Why does Jennifer Lopez look incredible at 52 years old?

Jennifer Lopez turned 52 this week. These are her fitness secrets to staying in incredible shape

Jennifer Lopez performing
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jennifer Lopez has always seemed remarkably ageless. For the last 25 years, the singer and actor has been gracing screens and stages with seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm – and for that, you need to be fit. 

J-Lo has always sported impressive six-pack abs alongside toned arms and world-famous glutes, and at the age of 52, she shows no signs of slowing down as her latest Instagram snaps show. J-Lo posted a few birthday images and videos, much to the admiration of her followers and celebrities like Mindy Kaling and Desi Perkins.   

How does J-Lo look better at 52 than the average person at 30? Of course, it would be ridiculous not to acknowledge the issue of money and time. Looking good is a big part of her brand, and J-Lo can afford to hire personal trainers, chefs, dieticians and other experts to achieve her legendary looks. 

However, that doesn't mean we can't glean a few things from her training and diet regimes. When it comes to exercise, J-Lo maintains an enormous focus on her core, keeping her body fat percentage down and using the best workouts for abs to keep her six pack stage-ready. 

J-Lo's trainer, David Kirsch, sculpts her body with demanding exercises like medicine-ball sit-ups, which make sit-ups harder by adding additional weight and movement.  You can see her perform the med-ball sit-up below, and you can check out our guide on how to do sit-ups, avoiding common pitfalls and bad habits.

J-Lo also performs a serious amount of lower-body work to keep herself in tip-top shape, including exercises like platypus walks, or squat-walks, to build muscle in her core, thighs and glutes. You can check that out in the video below, and Kirsch, who has trained J-Lo for years, reveals some of her fitness secrets.

All this resistance training is the real key to how J-Lo looks so good at her age. She obviously keeps her body fat percentage very low with a strict diet and training regime. However, she supplements this by building muscle, which science tells us is the real key to anti-aging. 

Our muscles naturally waste away and shorten as we age, during a process known as atrophy. Building muscle not only reverses this effect, but ups the production of vital hormones such a testosterone in your body, as well as increasing insulin resistance, according to studies. This "significant hormone response" helps regulate libido and prevent too much unnecessary weight gain, slowing those age-related changes. 

So, in the short, there's your answer as to how J-Lo looks so damn good at 52. Money, obviously, plays a significant role, in that Jennifer Lopez can have a healthy, fresh meal comprised of good-quality protein and whole-grains ready at a moment's notice, her main advantage is keeping her body fat down and her muscle toned. 

To maintain muscle and have the relentless energy, you need to dance the way she does, you need to eat right. Low-glycaemic-index carbohydrates, such as oats and other whole grains, can keep you on your feet all day, releasing energy slower than high-GI carbohydrate sources such as white potatoes, pasta and starchy foods, which is more likely to end up on your hips. 

High-protein foods, such as lean meats, pulses and the best protein powder for women, will keep your muscles topped up and fuelled.

Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.