Former Cheerleader Kelly Ripa Stays Fit With This Intense Workout Routine

It’s no secret that Kelly Ripa is into fitness. The Live With Kelly and Ryan co-host, mom of three, and former cheerleader maintains her physique through an intense workout regime. What exactly does she do to stay in tip-top physical health at 49 years old?

Kelly Ripa was a cheerleader in high school

Kelly Ripa in New York City
Kelly Ripa is seen on June 17, 2019 in New York City | gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Before the actress found superstardom on the daytime soap drama, All My Children, Ripa practiced her split jump as a cheerleader at Eastern Regional High School in New Jersey.

Ripa, who grew up in southern Jersey, seemed to love performing from a young age. The physical sport of cheerleading mixed with a knack for entertaining led Ripa towards the limelight.

Her drama teacher, Jim Beckley, eventually encouraged Ripa to trade in her pom-poms for scripts, helping her realize she was meant for big things. The rest, as they say, is history.

Ripa isn’t afraid to try unique workouts

That cheerleading background didn’t stem from nowhere. She’s been practicing the art of ballet since the age of three. Her first professional job as an actress was as a dancer.

“I was a ballet dancer for 13 years and have the feet to prove it,” she told Dance Magazine.

Ripa even auditioned for The Nutcracker live on the air and posts her dancing skills on her Instagram often. She went on to produce a ballet reality series with the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.

“I have so much admiration for all dancers and the work that goes into their craft. When we had the opportunity to shine a spotlight on ballet and the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School, we jumped at it (pun not intended).”

That aside, in Sept. 2019, Ripa, along with 305 other dancers, set a new world record for the Most Ballet Dancers En Pointe Simultaneously during a taped segment on Live.

 “The last time I actually danced en pointe was 1986, when certain dancers were born or not even yet born” said Ripa during the segment. “I am one hundred and fifty percent the weakest link here. If we don’t do this, I want you to know—it’s not you, it’s me.”

 The previous record included 245 dancers in 2011.

Ripa’s AKT fitness routine is an ode to her dancing and cheerleading background

To keep herself in arguably the best shape of her life, Ripa’s go-to workout is AKT in Motion, founded by her personal trainer, Anna Kaiser. The routine combines “choreographed dance and functional training like circuit work, body strength exercises, and band work,” according to In Style.

The program’s biggest selling point is that it bridges the gap between boutique studios and a big gym.

“She [Ripa] can get everything she needs, strength, cardio, power, stretching, in one place, instead of running to different boutique studios trying to fit it all in,” Kaiser said. “Plus, the music is everything. We are both obsessed with finding the best music. It really drives the workout.” 

Each class lasts 45 minutes to an hour-long, offered in four formats. Ripa attends four or five times per week to get the most benefits. The formats include AKT Dance, AKT Bands, AKT Tone, and AKT Circuit. There’s also the AKT Mixer, which offers a little bit of everything.

The AKT Dance class is likely where Ripa shines. The 60-minute, choreographed class stays the same for three weeks before it changes. Bands utilize cardio with resistance bands hung from bars. The Tone class is barre-based, non-impact, and the Circuit class mixes cardio and weighted props.

With all of these workouts fused into Ripa’s routine, we’re confident the former cheerleader will still be doing those strength-inducing ballet moves decades to come.