Victoria’s Secret models undeniably have some of the most beautiful and envied bodies on the planet.
And as they showed off their incredibly toned physiques at the lingerie brand’s annual show in Shanghai last week, you can’t help wonder how they get in such phenomenal shape.
It’s no wonder the gang feel the pressure: The sparkly catwalk extravaganza is the biggest runway event of the year and is watched in over 190 countries, with around 1.4 billion people tuning in.
So how do they achieve those washboard abs and perfectly sculpted thighs – and is it doable for us mere mortals?
You’d imagine it takes a rather depressing diet of just lettuce and lemon water to look that good. But not so according to stunning Elsa Hosk, who insists she loves her food and works out so she can eat whatever she wants.
Do you need a punishing daily military-style fitness regime? Beauty Bella Hadid, reveals that, despite being left with health struggles from contracting Lyme disease, she forced herself to train for three hours a day in the run up to the show – but then indulged in her favourite food – pizza.
Read on to find out more…
The boxing beauty: Bella Hadid
Bella Hadid on the catwalk in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China
While Gigi Hadid didn’t make it to this year’s show, younger sister Bella made a stunning comeback.
After developing Lyme disease, the model had to give up on her dream of becoming an Olympic equestrian and these days the model is more likely found in the gym or a boxing ring.
Generally, Bella strays from strenuous regimens. ‘My body can’t handle aggressive workouts,’ she told The Coveteur.
She vouches that ‘nothing other than boxing and a series of targeted ab workouts’ will give you washboard abs.
But when it comes to the lead up to Victoria’s Secret, she certainly ramps it up.
‘[I’ve been] working out for three hours every day… it’s crazy but I think you know if you set your mind to something, I think you can succeed,’ she told People.
Yet she insists she indulges in a good old cheat meat like the rest of us.
During an off-week last year, the supermodel spoke to Womenswear Daily and admitted, ‘Right now my diet is pizza, so recently that’s all I’ve been eating.’
The resistance band babe: Lais Ribeiro
The 27-year-old supermodel took the runway by storm in this year’s $2 million, 18 karat gold, sapphire, diamond and topaz fantasy bra.
Earning her wings in 2015, the Brazilian beauty returned to steal the show this year, telling The New York Post: ‘I work out three to six days a week and normally around 90 minutes per workout.’
The model is famous for a love of switching up her workouts and took up Pilates earlier this year.
Lais Ribeiro revealed she loves using them to focus on her abs, outer thighs and glutes
But scrolling through the supermodel’s Instagram feed reveals she enjoys bicep curling, cable flying and dancing her way around the fitness studios of New York.
And her secret weapon? Resistance bands. She told the Post she loves using them to focus on her abs, outer thighs and glutes.
‘I typically do three reps of 20, rotating between glute bridges with feet wide, clams with heels together, duck walks, side steps and jack squats.’
Her only kryptonite? ‘I hate cutting out sweets, which I really love.’
The yoga lover: Alessandra Ambrosio
This year was huge for Brazilian model and actress Alessandra – it was her last ever year of walking in the VS show and after 17 years in the biz, the 36-year-old is hanging up her wings.
On this year’s catwalk, the supermodel looked as phenomenal as ever.
She insists a good night’s sleep is essential to stay youthful, and further prep for the runway, the Brazilian beauty doubles her workout regime.
Alessandra Ambrosio likes to do yoga but ahead of the show uses the Tracy Anderson Method
Usually, she likes to do yoga but ahead of the show uses the Tracy Anderson Method – a customized workout programme that promises long, lean muscles and ‘true body happiness’ – to get seriously fit.
When she’s not doing Tracy Anderson’s killer moves the mother of two loves to hike or do yoga. Speaking with W Magazine, she said: ‘Sometimes I feel like I need to do more yoga, and other times I feel I need more toning, which is what Tracy is all about.’
And unless she’s playing volleyball with friends or hiking, the model rarely spends more than an hour and a half working out.
Mixing it up: Elsa Hosk
Gracing the Victoria’s Secret catwalk wearing 275,000 Swarovski crystals, Swedish stunner Elsa Hosk carried the heavy 14-pound bra down the runway with ease.
And as if her modelling skills weren’t impressive enough, her super-toned 5 foot 9 inch frame isn’t just built for strutting down the runway but for seriously slaying at sports too. Before pursuing a career in modelling the star used to be a professional basketballer.
‘I made my dad put up a basket on my street, and I would just practice all day,’ she revealed to The Sun.
Swedish Elsa Hosk used to be a professional basketballer before she became a model
After two years playing pro for Swedish team, the Zero-Eights, the blonde beauty was forced to choose between the sport and modelling.
