As the moniker implies, Justin Gelband's ModelFit studio in Manhattan has a cult following of, yes, models. But when Gelband first developed his fitness method, he didn't have them in mind at all. "People think, 'He only trains models,' but that's not what it's about," he explains. " I started out by training women who had to lose 20, 30 kilograms. ModelFit is about being the best model of yourself with the body you have." The technique involves executing tiny yet tough movements meant to tone and carve out curves. Here are five of Gelband's top moves — all you need is a resistance band (try the Rejuvenation Pro Resistance Ankle Cuff, Dhs45, amazon.com). Do the workout three times a week along with cardio once or twice a week to see results in as little as 21 days.
Holding the resistance band in your hands, stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and palms facing out. Raise your arms out in front of you slightly above your shoulders, then point your right toe forward at a 45-degree angle. Keeping resistance in both arms, lower your right arm straight down, with minimal bend in the elbow. Then simultaneously move your right arm and right leg back into the starting position. Lower into a squat, and "slowly move arms away from each other, creating resistance in the band, as you sink down," says Gelband. Repeat 12 times, then switch sides.
Start in a plank position with the resistance band around your ankles. Slowly bring your right knee to the outside of your right arm, then back to plank; repeat 12 times. Hold the last one in, do 12 micro pulses in and out, then switch legs. The key to scooping out a flat belly: Move in slow-mo. "When you do this move at 100 miles an hour, which most people do, your brain and body don't connect," he says. "Your body thinks you're going through a crazy motion for no reason, and you don't tap into the real body benefit."
This two-part exercise is the ultimate rear raiser, Gelband says. With the resistance band around your ankles, start on all fours, with your shoulders over your wrists, and knees hip-distance apart. Lift your right leg to a 90-degree angle, with your bent knee pointed downward and toes pointed up. Engage your right butt muscle to lift and lower your right leg up and down just one inch; do 12 reps. Next, turn your right leg to a fire-hydrant position (your foot should be in line with your knee), and flex your foot. Focus on using your right butt muscle to lift and lower your right leg one inch 12 times. Repeat each move, but do the first with a flexed foot and the second with toes pointed; switch sides. The game changer: Think of nothing else but your backside. "Are you really using your butt to lift your leg or are you using your back, legs, and stomach?" asks Gelband.
With the resistance band around your ankles, stand with legs hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent. For each move in this trifecta, slightly lift and lower your pointed toe for 12 reps each. First, place your right foot in front of you at a 45-degree angle, then extend it directly out to the side, and finish by extending it slightly behind you on a diagonal. Switch legs. "Stay focused on engaging your inner thigh the entire time," he says. "These should very small movements — you don't want to swing your leg at all while lifting."
Swapping your standard forward lunge for a sideways angle is the secret to lean legs. "When you see thighs and calves that are blown up, it's because people are using the same major muscles and not creating length and strength in other areas," Gelband says. Stand with feet hip-width apart, then take a step to the right into a side lunge. Use your glutes to slowly drag your right leg back to the starting position. Shift your weight onto your right leg, and bend and lift your left leg to meet your right elbow in a mini side crunch. Do this set 12 times, switch sides, and repeat.
Via Harper's Bazaar US