In need of summer workout inspiration? The vibrant, high-energy paradise that is Brazil is known for its beautiful beaches, exuberant traditions, and hot, hot bodies! (And of course, its latest export—us!)
The women of Brazil know how to keep themselves healthy, fit, and beach-ready all year round. In fact, they make it seem easy. Here’s how you can spice up your routine, Brazil-style.
From the samba to frevo and the lambada, Brazilian culture is full of dancing and music. You can’t beat the muscle-toning and heart-pumping effects of a fast-paced dance number—plus, it’s a fun way to let loose and release tension. Try a dance-based fitness class like Zumba (another export, from Brazil’s northwest neighbor, Colombia) or Crunch’s Brazilian Burn & Firm, or just crank up the tunes and turn your living room into a club for the afternoon.
Take a cue from the bikini-clad goddesses of Bahia and swap a couple gym sessions with a few amazingly fun days at the beach. Don’t underestimate the effects of being active in the sand and water—whether that means going for a good old-fashioned barefoot jog or testing your balance on a stand-up paddleboard. (Live!’s sleek Aqua fabric one-pieces are super durable—perfect for beach sports.) Both water and sand provide natural resistance for your muscles as you tread through the waves or play pickup volleyball.
You’ve probably heard of the Brazil Butt Lift, the derriere-shaping program that fitness instructor Leandro Carvalho designed for the Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio. The workout revolves around sculpting, toning, and dancing to target three primary butt muscles. It will lift, firm, and round out your rear—without bulking up your thighs. (A few rounds and you’ll understand why Brazilian bikinis put the booty on full display.)
If you’ve always been intrigued by athletic regimens like jiu-jitsu but like a bit more rhythm in your workout, capoeira is for you. The Brazilian cardio practice combines martial arts with dance for an intense workout. As you tone your muscles in time to the music, you’ll also increase your agility and flexibility. You might even find yourself becoming more aware of your posture and the gracefulness of your body as it flows and swoops. (Live!’s full-body jumpsuits were practically made for capoeira.) Find classes at Brazilian cultural centers, dance schools like Alvin Ailey in New York, or a boutique fitness outfit near you.