Nowadays her workouts are a bit more varied. Speaking with Marie Claire she explained: ‘I love boxing, and I try to mix it up as much as I can. Boxing makes you kind of tight, so it’s really good to mix that with barre, Pilates, or something that’ll stretch you out and make you longer.
‘I’m not the person that loves to be in the gym so much. I like to mix it up as much as possible, otherwise, I’ll get bored.’
The ballerina: Lily Aldridge
This year marks the veteran angel’s ninth year in the show. And with that experience comes an understanding of the hardcore exercise regimen that needs to take place pre-show.
Perhaps that’s why the model took her personal trainer all the way to China to make sure she was in tip-top-shape this year.
Lily Aldridge is one of the main celebs championing the power of ballet fitness
‘I work out all year long, I love to be in shape and feel good. We just ramp up the workouts closer to the show,’ the 32-year-old told Vogue Online.
‘I work out with Ballet Beautiful founder Mary Helen Bowers six times a week, sometimes twice a day leading up to the show.’
The Italian-English, Nashville- based supermodel is one of the main celebs championing the power of ballet fitness.
Not a fan of diets: Sara Sampaio
Sara Sampaio says she tries not to over-restrict herself when it comes to diet
After being rejected from the show two years on the trot, Sara walked into the casting and said ‘I’m not going to give you any reason not to book me this year.’
Her determination did the trick and the Portuguese beauty has now been an official Angel since 2013.
And while she worked hard for her incredible figure, she has a healthy attitude when it comes to wellness.
Speaking to The Cut she said: ‘wellness is being happy, feeling good, and not aching. It’s more about feeling good inside and that will come out on the outside.’
For this reason, the 26-year-old explains that while she’s tried a lot of crazy diets in her time that she tries not to over-restrict herself.
‘There’s no worse thing when you want something so bad and you’re like, “I can’t have it, I can’t have it”.
‘I was stressing so much about it that my body was not feeling well. Mentally, you’re not feeling good. If I want to have a little bread for lunch because it makes me happy, I’m good.’
When it comes to fitness, the model is a fan of SLT (strengthen, lengthen and tone) which she’s been doing at the New York SLT Fitness studio for the past year.
According to the star, you take Pilates, make it more intense and then throw in a machine for good measure.
In a video with Vogue Online, she revealed her 24-hour countdown to the show.
This includes a post energy boosting smoothie with strawberries, almond milk, and protein powder.
The chilled out chick: Liu Wen
In 2009, Liu became the first model of Asian descent to walk the VS catwalk and is the only Asian in the top 10 highest paid models of 2017.
And this year she became the first Chinese model to ever appear on the front cover of American Vogue.
Liu Wen credits her stunning figures with doing hot yoga a few times a week
The Youngzhou-born beauty, 29, speaking to The Daily Summer revealed her fitness favourites.
‘I go to SoulCycle and do hot yoga a few times a week, depending on my work schedule. I also stretch daily.’
As for her diet, she prefers to choose ‘light foods, like green salads, and traditional Chinese soups, like pork and wintermelon stew.’
But the star is partial to the odd French fries and ice cream and admits that while she does work out and eat healthily, she’s genetically blessed with a speedy metabolism.
The workout buddy: Jasmine Tookes
Jasmine Tookes says the key to her sticking to a regular fitness regime is exercising first thing in the morning
The 26-year-old LA native frequently shares snapshots of her workout regimes on Instagram.
From deadlifting in a heavy weights session to batting it out on a tennis court, the model is big on her fitness and admits that ahead of the VS shows, she trains seven days a week.
But that doesn’t mean she finds it easy. In an interview with The Cut, she revealed: ‘I try to get up early, work out in the morning, and get it over and done with… If I wait for the evening, it’s not going to happen.’
She keeps a workout kit handy when she’s on the road as it forces her to keep on top of things while she’s away.
’You can do things in your hotel room. I bring my ankle weights so I can do a few butt workouts,’ she says.
‘If I don’t, I lose the momentum and take two to three weeks off.’
Another way the star stays motivated is by roping in her friends. Jasmine and fellow model Josephine Skriver even have a joint Instagram account called JoJa where they share their sickeningly sexy paired workouts and foodie snapshots.
Training at the DogPound boxing gym in New York, the account shows the duo working out on park benches, doing tug of war planks with a resistance band and even squatting one another.
The two of them both lift heavy and fuel themselves for their intensive training. Snacks for the two ladies include a handful of nuts, hummus and pepper as well plates full of broccoli and chicken.