Alia Bhatt has become a workout fiend in the last couple of years: “I have to push myself to not go to the gym sometimes,” she shared back in 2015. As she works with her longtime trainer and founder of SOHFIT, Sohrab Khushrushahi, Bhatt is on her way to becoming “stronger and fitter”, she shared on Instagram. While her workouts are usually full body ones, there is a special focus on building strength, particularly in the upper body.
“If you tell Alia to get something done, she will get it done, it’s crazy how hard she will work. She is very tough, handles everything. Before we started working together, she had never lifted weights before or done a deadlift. When we started working, she could deadlift 5kg, today she does 70kg. We have constantly worked on her strength,” says Khushrushahi. What works in her favour, he adds, is that Alia has never been shy to try what he asks for and doesn’t avoid using weights for the fear of getting bulky. “It’s a myth that weights will make you bulky. Alia never questioned and worked hard. We focus a lot on the quality of movement as opposed to just speed for the sake of it. It’s a mix of strength training, conditioning work, and building endurance, so I make her run. We look at overall fitness,” says the expert. Her favourite exercises include a deadlift, and anything to do with the back and legs.
Khushrushahi always tries to incorporate new stuff as she is not shy to try, “which makes my life easier,” he says. With the focus always on improving her endurance, unless a script demands a slight change, Bhatt does a lot of body weight exercises such as bear crawls and gorilla hops, which help her tone her whole body, rather than focusing purely on arms. “When I work with men, I make them do all the traditional stuff such as bicep curls, but it is different with women. When you try focusing on the entire body, the arms will build. I haven’t done a bicep curl in three years, but working on entire body means I have biceps. Even deadlifts will work your arms,” says Khushrushahi.
With Bhatt, Khushrushahi also looks at muscle definition sometimes and makes her work on her triceps a bit, with push-ups, close arm push-ups and skull crushers. Rather than picking up weights to do bicep curls, Bhatt instead does pull-ups and chin-ups. “We do the traditional work with biceps and triceps but don’t bring it into a routine every day. There are so many ways to work the arms. We also do lateral pull downs. Anything that you pull and push with, will work your arms,” says the fitness expert. Khushrushahi believes that there is nothing called spot reduction, and when working out, one should work the entire body, have the right kind of food and then you can supplement the arms from time to time. “Alia is a lot better with push-ups now since we started and does toe push-ups.”
Here are 6 ways to improve your arm strength like Alia Bhatt
- “A pull-up or a chin-up works your back and entire body, but it does focus on your arms too. With a chin-up, you have a close arm grip, you are holding closer while you pull yourself up and working through a larger range of motion compared to a bicep curl,” says Khushrushahi.
- If you want to hit your arms more with a push-up, Khushrushahi suggests that you do a diamond push-up. “When you close in your grip, bring arms closer, form a diamond with your hands and it turns to a diamond push up. You can do it on your knees or toes, it’s up to your fitness levels.”
- “Alia does bear crawls and it’s one of my favourites as a foundation movement. As kids, we grow up crawling before we start walking. Get on to your fours, with knees and hips in one line forming a figure four. You walk up and down with slow steps forward and backward. This is a full-body work out—it works your legs, core, lower body, shoulder and triceps as the weight is on hands,” says Khushrushahi.
- Tricep dips, where you balance with your hands on a chair and move up and down are great for your arms too.
- To make your bicep curls a little tougher, Khushrushahi suggests that your do it on an incline bench as opposed to standing. “You can also do it while kneeling down, this takes the body out of the equation. So you are forced to make your arms work by not cheating and using your full body,” he says.
- Skull crushers are great for your triceps. Done lying on floor, put your arms up, extend the elbow and improve your overall strength with it.
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