Home / Royal Mail / As royal watchers go wild for Meghan Markle’s very toned arms at Miami polo match, how Duchess uses Pilates, yoga and boxing to achieve a very sculpted look

As royal watchers go wild for Meghan Markle’s very toned arms at Miami polo match, how Duchess uses Pilates, yoga and boxing to achieve a very sculpted look

Meghan Markle is no stranger to the spotlight – and she commanded it once again as she and Prince Harry attended a polo championship in Miami yesterday afternoon.

The Duchess of Sussex, 42, embodied California chic in a $812 (£650) dress from local designer Heidi Merrick and a £2,650 Maison Valentino bag as she attended the Royal Salute Polo Challenge on Friday.

The One Stud White Leather Crossbody Bag is a favourite of Meghan’s who has worn it several times before, but it wasn’t her elegant silk gown that caught the attention of royal watchers.

It was one particular asset that got people talking on social media – her incredibly toned arms. One social media user said: ‘My god, she has the most fabulous arms and shoulders, this dress is perfect for her.’

Another said simply: ‘Meghan’s arms and shoulders?!!!!! GUYS?!’

Meghan Markle is no stranger to the spotlight – and she commanded it once again as she and Prince Harry attended a polo championship in Miami yesterday afternoon

Though her toned physique may have grabbed attention, obtaining this sculpted look wasn’t necessarily a straight forward process for the Duchess of Sussex. 

The mother-of-two has advocated boxing, yoga, hiking and full-body workouts.

Are they the answer? Just what what sort of regime does it take to look like that? 

Alexander Legezynski, founder of West London Personal Training, says achieving toned shoulders and arms comes down to one simple factor: the volume of lean muscle relative to the volume of fat. 

He said that the best way to maintain lean muscle in arms is through resistance training: ‘The resistance can come from weights, bands or your bodyweight. As long as the muscle is being challenged, it works. 

‘Meghan regularly practices Pilates and yoga, which achieve the same result.’

‘Resistance training creates lean muscle. Muscle takes energy to maintain, which increases your base metabolism and helps to burn fat throughout the day.’

He explained that, apart from building lean muscle, the other important step is  managing fat levels so that the toning is visible, making a healthy diet essential.

The Duchess of Sussex , 42, embodied California chic in a $812 (£650) dress from local designer Heidi Merrick and a £2,650 Maison Valentino bag as she attended the Royal Salute Polo Challenge on Friday

The Duchess of Sussex , 42, embodied California chic in a $812 (£650) dress from local designer Heidi Merrick and a £2,650 Maison Valentino bag as she attended the Royal Salute Polo Challenge on Friday

The One Stud White Leather Crossbody Bag is a favourite of Meghan's who has worn it several times before, but it wasn't her elegant silk gown that caught the attention of royal watchers

The One Stud White Leather Crossbody Bag is a favourite of Meghan’s who has worn it several times before, but it wasn’t her elegant silk gown that caught the attention of royal watchers

Alexander suggested the best way to start is by checking your BMI to see whether or not you’re in a ‘healthy’ range

‘Not everyone has to take the same steps. Some people will need to eat less, others the same, and some will need to eat more.

‘Meghan has previously said that she eats a lot of fish and vegetables. Fish, in particular, offers lean protein to support muscle with hardly any fat.’

Another leading fitness trainer, Courtney Black, has created an exclusive workout routine for the Royals section to help you get toned arms and shoulders.

Though her toned physique may have grabbed attention, obtaining this sculpted look wasn't necessarily a straight forward process for the Duchess of Sussex

Though her toned physique may have grabbed attention, obtaining this sculpted look wasn’t necessarily a straight forward process for the Duchess of Sussex

Fitness experts have shared their tips on what exercises are best to get a body like Meghan's

Fitness experts have shared their tips on what exercises are best to get a body like Meghan’s

Want to get toned like the duchess? Look no further. Follow these simple tips for workouts recommended by fitness experts Alexander and Courtney

Want to get toned like the duchess? Look no further. Follow these simple tips for workouts recommended by fitness experts Alexander and Courtney

Courtney says: ‘When you see yourself getting stronger, when you feel those muscles working, it’s a boost to your confidence that carries over into all aspects of your life. It’s not just about looking great; it’s about feeling great, inside and out.’

