top leg in small circles changing up between forward and backwards for 32 counts. Lastly, trace the alphabet with the raised legs.
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Toning the Inner Thighs
Next, Braganza would focus on the inner thighs with Johnson. For this move, continue laying on the same side and cross the top leg over the bottom, placing your foot or knee on the ground. Then lift up and down the bottom leg, first making 32 small pulses, then 32 small circles.
You need to get on all fours for this workout. Press the same leg that was on top toward the ceiling, keeping the foot flexed. When lowering it, touch your knee to the ground. Press it up again and repeat this for 32 counts.
To work the hamstrings, bend the knee and bringing the foot back to touch the glutes and extend back out. Repeat this 32 times.
Make sure to repeat the same series on the other side. Cap off the entire exercise with a pigeon stretch.
Follow the above workout, and you too, can have Dakota Johnson’s toned legs.
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