1, 2 Step to looking like Ciara

1, 2 Step to looking like Ciara

“When you treat your body well, it will treat you well. Treat it badly, and you’ll feel what happens,” says the R&B songstress, Ciara.

Whether she’s dancing in videos like her hit single “Goodies” or stepping out in a cropped top, Ciara is abs-olutely in shape and it shows. Her secret? Workouts three to five days a week (at least 20 minutes of cardio per session, and intense squats and lunges), on top of touring and dance rehearsals. To get your body looking like Ciara’s, an energizing fitness routine combined with a realistic and guilt-free attitude toward food is the key.

Here’s how she got her body into show-off shape:

Start small!
The littlest changes to your daily routine can make a difference when you are making a conscious effort to tone up and get in shape. Everything from walking to work, to taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can help you see results.

Fuel up
While you don’t want to stuff yourself before exercise, you do want to make sure you have enough in your system so that you aren’t too weak to give it your all. Low-fat, high-carbohydrate snacks such as bananas, nuts or wheat bread are a good way to get your body workout-ready.

It’s all in the water
Stars like Ciara and her BFF Kim Kardashian have all spoken out about the importance of drinking lots of water and fluids. To get in shape the right way, make sure to introduce at least 6 glasses of water to your daily routine.

Pay attention to your tummy
Ciara says one of the ways she keeps her tummy tight is by “keeping my stomach squeezed in throughout the day.” The old trick of tightening your stomach muscles during the day helps to not only tone your stomach muscles, but also improves posture and keeps your mind focused on a flatter belly.

Fitness experts, as well as Ciara herself, often suggest eating 5-6 mini-meals throughout the day to help boost your metabolism. Try a menu like a whole grain waffle and fruit for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, baked chicken with broccoli for dinner and small snacks of crackers, fruit and yogurt in between.

Run, girl, run!
Cardio is the triple threat that will help you lose weight, tone and stay healthy. If you’re anti-treadmill, try going for a run with your dog, or imitating Ciara’s dance moves. By incorporating 30-45 minutes of cardio into your routine 3-5 days a week, you’ll look better, feel better, and even sleep better.

Crunch time
Ciara’s abs (and the way she moves them!) are simply mesmerizing in the “Ride” video. There are a ton of ab exercises out there, but the classic crunch can be done anytime, anywhere. For added toning of love handles, cross and raise your legs in the air, and then alternate reps on each side (crunch to the left, crunch to the right).

Push it, push it real good
Fortunately, you don’t need expensive machinery or weights to get toned arms like Ciara’s–the good ol’ fashioned push-up will do just fine! If the regular push-up feels too much for you, make it a little easier by crossing your legs.