Courteney Cox, 49, is well-known for her toned body, killer abs, and vibrant appearance. The former Friends actress and current star of Cougar Town has managed to maintain a youthful physique despite her busy lifestyle, which includes taking care of her 9-year-old daughter. She can partially thank her trainer, Michelle Lovitt, who helps her target her trouble spots by focusing on strength training. The other part, however, can be credited to Cox who, for the most part, is a pretty strict dieter. She has been known to partake in low or no-carb diets, while eating fairly healthy the rest of the time. While most of us probably won’t wake up one day and be a successful actor like Cox, we can (eventually) wake up with a body like hers. Here’s a few tips to help get you started.
Workout like Cox
“My fitness philosophy is to be active in life and enjoy what I am doing,” Cox told Shape. “I have always loved exercise and feel that being active is important to maintain not only physical health, but mental health as well.”
Cox focuses on variety when it comes to her workouts, especially with cardio. Once an avid runner, she now also focuses on Pilates, tennis, surfing, yoga, bike riding, strength training, and martial arts, writes Shape. But if you’re hoping to have some of the muscle definition that Cox has, you’ll need to do more than play tennis. Try one of these Lovitt recommended workout sessions, or try doing doing all of them throughout the week, per Fitness.
Session 1: Focus on upper body toning moves from every angle using two types of resistance bands, followed by cool down stretches on a vibrating Power Plate. “Courteney’s favorite machine,” Lovitt says to Fitness.
Session 2: Aim for a 75-minute cardio session (think treadmill intervals) followed by a lower body medley of squats and lunges. When you’re doing this session, use a heart rate monitor (Cox does) to track your intensity when you’re doing cardio. Otherwise, you’re just guessing at your intensity level, and you don’t want to cheat yourself.
Session 3: Begin with treadmill intervals and then head back to the resistance bands for more upper body sculpting. A great move to try is the cross-body bicep curl. To do it, stand with your right foot on one end of a bow-tie resistance band (think of a figure 8) and hold the other end in your left hand to curl the band across your body toward your left shoulder.
If you’re less interested in toning your upper body and more focused on firming up your glutes so that they resemble Cox’s, try this workout, Lovitt explains to Self. It only takes 20 minutes a day, and you’ll quickly start to tone and slim your behind — just make sure you’re resting for 30 to 60 seconds in between sets. Lovitt’s advice: take a hike or hop on a treadmill for an additional 30 to 60 minutes using a heart rate monitor. Stay within 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate, otherwise known as the fat burning zone, to add an extra boost.
Squats: To begin, stand with your feet hip-width apart and, for added intensity, use a pair of weights, holding them at shoulder level or at your sides. Bend your knees and lower into a squat, keeping your knees behind the toes. Imagine that you’re sticking your butt out behind you, but make sure you keep your torso upright and contracted. Press into your heels to stand up. Repeat for two to three sets of 12 to 16 reps.
One Legged Deadlifts: Take your left leg back just a bit, lightly resting on the toe. Take your weights, putting them in front of your thighs, and tip from the hips, lowering the weights as low as your flexibility allows. Keep your back flat or with a natural arch and make sure you keep your abs contracted to protect your back. Squeeze the glutes of the working leg to raise back up. Do two to three sets of 12 to 16 reps.
Reverse Lunges: Start with your feet hip-distance apart. Step back three to four feet with your right leg and land on the ball of your right foot. Lower your right knee toward the floor until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Drive through your left heel, carrying all of your weight on your left leg. Return to your standing position squeezing your left glute. Do two to three sets of 25 reps on alternating legs.
Supermans: While lying on the floor on your stomach with your arms outstretched in front of you, raise one leg and alternate your arms a few inches off the floor, holding the position for one count. Repeat on the opposite side. Aim for two to three sets of 15 reps each.
Chair Pose: Start by standing in a mountain pose. Bend your knees deeply and squeeze your inner thighs together while straightening your arms, lifting them overhead and stretching your fingertips toward the ceiling. Lift in your arms and upper chest so your spine is in a slight backbend. Tuck your pelvis. Hold that position for as long as you can. Strive for eight to 10 breaths.
Half Moon Pose: Stand tall with your feet together. Shift your weight onto your right foot. Bend forward from the waist to place your right palm on the floor. Simultaneously, lift your left leg toward the ceiling. Once your right palm is on the floor with your arm straight, rotate your torso to the left and extend your left arm toward the ceiling. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor and your left leg should be parallel to the floor. Turn your left foot so your toes face forward and turn your left palm to face forward. Look up at your left hand. Repeat on the other side.
Eat Like Cox
Cox follows a couple of rules when it comes to her diet. She focuses on low-carb diets, drinks a lot of coconut water, and avoids caffeine, per People.
US Weekly writes that Cox has also tried the blood type diet, based on the book Eat Right For Your Blood Type. The book says that your body responds to certain foods in certain ways, depending on your blood type, according to Marie Claire. For example, those with blood type A are recommended to follow a vegetarian diet in order to lose weight. If you’re blood type O, you should eat meat and avoid dairy and wheat, the diet suggests. However, experts have warned that the fad diet’s principles aren’t based on scientific proof.
But, if you set aside some of the diets she periodically does, Cox also is just really good about eating healthy food. “Luckily, some of my favorite foods in the world are vegetables. I just love kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus. Anything green I crave,” Cox told New You. She also eats plenty of protein, including steak, chicken, and some fish (like tilapia.) Her daily eating schedule typically includes a light breakfast; chicken salad for lunch; and steak, chicken, or fish with vegetables for dinner, per Our Vanity.
“I’m not a big carb person, and I drink a lot of water and take vitamins. I am definitely a healthy eater. I eat tons of eggs, and I love turkey bacon. I don’t eat a lot of fruit even though I’m looking at a beautiful bowl of it right now! But I love tomatoes,” she tells Get the Gloss. Cox is a firm believer in taking vitamins — she takes omegas 3,6, and 9, as well as vitamin D, per Get the Gloss.
Like everyone, Cox isn’t perfect. She does have her food weaknesses — mainly pasta and potatoes. She’ll indulge occasionally, but typically has the willpower to follow a strict, healthy diet.