12 hours ago, leaning on a crutch and wearing nothing but a pair of black knickers and a matching hat, Madonna took to Instagram to share a semi-naked mirror selfie of her super-toned physique, liked by over 600,000 of her 15.2 million followers.
Whatever you think of controversial pop singer, it's hard not to be in awe of the 61 year old's sculpted physique - even if she's used a filter, there's no escaping the definition in her abs, legs and arms, which is no easy feat when you're over forty, never mind in your 60's.
Madonna has long been known her for strict healthy eating and exercise regime and was one of the first to advocate a macrobiotic diet, an organic, dairy and meat-free way of eating thought to improve longevity. In an interview with CNN's Larry King she described her typical dinner as 'fish, some kind of grains, some kind of cooked vegetable, [and] salad. Simple, but tasty.'
A post shared by Madonna (@madonna) on Jul 6, 2020 at 7:10pm PDT
Having always been at the cutting edge of fitness, she has a history of dance training, was yoga-obsessed in the 1990's and an early adopter of Tracy Anderson's dance cardio workouts in the noughties. She was often spotted with Anderson the equally health conscious, Gywneth Paltrow, when the pair both lived in London.
However, the incredibly fit mother of six never gets complacent and is known to incorporate many different types of exercise into her regime.
Her former trainer, Craig Smith, told Glamour magazine in 2015, 'Madonna does five to six workouts weekly that vary on a daily basis and focus on a variety of methods and training modalities," says Smith. "Her workouts include dance, resistance training, interval training, yoga, barre workouts, Pilates, aerobics, athletic conditioning, and circuit training." While he described her diet as super healthy. 'Madonna's go-to healthy meal varies. She enjoys everything from an organic cold-pressed juice to a hearty salad and full nutritious meal that includes an organic protein, carbohydrate, and fruits and veggies.'
These days, Madonna trains with Marlyn Ortiz, a New York professional dancer from the Bronx who works with the pop singer on her physically demanding shows, including her recent Madam X tour.
Hannah Cleeve, a professional dancer and a trainer on Move Home Studio, is a colleague of Ortiz. She says, 'when you dance, you sculpt every part of body all at once. Madonna is still performing at a high level - her dance shows are very physical, which requires a high level of cardio.' She adds, 'most dancers, like Madonna, maintain a lean, sculpted physique from dance alone, as you engage every muscle in your body without you even releasing it.'
Wishing my mambo @madonna the happiest birthday!!!!! Love you and I loveeee stretching your small powerful body! Always stretch!!!!!!! :) #tour life Its good to remain flexible.......................madame ❌ #rescueme #rehearsals #madamex
A post shared by Marlyn Ortiz (@marlynortiz) on Aug 15, 2019 at 6:29pm PDT
Cleeve, one of the original cast of Magic Mike's West End show, says 'when you're rehearsing for a tour, like Madonna, you can be training for up to eight hours a day to build enough stamina to perform for two hours every night.
She says, however, that dance is for everybody. 'Dance is a great way to start getting in shape if you're older because it's fun. Many mature women feel self conscious going to the gym, so they prefer to try a virtual dance class a couple of times a week to build up their cardiovascular fitness and improve muscle tone - dancing naturally engages your abdominal muscles in every move, so it's great for toning up your mid section too.'
If Madonna's macrobiotic diet and hardcore dance training is too much for you, Dalton Wong, the celebrity fitness trainer who got Olivia Coleman in shape for her Oscar win, gives his easy insider tips, below.
Celebrity trainer, Dalton Wong's 5 secrets to staying in shape in your 60's
Be consistent : Madonna's body didn't happen overnight, it's an accumulation of her life's work. She dances for her but she's always been on the cusp of what's new and cutting edge. She doesn't look like a fit sixty year woman, invested three quarters of her life training like an athlete. For the average person, this isn't necessary, but being consistent with your exercise and diet is the most important thing to maintaining a strong, lean physique as you age.
Weight training is key: The older we get, the more resistance based training your body needs as we naturally lose lean muscle mass with age. Muscle helps to burn calories, projects our joints, and improve posture. Whether you lift light weights, use your body weight or resistance bands, by incorporating some resistance training into your routine will strengthen your knees, hips and spine, help with posture and increase fat burning.
Improve flexibility: Incorporate stretching, yoga, Tai Chi, anything works on flexibility is not only good for your body, it's good for your mind too.
Do 'low intensity' cardio: HIIT training isn't recommended when you're over 60 as it's hard on your joints. The best low intensity exercise is actually walking. By doing a 45 to an hour walk, three times a week, even if it's to the pizza restaurant and back, it will help your body to tone up and burn fat like nothing else. Walk with intention so that you build a light sweat and work up to an hour to 90 minutes to see the best results.
Avoid inflammatory foods: Stay away from foods that make you feel bloated or tired, as these are inflammatory and will inflame your joints and deplete energy. Whether it's gluten, dairy or red meat, pay attention to what foods slow you down and avoid them. In order to look and feel great in your sixties you should also avoid consuming foods and drinks that spike your adrenal glands, such as coffee, alcohol, fizzy drinks and sugar. Everything in moderation but more fruits and vegetables and hydrating foods and drinks with some healthy protein and complex slow burning carbs are best.