1. Be Extremely Mindful of Your Diet
Carrie Underwood isn’t just a country superstar. She’s also a busy mom and devoted wife. As such, she knows the importance of maintaining good health and fitness. But let’s be honest; her career demands that she look top-notch. So how does she balance the exhausting demands of both career and motherhood and have such great legs?
The first rule is to eat clean– most of the time. Underwood overhauled her diet several years ago, which for her meant adopting a vegan diet. That means no meat, dairy, or eggs–no animal products of any kind, though she admitted to Self that she doesn’t do it perfectly.
“Now I’m 95 percent vegan,” she shared. “Sometimes you’re at a birthday party and there’s cake and…you know, you can’t resist.”
However, it is an important note that her diet is as much about her ethics as it is her health. As she explained, “My veganism is based on a concern about where my food is coming from. In my perfect world, I’d have webcams wherever food is processed so I’d know how clean it is.”
“I’ll never eat meat again, because I look and feel better without it, but if I could raise my own cows and chickens and produce my own eggs and cheese, it would be awesome! The food would taste better, because the animals would be happy.”
The main point is that she knows what she is putting in her body and she eats mindfully. In fact, she eats so mindfully she religiously tracks her food intake. She said that she used to food journal, but now she uses an app.
2. Make Your Workouts Work for You
Even with her personal trainers, Underwood still likes to make her own workouts. And she makes them work for her, doing exercises she finds fun. She shared with Self a card game workout that she can take anywhere with her.
“I have a game I love for when I’m working out on my own, without a trainer. Take a deck of cards and assign each suit a body area—say, diamonds for arms, hearts for legs, spades for core and clubs for cardio. I split the deck in half and write down exercises for each suit, a different one for each half.”
“So, if I flip over the six of hearts, I’ll do six squats. If the next card is ace of diamonds, that’s 14 push-ups. Sometimes I’ll make spades boxing and beat the crap out of the bag for however many punches the number on the card says.”
“Having different exercises for each half of the deck keeps me from getting bored. I make sure there’s a joker in each half—that’s a mile run on the treadmill. Then I go through the whole deck. With a 15-minute warm-up on the elliptical, it takes about an hour and a half total, but it’s fun because you’ve designed the workout yourself.”
Even if you don’t have a full 90-minutes to work out, you can still do part of this workout and get results. Or do a different type of workout. In an interview with Life & Style Magazine, she shared that her favorite workout is Tabata, which is short bursts of high-intensity intervals followed by equally short rest periods. She explained that the whole thing only takes her about 30 minutes and “it really revs up my metabolism.”
She also said that she goes hiking and or boxes. Or she works out with her husband. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is the consistency–which she achieves because she makes her workouts work for her.
3. Mix it Up
If you want defined, sexy legs, you have to put in the right kind of work. Underwood definitely does lower body weight routines, but she also is sure to mix in cardio. And she does even more cardio when she’s getting red-carpet ready.
“I do more cardio and fewer weights than usual,” she explained to Self about her pre-event workouts. “Although strength training is important, I don’t want to look too muscular on the red carpet. On the morning of this shoot, for instance, if I’d done weights, my muscles would be puffy and I’d have felt bigger all day.”
4. Enlist a Professional
Great legs don’t happen by accident. Underwood enjoys creating her workouts, but she also has personal trainers. Though this option can be expensive, it can also help you figure out what moves are right for your body–and how to correctly perform them. For example, Underwood shared one of her training sessions with Glamour, which included squats, lunges, step-ups, and plyometrics.
But those exercises might not work for you, especially if you have injuries or specific needs. Asking a professional can be well worth the money, particularly for beginners.
5. If All Else Fails, Camouflage
Despite the fact that her legs are perfectly sculpted, Underwood still uses tricks of the trade for added enhancement. If you look closely at the photo, you’ll notice how glossy her skin is. The sheen adds to the definition and also helps to hide any imperfections by reflecting the light.
One beauty writer recommended something as simple as coconut oil (which is also a great natural moisturizer) to get this kind of not-too-greasy gleam. There are also drugstore products that are designed for the look, such as Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. You can get a version with some bronzer in it if you also want to add some color. If you’re uncertain, a trip to Sephora or Ulta can give you great recommendations.
Carrie Underwood didn’t get great legs without work. But her formula isn’t anything crazy complicated. Eat clean and eat mindfully. Track your food intake. Engage in workouts you will enjoy, and mix it up. Make sure you’re being safe and effective. And don’t be afraid to add a little beauty enhancement.
Even without Underwood genetics, great legs are achievable. And the end result is certainly worth every ounce of sweat.