As seen in our graphics above, the trainer recommends incorporating press ups, dumbbell bicep curls and bench inclines presses into your workout

It will take you just 20 minutes, and if you’ve got the equipment, the workout can also be done at home. Here’s everything you’ll need, and the full workout breakdown:

Follow our 20-minute-workout to get shoulders like Meghan:

Equipment needed:

  • 1 x barbell (15 or 20kg, depending on availability of equipment and/or your fitness level)
  • 1 x bench (or chair)
  • 1 x pair of dumbbells (4-8kg, depending on your fitness level)

The formula: 2-min warm-up + 1 round of circuit 1 (1 min on, 30 secs rest per exercise) + 1 round of circuit 2 (20 secs on, 5 secs rest per exercise) + 2 min cool-down.

Warm-up:

  • Arm circles, 30 secs
  • Walk-outs, 30 secs
  • Upward-facing dog to downward-facing dog, 30 secs
  • Wall ball slams, 30 secs

Workout:

Circuit 1:

Perform each of the following exercises once through for 1 min each, with 30 secs rest between each exercise.

  • Press-ups
  • Bicep curl to shoulder press (with dumbbells)
  • Barbell bent-over rows
  • Bench incline chest press with a pulse
  • Bench narrow chest press into chest flys
  • Renegade rows with narrow press-ups
  • Lateral raises with hammer curl
  • Dumbbell bent-over rows (alternating)
  • Seated dumbbell overhead triceps extensions
  • Walk-outs with press-ups

Circuit 2:

Perform each of the following exercises once through for 20 secs each, with 5 secs rest between each exercise.

  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers
  • Woodchops
  • Star jumps
  • Burpee mountain climbers
  • Scissor lunges with punches

Cool-down:

  • Cobra stretch, 30 secs
  • Lower back stretch, 30 secs
  • Thread-the-needle stretch, 30 secs (left)
  • Thread-the-needle stretch, 30 secs (right)
The Duchess of Sussex has achieved perfectly toned arms thanks in part to her fitness routine

The Duchess of Sussex has achieved perfectly toned arms thanks in part to her fitness routine

Meghan’s favourite exercises reportedly include: 

Boxing 

Celebrity personal trainer and Spanish National Kickboxing Champion Jorge Blanco, who previously coached the former actress, told Vanity Fair: ‘I trained Meghan when she was in Toronto during the shooting of the series Suits. 

‘We did a little bit of martial arts, a little boxing, and sometimes kickboxing.’

Is boxing one of the secrets to the Duchess's strong physique?

Is boxing one of the secrets to the Duchess’s strong physique?

The Duchess of Sussex pictured at the Dusseldorf Invictus Games this year

The Duchess of Sussex pictured at the Dusseldorf Invictus Games this year

Boxing burns calories and promotes toning. Training gloves alone weigh 16oz, so just keeping your hands up becomes a shoulder workout. 

Fitness expert Alexander added: ‘The act of punching burns calories, which helps to manage overall fat levels. 

‘It will also condition you to perform better across all your other training activities, and the intensity can trigger a short-term increase in metabolism known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).

Yoga

Speaking to Best magazine, Meghan said. ‘Yoga is my thing. My mom is a yoga instructor, and I started doing mommy-and-me yoga with her when I was seven. 

‘I was very resistant as a kid, but she said, ‘Flower, you will find your practice – just give it time.’ In college, I started doing it more regularly.’ 

