Alexina Graham is Victoria’s Secret first-ever British Angel, a skincare aficionado, and enjoys grinding hard at the gym. She admits, however, that she’s addicted to chocolate. Her trainer, Joe Holder, who counts supermodel Naomi Campbell, designer Virgil Abloh, and emerging model Roosmarijn de Kok as clients, is back with another motivational fitness routine. This time he’s focused on boxing, which is the ultimate cardio workout that engages both your upper and lower body. Here, Graham and Holder share everything it takes to box like a professional, from warming up your body properly to hitting with a powerful punch.
Banded Knee Drives:
“No matter what the workout is, you just want to get the athlete kinda primed up no matter what they’ve been doing all day. So in the beginning, just really have them focused on their breath,” Holder says. To do this, he helps “control her body through full joint ranges” to warm up properly.
Single Arm Raises:
Holder explains that the shoulder complex is super important for models, so warming those muscles up is key. “Extend that arm up and you’re gonna lift, then I want you to drive that elbow down back towards the hip,” he says.
Pro Tip: Engage your back as you drive down.
“I’ve been working with Alexina for a few years, where we kinda discovered we got her using better control through her end joint ranges, she just gets more efficient at complex movements,” Holder says. “And those areas that are kinda harder to hit naturally, kinda just catch up.”
Pro Tip: Focus on engaging glutes as you drive up.
“As you keep kinda complexing from going down from the ground up to standing, everything kinda gets the abs, the core, the whole unit gets a bit integrated a bit more,” he says of this ab workout. “This is a simple way to get her in tune with her body as she keeps it moving, ’cause then when you really get it going, you get aggressive, you get with those more complex exercises, I want her to think less, move more, and know that her body is ready and prime where she can really cook up.
Pro Tip: Focus on stability.
Swiss Ball Plank Saw
To get her core warmed up, Holder has her do a pushup on the Swiss ball. “The more control, of course, the better the movement looks but it’s harder than it seems. You don’t want those hips to sag, you basically, have a plank variation on this that incorporates your legs a bit more,” he says.
Pro Tip: Press through forearms to drive up.
The duo also incorporates bridge work with the exercise ball in this move. However, the focus is on her abs to prevent Graham from injuring her back. After hinging through to make a bridge, “she’s gonna drive up, hinging back, driving through those feet, squeezing through,” Holder says. “Her core still has to work, which at the end of the day, it ends up taking unnecessary pressure off her back and getting her used to be able to come natural.”
Pro Tip: Keep your feet grounded. As you drive up, engage your core and glutes.
To intensify the exercise, they add free weights, which helps to “overload” one side of her body. “That gets her core engaged a little bit more, as does this ball, it adds in a little bit of instability. Again, she’s really driving through,” Holder says.
Elevated Renegade Row
Holder dubs this move “a push-up plus” where you push through the block. “This activates certain aspects of her shoulder and her back. She’s gonna step her hand off that block and grab this weight, she’s gonna give me a row, and then we’re going to alternate this out,” he says.
Pro-Tip: Keep your hips square as you row the weight back.
Standing Banded Rotation
“Give me a strong shuffle, integrating those hips into actual core work, as you go through,” he says of this full-body move.
Pro-Tip: Use your feet and hips to complete this motion.
Med Ball Toss:
“So now we’re going to put it all together for max power work where she still uses those hips and core and let her rip through,” Holder says. He notes that when you’re boxing you need to use your entire body to create power.
Pro-Tip: Think max power here.
Graham loves boxing, and shows off her killer left jab while churning out a few other combinations.