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Deepika Padukone Likes to Shake Up Her Fitness Regimen With a Mix of Cardio, Pilates and Yoga

Blessed with an athlete’s body, Deepika Padukone does her bit to continue looking like the lean, toned stunner that she is

Former model and national level badminton player, 25-year-old Deepika Padukone, one would agree, has an enviably toned and lean body. The leggy actress has a figure that can carry of both Indian and western outfits with equal finesse and grace. An excruciatingly strong will power makes it easy for her to stick to exercise routines and diets without wavering. Here are a few things she and her trainer Yasmin Karachiwala are clearly getting right.


“All throughout school, I would go for badminton practice from 5 to 7 am,” explains Deepika. “After school, I would practise for another two hours. It was a routine I stuck to every single day while growing up. So that definitely had a large role to play in how my body developed and maintained itself. However, after I stopped playing, I also discontinued exercising for quite a few years. And my initial training tided me over that period.”

Not known to be a chubby kid, she glided through her initial years of college and modelling without much training. It was only once work became more and more camera- centric that she felt the need to focus on her body and start to tone up again.

“I was always slim but I knew my body had the potential to really look defined. I wasn’t fat or out of shape, but I wanted to look a lot better. This is when I started training with Yasmin and she introduced me to Pilates and strength training. It did wonders for my tone and definition. I may have lost maybe a kilo or two at the most in all this time, but have lost inches all around and it shows,” she says.


Not one to enjoy conventional gym routines, Deepika likes to shake up her regimen with a mix of cardio, Pilates and yoga, constantly trying to mentally push the limits of her endurance and physical potential.

“I do a lot of freehand weights and four to five sets of stretching exercises with 10 to 20 reps, in between Pilates or stretching routines. I don’t particularly like running so I don’t do a lot of conventional gym exercises,” she says. “I try and exercise as often as I can, but when I’m travelling or shooting, I tend to skip it for days on end.”

One of the toughest things for Deepika was the effort to break her sweet tooth. “All my teeth are sweet. It’s my weakness. When I was younger, it was only chocolates; I wouldn’t touch any Indian sweets. But now I crave anything sweet, but I try and be good. I treat myself once in a while,” she says.

Deepika Padukone's Fitness Trainer Yasmin Karachiwala Talks

Yasmin goes into the details of Deepika’s training routine and emphasises on how important it is to have self-control and will power to control urges that work against you.

“Deepika tries to come in every day for an hour. But currently, for example, she is in South Africa and hasn’t been exercising for over 10 days. This is when she’ll usually work out at home with Pilates or yoga,” she explains.

Pilates has worked wonders on her body and uses a combination of strength and yoga to tighten the core muscles of the body and relax the mind. As a routine, it helps build flexibility and creates endurance in legs, abdominals, back and arms through resistance training. It also involves a steady control on breathing that helps to relieve stress and allow proper oxygen to reach core muscles. The flexibility helps coordination and balance and adequately trains all the muscle groups in the body.


Deepika’s typical workout consists of functional training at the gym with a mix of freehand and light weights, depending on what body part is being worked upon.

In addition, the Pilates machine and props such as resistance bands, wunda chair, foam weights etc, are used for an overall workout. This gives her the lean look without making the body look too muscular. “We also have a jumping series of the Pilates, which is a combination of cardio and Pilates,” says Yasmin. “Here we do the jumping squat or walking lunges that may be accompanied by light weights of a kilo or two. I also like to intersperse a minute or two of cardio between other routines.” Since Deepika exercises daily, to prevent soreness in the body, weight training is kept at a minimum.

“If she has a shoot where she is wearing shorts or a short skirt, we emphasize on her legs; if it’s a halter that exposes her back and arms, we’ll focus on push ups or pull ups, and weights are decided accordingly,” says Yasmin. “For example, she has a beach scene in her upcoming movie, Cocktail, where we worked on her entire body’s look. Usually, it’s light weights and low reps and I like using a lot of props to keep the workout engaging and fun.”

As for her diet, Yasmin encourages eating small meals every two hours that contain a combination of carbs and proteins. “We recently discovered Quinoa, a carbohydrate substitute high in fiber, which has worked wonders for Deepika,” she says.

This is what Deepika Padukone’s Diet Plan Looks Like:

» Breakfast: 2 egg whites
» Two hours later: Fruits
» Lunch: Proteins; usually fish and grilled vegetables
» Two hours later: A fruit or vegetable juice
» Dinner: Lean meat; grilled chicken or fish

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