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September 4, 2002

Climb Every Mountain:
Working Out with Christina

Christina knows a thing or two about staying in shape. With a hectic schedule, including lots of aerobic-intensive performances, fitness has to be a top priority. Luckily, the 21-year-old singer loves to work out -- and even has a special passion for boxing.

Of course, Christina gets a little professional help with her fitness regime. She works with Los Angeles-based celebrity fitness trainer Ashley Borden, whose other clients include Sean Hayes of Will & Grace. 'We work on strength exercises,' says Borden. Since Christina doesn't need to lose weight, she uses free weights to build muscle. 'We'll break it up and do two days a week of boxing and then three days a week of strength training,' Borden says.

Christina has always had a great body beneath her eye-popping costumes. Now the 21 year-old performer is more sculpted than ever, thanks to an intense strength-training and cardio program put together by Ashley. Her workout includes kick boxing, weight training, improving endurance and stamina and overall, strength. 'Christina really wanted to increase her muscle tone and stamina in preparation for her upcoming concert tour, as well as to develop a curvier, more muscular physique,' says Ashley.

Ashley's Strategy - Christina's primary concern was adding muscle to help her power through her show's nonstop dance moves. To achieve this, Ashley designed a demanding body-sculpting workout that focused on lifting heavy weights several days a week. The result: shapely arms, lean legs and stamina to spare. 'Christina not only looks great, she also feels stronger,' says Ashley, who trains the singer for 45 minutes five days a week. To increase endurance, Christina also hits a heavy bag and spars with a boxing partner for 40 minutes twice a week.

Session Secret - Multitask during your workouts, 'Christina never wastes a single motion,' says Ashley. 'When we do straight-leg push-ups, for example, she puts both hands on a reebok core board so we simultaneosly work on core and upper-body strength, balance and coordination.'

One big reason for her endurance training - she's readying herself for her first-ever world tour, which would put the pop diva in front of her fans for a staggering 18-month run with over 300 shows. That's a feat that many veteran performers have yet to attempt.

Want in on more secrets of Christina's fitness success? We asked Ashley for sample exercises you can try.

wall sitWall Sit

Stand in front of a sturdy wall, facing away from it. Place a plastic ball in the small of your back and lean so the ball is resting against the wall.

Stand with your legs hip-width apart and keep your feet about an inch in front of the ball. Holding your arms out straight in front of you, slide down, bending at the knees, until your hips are at the same level as your knees. Remember to keep your back against the ball. Hold for as long as you can and then come up, resting your weight on your heels. 'The ball helps you keep your form,' Borden notes. This exercise works your quadriceps and butt muscles. Christina ups the intensity by adding a 20-pound dumbbell, but you don't need the extra weight for this move to be effective.


Find a bench to work with. Place your right foot on the bench - your entire foot, not just the ball. Extend your hip and knee, stand up and place your left leg on the bench. Then step down with your left leg so you return to your original standing position. Exhale as you go up and inhale as you come down. Remember to squeeze your butt muscles during this exercise. Do 15 reps on each side. This will work both your quadriceps and butt muscles. Remember that these exercises are only suggestions. Always consult a fitness professional before beginning any exercise routine.

The Full Workout

After a warm-up, Christina does 3 sets of a heavyweight workout:

• Bench press (3 sets of 12, 8 and 6 reps, increasing weight with each set)
• Slow-motion bicycles on the bench (50 to 60 reps)
• One-arm dumbbell row (3 sets of 12, 8 and 6 reps)
• Step-ups (15 reps)
• Seated leg press (3 sets of 12, 10, 8 and 6 reps)
• Reverse ab curls with medicine ball(30 reps)
• Biceps curls with dumbbells (3 sets of 12, 8 and 6 reps)
• Standing lateral step-outs (15 per leg)
• Weighted triceps dips with weight plate on lap (15 reps)
• Chair squats holding dumbbells (15 to 20 reps)
• Wall squats sliding down wall holding dumbbells (3 sets of 12 to 15 reps)
• Slow ab crunches sitting on balance ball (12 to 15 reps)
• Stretch for 10 minutes, targeting each muscle group that's been worked

- Stacy Morgan for Katrillion, Fitness Magazine
with Al Gomes and A. Michelle

Steve Sollitto's new makeup tips

Interview with stylist Trish Sommerville

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With a hectic schedule, including lots of aerobic-intensive performances, fitness has to be a top priority.

• New site updates

• New photo galleries

• Complete TV appearances

• Magazine appearances

• Polls: Vote for Christina

• The Rumor Mill

• 'Fanorama' - New fan sites and artwork

Site reporters include:
Al Gomes
A. Michelle
Shelly Kearns
Vanessa Avila