CARRIE Underwood’s killer body isn’t a coincidence – she works seriously hard with trainer Eve Overland.
The American singer-songwriter, who is 39 years old, is known for her belting voice and being the world-leading female country artist.
Adding yet another trophy to her collection at this month’s Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards on March 7, Carrie showed off her incredible figure on the red carpet.
Wearing a tiny mini-dress, and holding her gong for Single of the Year, Carrie’s seriously toned arms and endlessly long and carved legs turned heads.
Carrie’s trainer, Eve, says the star “loves to push her body”.
She told Shape that the pair work on so-called “vanity muscles” – “muscle groups that pop and are show-stopping when she is on stage performing or on the red carpet”, such as the shoulders and biceps.
Eve also revealed that Carrie does weight training exercises to build strength, and works on her mobility.
After working together for over a decade, Eve has fine-tuned the best workout routine for Carrie’s sculpted upper body.
Eve said: “Carrie has always been celebrated for her noteworthy legs.
“But as her trainer (and friend) I get so much joy when people notice how sculpted and strong her arms are as well. She is the complete package.”
To the delight of fans, Eve has shared Carrie’s typical workout when focused on the upper body.
It consists of supersets – two exercises back-to-back that target the same muscle group to cause fatigue, with rest in between. Trisets use the same method, but three exercises.
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Carrie, a mum-of-two who has just released new single Ghost Story, performs two or three rounds of each superset or triset.
If you’re new to exercise, Eve said to use light weight, decrease the number of reps or sets.
It’s always better to perform exercises safely so that you can focus on form and prevent injury.
Carrie has also been a vegetarian for years and says she always eats “real food”, including plenty of fruit and veg.
It’s a healthy diet and determination to squeeze workouts into a hectic schedule (and a home gym helps with that!) that’s allowed Carrie to stay in shape.
Carrie’s upper body workout
Shape magazine describes Carrie’s upper body workout from her trainer, Eve, as follows:
Perform each exercise for the indicated number of reps – pull ups, followed by dumbbell reverse-grip bent-over row, then renegade row – with the rest amount between exercises. Do three rounds.
A. Stand directly below a pull-up bar.
B. Reach arms overhead and grab the bar with an overhand grip so that hands are slightly further than shoulder-width apart and palms are facing away from body. Focus on breath, pull belly button toward spine to engage core, keeping shoulders back and down.
C. Pull elbows down and back, using arms to lift off feet off the floor. Continue to pull upper body upward until chin is over the bar.
D. Avoid swinging or swaying body and keep shoulder blades back and down; lower with control.
REPS: 5 reps, rest 30 seconds.
Dumbbell reverse-grip bent-over row
A. With bent knees and back hinged forward and straight (but not arched), hold one dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip (palms facing up).
B. With elbows tucked firmly by side, lift dumbbells at a 45-degree angle. Pause at top to squeeze shoulder blades together.
C. Lower dumbbells at a 45-degree angle while maintaining control.
REPS: 10-12 reps, rest 30 seconds.
A. In push-up position with dumbells in both hands.
B. Engage core and upper body and raise left elbow straight toward ceiling, pulling dumbell up by side of torso.
C. Slowly lower (avoid slamming weight down on the ground) to starting position. Repeat on opposite side to complete one rep.
REPS: 10 reps (right and left is one rep), rest 60 seconds.
Perform each exercise for the indicated number of reps – alternating floor press, push-up with shoulder tap then bench dips – with the rest amount between exercises. Do three rounds.
Alternating floor press
A. Lie flat on back with dumbbells on either side of body.
B. Grip dumbells so that palms face toward body. Raise both dumbells straight up above chest, rotating wrist so that palms now face forward.
C. Keep one dumbell raised and slowly lower the other dumbell, rotating wrist so that palm faces toward body and elbow is just above the floor.
D. Raise dumbell back up above chest, rotating wrist so palm faces forward. Alternate and repeat on other side.
REPS: 10-12 reps (right and left is one rep), rest 30 seconds.
Push-up with shoulder tap
A. In a high plank position with wrists under shoulders and feet hip-width apart, brace abs and bend elbows to slowly lower chest toward ground. (Elbows should point behind body.)
B. Once chest grazes floor, push back up to starting position.
C. Tap each hand to its opposite shoulder before lowering back to the ground in another push-up.
REPS: Do as many reps as possible for 30 seconds, rest 10 seconds.
A. Begin in an upright seated position on a bench with hands next to thighs. Walk feet out about 6 inches and extend legs, keeping butt off the bench and arms extended straight.
B. Hinge at elbows and lower body until arms make a 90-degree angle.
C. Push back up through palms to return to bench level.
Do as many reps as possible for 30 seconds, rest 60 seconds.
Perform each exercise for the indicated number of reps – dumbbell push press, dumbbell shoulder to shoulder press then dive bomber – with the rest amount between exercises. Do three rounds.
Dumbbell push press
A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft, and core engaged. Hold a dumbell in each hand at shoulder height, just outside of shoulders with palms facing forward and elbows pointing down.
B. Simultaneously lower into a squat and lift both dumbbells directly upward, keeping feet firmly planted on the floor.
C. Press through feet to stand back up while simultaneously lowering weights to shoulder level. That’s one rep. (See also: 10 Ways to Do Squats with Weights)
REPS: 10-12 reps, rest 30 seconds.
Dumbbell shoulder to shoulder press
A. Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, hold a single dumbbell with both hands and perch it on one shoulder with elbows pointing downward.
B. Extend arms and push dumbell up and overhead.
C. Bend elbows and slowly lower weight to opposite shoulder.
REPS: 10-12 reps, rest 10 seconds.
A. Start on all fours with knees underneath hips, feet hip-width distance apart, and hands shoulder-width distance apart.
B. Pike hips so that body forms an inverted V, keeping back flat, shoulders down, and toes flexed. Knees should remain unlocked.
C. Keeping legs straight, lower hips and bend arms so that chest nearly grazes the floor as it glides in between hands.
D. Curve back and straighten arms, so that face looks forward and hips hover just above floor. Reverse direction, pushing hips back up into an inverted V.
REPS: 10 reps, rest 60 seconds.
Perform each exercise for the indicated number of reps – overhead triceps extension, resistance band wide bicep curl and dumbbell uppercut – with the rest amount between exercises. Do two rounds.
Overhead triceps extension
A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbells in front of body at chest level.
B. Raise the dumbbells above head until arms are stretched out straight.
C. Slowly lower weights back behind head parallel to the floor without moving upper arms or flaring elbows out.
REPS: 12 reps, rest 10 seconds.
Resistance band wide bicep curl
A. Place feet shoulder-wdith distance apart in the middle of a resistance band. Hold the ends of the band in both hands around hip-level; make sure thumbs point outward.
B. With hands shoulder-width apart, curl up, keeping elbows close to the side of body while resisting resist against the pull of the band.
C. Lower arms to starting position. That’s one rep.
Do 12 reps, rest 60 seconds.
A. Hold two dumbbells at shoulder height with an underhand grip, standing with feet shoulder-width apart.
B. Using a “fighting stance,” punch upwards with one arm and pivot on the same foot. Make sure to engage core as well as upper- and lower-body.
C. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side.
AMRAP (as many reps as possible) 30 seconds, rest 60 seconds.
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