Sofía Vergara kicked her week off by slaying a lower-body sweat session. The actress shared a snippet of her recent workout on Instagram, captioning the clip: “Monday torture!” Yeah, her vibe is seriously relatable.
The Modern Family alum hit the gym and showed off a trio of leg moves, looking every inch the fire emoji in a fierce matching red outfit. The workout clothes appear to be from her Walmart activewear line based on the caption of her post, in which she tagged the store.
In the video set to the sounds of Bad Bunny, the 50-year-old tackles three moves: straight-leg banded donkey kicks on a bench, along with side-lying banded leg raises and downward-dog leg raises on a mat. The trifecta “can help improve flexibility and range of motion of the hips, while also strengthening key core and hip muscles,” NASM-certified personal trainer Susane Pata, C.P.T., who saw the recent post, tells Shape.
First, Vergara does straight-leg donkey kicks, lifting and lowering her left leg while her arms and right knee support her on a bench. She ups the ante further by adding a resistance band around her thighs. “This exercise increases stabilization strength in the core while activating glute and hamstring muscles,” says Pata.
The band adds extra challenge to the kneeling leg. “The moving leg works against the band’s resistance, heavily recruiting the gluteus maximus (aka the largest muscle in the body), among others.” By doing the dynamic move on a bench, Vergara is also able to increase her range of motion, making the muscle groups work harder, adds the trainer.
Next, Vergara is on a mat (with the band still at her thighs) for some side-lying leg raises. She lifts and lowers her right leg while lying down on her left side, her head propped up by her left hand. The move works the side muscles of the core, hips, glutes, and legs, according to Pata.
Although side-lying leg raises and straight-leg donkey kicks are both dynamic exercises, this move activates the gluteus medius a little more. “It is very important to strengthen the smaller glute muscles so they can support stronger and safer loaded movements [such as] the deadlift, squat, and lunge,” says Pata.
Lastly, Vergara gets into a downward-facing dog with both hands on a mat and her hips lifted as she balances on her left foot for some single-leg raises, lifting and lowering her right leg. This exercise “activates the upper body while working the core, hips, glutes, and legs, similar to the first exercise, while also creating a different full-body challenge,” says Pata.
Overall, Vergara “is doing a great job in her form and technique” throughout all three moves, according to Pata. “She keeps her hips square and does not under- or over-kick, which helps keep her core engaged and activates her hip and glute muscles more effectively,” she adds.
Working the glutes is important for a few reasons. “The glute muscles are notorious for being ‘sleepy,’ letting other muscles kick in and do extra work to pick up the slack in bigger body movements, like squats, lunges, and deadlifts,” says Pata. By waking up the glutes, you’ll more effectively engage the muscles during other exercises. “Stronger glutes can also improve posture and help increase performance when doing trickier workout moves, [such as] jumps or more complex combination movements, without getting hurt,” she adds.
Pata gives props to the America’s Got Talent judge for working one side of her body at a time too. This can help address any “imbalances in strength,” especially if one particular side is weaker. “Correcting these imbalances helps prevent future injury,” says Pata. (See: What Is Unilateral Training and Why Is It Important?)
If you’re feeling inspired by Vergara to work your booty, you can start slow depending on your experience level. Beginners should start by doing these lower-body exercises with bodyweight only. Then, once you’re advanced enough to kick things up a notch, you might consider sliding on a resistance band for an added challenge, suggests Pata.