So where on earth did 2020 go? Well, for the vast majority of us we have only to look at the girth of our midriff to answer that question.
This, after all, was the year of the box-set, the couch and the family-sized bag of crisps we had no intention of sharing.
Not for Halle Berry, however. While the world retreated indoors to bake banana bread and slouch around in elasticated waists, the 54-year-old Oscar-winner has spent the past nine months skipping, boxing, hanging from dangerous-looking contraptions… and never missing an opportunity to show off the results of her hard work — that amazing body — to her 6.7 million followers on Instagram.
While the world retreated indoors to bake banana bread and slouch around in elasticated waists, Halle Berry, the 54-year-old Oscar-winner, has spent the past nine months skipping, boxing and hanging from dangerous-looking contraptions
WHY BERRY’S BOXING CLEVER
Halle has had boxing gloves hanging in her wardrobe for the past ten years, and has been working out ‘regularly’ with them for more than three. ‘I love that I always learn a new way to challenge myself and work new muscles,’ she says.
That must come in handy when dealing with the pressure of having all those ex-husbands and partners.
Twice divorced and separated from her third husband, the mother-of-two must have baggage that would make most women want to punch something hard.
Halle Berry has been working out with boxing gloves for more than three years
SETTING THE BAR HIGH
To achieve those impressive abdominal muscles, Halle often teams up with celebrity personal trainer Peter Lee Thomas, himself the owner of a six-pack that could take a direct hit from an InterCity.
On this occasion, in early April, he’s making novel use of a couple of redundant bar stools — the object being not to sit on one and drink until you topple off, but to balance between two, using your core and upper body strength for support, while crunching your legs to your stomach in a cycling motion. That’s where we’ve been going wrong…
On this occasion, in early April, celebrity personal trainer Peter Lee Thomas is making novel use of a couple of redundant bar stools
CLEVER WITH THE DUMBELLS
Come mid-April, with gyms everywhere closed down during lockdown, it was all about the home workout.
Halle kept the world’s spirits up with her #FitnessFriday bulletins, which included tasteful, edgy shots of her wielding a set of dumbbells and sharing her tips. She is said to work out every day, for at least an hour-and-a-half.
The message? I’m not about to hit the couch, or develop middle-age spread, any time soon.
LAP THAT DEFIES GRAVITY
Berry’s workouts emphasise explosive, dynamic movements, such as bounds and jumps known as ‘plyometric training’.
This athletic type of exercise is said to ‘recruit fast-twitch muscle fibres’ — or, in plain English, using the speed and force of different movements to build muscle power. In this optical illusion, posted to Instagram in May, personal trainer Peter and Halle appear to be suspended in mid-air, while holding on to a window frame, when in fact they are leaping in the air, while gripping a very long elastic loop, known as a resistance band. As you do.
AND THE GLOVES ARE ON
Halle’s film Bruised, in which she plays a martial arts fighter — was released in September, and it was a role she was more than prepared for. Nevertheless, she was keen to show off how she’d got the six-pack she’d wanted for the film. ‘It was pretty much full force the whole time, so she hasn’t really had a day off in a couple of years, other than maybe a little bit of holiday downtime,’ says trainer Peter, adding that Halle has the athleticism of someone half her age.
A HEALTHY MIND AND BODY
‘It’s OK not to be OK right now,’ wrote Halle in early June, alongside a picture of her meditating.
‘I’ve been meditating for almost 20 years now. I typically like to do it first thing in the morning — sometimes for ten minutes, sometimes for an hour, so that I can start my day from a really grounded place (and because that’s my alone time now that I have kids).’
STRETCH THAT IS WHEELY HARD WORK
Halle takes to the garden in mid-June to show off some serious moves with a yoga wheel. This contraption is designed to help with stretches, and to give the spine a good massage as you roll yourself over it (and get some great pictures for Instagram, too). Halle wrote: ‘It helps manage my stress levels and releases the negative energy that can take over when I feel overwhelmed.’
As well as packing a serious punch in the boxing ring, Halle has a graceful side. Here she is in July showing off a ‘dancer’s yoga pose’ using a full-body resistance loop, a move which may look casual, but requires impressive balance and core strength.
Here she is in July showing off a ‘dancer’s yoga pose’ using a full-body resistance loop
BOOTY AND THE BEACH
Here she is, back at the beach at the end of July, with her trusty trainer and resistance band. This time it’s a ‘booty band’ which she’s wrapped around her thighs to make squats that bit harder and to ‘take her booty to the next level’.
Halle Berry at the beach at the end of July with her trusted trainer and resistance bands
So it’s August 14 and your 54th birthday, what do you have planned? A Zoom call with the family, with a bottle of something chilled? Or a spin around the block on a skateboard, dressed only in your pants and a T-shirt? No prizes for guessing what Halle opted for…
THE TONED ARMS RACE
No Bingo wings here. In October, Halle reveals her three-move workout using special wrist weights to keep her arms lean and toned.
DON’T TRY THIS AFTER TOO MUCH XMAS PUD
Who needs a holiday from the gym in December? Instead, take one yoga studio, a giant yoga ball — and an awful lot of upper-body strength and bottle — and you, too, could create this yoga handstand pose, designed to work the abdominal muscles and shoulders.
Tip: Don’t fall on your nose. That doesn’t look so cool, or pretty. So never try after indulging in too many festive treats.
The yoga handstand pose is designed to work the abdominal muscles and shoulders