The 15-Minute Workout Hailee Steinfeld Does When She's Short on Time

Updated 06/28/18
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On a clear and sunny day in Los Angeles, you can see each and every home that dots the West Hollywood Hills, all with their own unique architectural features, sizes, and stature. Today is one of those classic sunny and 75°F days, and I lace up my running shoes, hop in the car and plug an address into my GPS that takes me north on Doheny Drive through the winding roads of the proverbial hills. I'm taken up narrow streets surrounded by the homes of producers, screenwriters, musicians, and actors alike (or so I imagine). When I reach my destination, I wander into the backyard of a property that boasts views of both the sprawling cityscape below and the homes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Keanu Reeves, and LeBron James above on the next street over (or so I'm told). 

It seems fitting then that it's here I sit down with Academy Award–nominated actress and singer, Hailee Steinfeld. The young star is preparing to go on tour with Katy Perry before she begins filming her new series for Apple, Dickinson. In order to stay in peak physical condition to withstand long rehearsals and demanding performances, Steinfeld turns to her personal trainer—who also happens to be her dad—to keep her in tip-top shape. She's become such a fitness maven that she's now a brand ambassador for activewear line Mission. We spend some time talking about food, fitness, and balance before she and her father, Peter Steinfeld, give me a taste of the real thing: a typical pre-tour circuit workout. 

On Food

When it comes to diet, Steinfeld doesn't subscribe to any popular fads of the moment like the ketogenic diet or Whole30. Instead, she prefers to adjust her diet based on what's going on in her life. "I kind of do my thing," she says. For example, when there's a tour coming up, she'll cut sugar, but when she's on the road and in foreign countries, she admits it's not easy to be so restrictive. She's also a fan of a little indulgence now and again, especially after she's been diligent with her health goals. "I kind of try to discipline myself, and it's like a no sugar thing for two weeks and then I splurge a little," she explains. "I kind of like to do everything in increments."

On Fitness

Steinfeld's father has played a large role in both her professional life and her relationship to fitness. "Seeing his constant discipline and drive and motivation inspires me and my work life," she says. The actress and singer admits she's lucky to have a veritable live-in personal trainer at home. She relies on him to create many of the workout routines she does when training to go on tour or prepping for a new role.

When she has the time, her favorite workouts are kickboxing and dancing, which she ramps up when rehearsing for musical performances. "I always feel like for me it's that one thing where I don't necessarily know how much I'm doing until I'm done," she says. Even when she's too busy for a full workout, Steinfeld is always sure to spend at least 15 minutes doing something physical every day. "One thing I do with my dad is circuit training," she explains.

These are usually 10- to 15-minute workouts that don't require any equipment like high steps, crunches, and squats that get her moving no matter where she is or how much time she has to spare.

On Balance

At the end of the day, Steinfeld views her workouts as both physical and mental exercises. "It's really more about feeling good rather than looking good," she says. "Looking good is sort of the reward you get for going into it with the mindset of I'm doing this to feel good about myself."

When she's not busy working out, filming, or cranking out a new single in the recording studio, you can find Steinfeld taking a walk outside, getting her nails done, spending time with friends, and listening to music—all activities that read like the to-do list of a typical 21-year-old. "I have gotten really good at relaxing," she shares. "It also gives me a chance to appreciate the hard work I've been doing." 

From personal experience, I can tell you that her typical workouts are just that—hard work. After Steinfeld and I finished chatting, I found myself on all fours atop a yoga mat in one of the most scenic backyards I've ever seen, attempting to follow her dad's instructions on how to complete a series of small but powerful movements, all while counting out loud—a practice that helps his daughter prepare for singing and dancing on stage at the same without losing her breath.

By the end of the 30-minute series of exercises, I felt like I'd just finished the North American leg of a world tour. And with that, here's exactly how to work out like Hailee Steinfeld.