She added: ‘There are so many benefits that come with the practice of yoga… increased flexibility and muscle strength, greater happiness, increased mental focus, a greater ability to relax, decreased anxiety and better sleep.’

Her yoga exercises featured in a a clip from her the Netflix docuseries she made with Harry.  

The snippet showed Meghan sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat, wearing dark leggings and a black t-shirt, as she went through one of her routines.

Full Body Workouts 

Meghan’s former personal trainer of three years, Craig McNamee has spoken about what it takes  to get such an impressive look.

Speaking to Women’s Health the founder of Catalyst Health in Toronto revealed that he took a ‘full-body’ approach to Meghan’s workouts.

McNamee made sure Meghan focused on exercises that worked her glutes, back and hamstrings as well as her arms and shoulders

McNamee made sure Meghan focused on exercises that worked her glutes, back and hamstrings as well as her arms and shoulders

McNamee worked as Meghan's trainer for three years and the pair would work on a 45-minute 'full body' routine 3-4 times a week

McNamee worked as Meghan’s trainer for three years and the pair would work on a 45-minute ‘full body’ routine 3-4 times a week

He explained that the actress would undertake 45 minute sessions three to four times week beginning with a cardio warm-up, moving on to stretching followed by a circuit concentrating on her posture ‘since she was on-screen’.

McNamee made sure Meghan focused on exercises that worked her glutes, back and hamstrings as well as core workouts focusing on the abs, back, obliques, pelvic floor.

Lagree

She is also a huge fan of the celebrity loved Lagree fitness class, according to its founder Sebastein Lagree.

The class sees participants use a machine called a ‘megaformer bed’ – originally adapted from a Pilates reformer bed – as well as weights and perform a series of slow, multi-targeting exercises. 

‘I suspect Meghan does it about three times a week,’ he said. ‘She looks like she’s very committed and I recommend two or three times a week.

She has been to Studio Lagree in London, he said, and went to Power Pilates in LA. 

‘Women love it because it’s a graceful way to weight train.

‘You don’t bulk up; it’s about strengthening and tightening and sculpting your body.’

French-born Sebastien Lagree says he suspected Meghan does one of his workouts 'about three times a week'

French-born Sebastien Lagree says he suspected Meghan does one of his workouts ‘about three times a week’ 

'It is hands down the best thing you could do for your body,' the American former actress said of the Lagree workout. She is pictured here in her days with the Deal or No Deal TV show

‘It is hands down the best thing you could do for your body,’ the American former actress said of the Lagree workout. She is pictured here in her days with the Deal or No Deal TV show

Sebastien, who’s been dubbed a ‘torturer to the stars’, said he didn’t know Meghan was a fan of his workouts until she told Women’s Health UK about it in 2017.

‘It is hands down the best thing you could do for your body,’ the American former actress said at the time.

‘You keep coming back for several reasons: first off, your body changes immediately… give it two classes and you will see a difference; the people in class are cool, unpretentious, and motivating.’

‘I found out with the rest of the world and it sent such a buzz around the Lagree community!’ Sebastien told MailOnline back in 2019.

‘I had people coming up to me saying they want to look like Meghan.

‘Meghan said you only need to go to the class a couple of times to see a difference, and I think that’s part of the appeal.’

Running

Pictured the first time since the May 6 Coronation, Meghan was dressed in a black athletic ensemble along with a khaki jacket

Pictured the first time since the May 6 Coronation, Meghan was dressed in a black athletic ensemble along with a khaki jacket

While the former actress claims to enjoy running less since the sport has become harder on her knees in recent years, she told Best Health – it used to be a regular part of her workout routine.

‘I used to run all the time, but I typically get picked up for work at 4:15 in the morning on a Monday, so there isn’t much time for jogging and I would rather have that extra hour of sleep,’ she told the magazine, detailing her former days on the television series Suits.

Although Meghan doesn’t run anymore, the Duchess still enjoys a long hike around the Californian hills near their $14million Montecito mansion.


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