Warm Up

1. Jumping Jacks
Count 25 reps out loud.
2. Mountain Climbers
Count 20 reps out loud.
3. Right Butt Burner
Start on all fours. Keep your left leg on the ground as you extend your right leg behind you, pressing your heel to the sky. Count to 25 out loud while doing slow reps.
4. Left Butt Burner
Start on all fours. Keep your right leg on the ground as you extend your left leg behind you, pressing your heel to the sky. Count to 25 out loud while doing slow reps.
5. Mountain Climbers
Count 20 reps out loud.
6. Push-Ups
Count five reps out loud. Modify on your knees with ankles crossed.
7. Mountain Climbers
Count 20 reps out loud. Rest.

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Feel the Burn

1. Right Fire Hydrants
Start on all fours. Keep your right knee bent as you lift your leg out to the side. Pause. Lower your knee back to the ground. Count 25 reps out loud.
2. Left Fire Hydrants
Start on all fours. Keep your left knee bent as you lift your leg out to the side. Pause. Lower your knee back to the ground. Count 25 reps out loud.
3. Mountain Climbers
Slowly count 20 reps out loud.
4. Push-Ups
Count five reps out loud.
5. Mountain Climbers
Count 20 reps out loud. Rest.
6. Right Butt Burner Push-Up
Start in plank position.
Hold your right leg in the air at 90 degrees, pressing your heel up to the sky. Do a push-up with your leg off the ground. Count 25 reps out loud.
7. Left Butt Burner Push-Up
Start in plank position. Hold your left leg in the air at 90 degrees, pressing your heel up to the sky. Do a push-up with your leg off the ground. Count 25 reps out loud.
8. Mountain Climbers
Count 20 reps out loud. Rest.

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9. Crossover Crunches
Start on your back. Lace your hands behind your head. Touch your right leg to your left elbow. Alternate to touch your left leg to your right elbow. Count 30 reps out loud.
10. Scissor and Flutter Kicks
Start on your back. Keep legs locked at the knees while you alternate your left and right legs over one another in a scissor motion. Count 20 reps out loud. Flutter your legs up and down. Count 20 reps out loud.
11. Double Crossover Crunches
Do the same motion as a standard crossover crunch, but add an extra pulse motion for each rep. Count 20 reps out loud.
12. Limb Extension
Start on your back with both knees at a 90-degree angle. Pull your knees into your chest then kick out your heels. Pull your knees back into your chest. Count 20 reps out loud. Rest.
13. Kickboxing Combo
Start standing up. Punch with your left arm. Kick your right leg out straight ahead and come back to standing. Kick your left leg out in front of you with toes pointed to the right and come back to standing. Count 10 reps out loud.
14. High Steps
Step in place with high knees. Count 30 reps out loud.
15. Mountain Climbers
Count 20 reps.
16. Shoulder Tap Plank.
Start in plank position. Tap your right hand to your left shoulder and place it back down. Tap your left hand to your left should and place it back down. Count 20 reps out loud.

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17. Kickboxing Combo
Count eight reps out loud
18. Right Static Lunge
Count five reps out loud.
19. Left Static Lunge
Count five reps out loud.
20. High Steps
Count 50 quick reps out loud.
21. Mountain Climbers
Count 30 reps out loud.
22. Shoulder Tap Plank 
Count 20 reps out loud.
23. Kickboxing Combo
Count 20 reps out loud. Rest.

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Cool Down

1. Jumping Jacks
Count 50 reps out loud.
2. Mountain Climbers
Count 40 reps out loud.
3. Should Tap Planks
Count 20 reps out loud.
4. Standing Stretch
Start standing. Raise both arms up high to the sky and take a deep breath in. Exhale and release your arms back to your sides.

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Add Hailee Steinfeld's workout routine (or at least parts of it) to your own exercise regimen to tone your muscles while strengthening your heart and lungs with a bit of cardio. Even if you just have 15 minutes to spare, try out a few of these circuits to get a full-body workout in record time. Trust me, it will get your heart pumping and your muscles burning.

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