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    Jillian Michaels, 40, Poses Nude for Shape Magazine: "I Look Better Now Than I Ever Have"

    Jillian Michaels, Shape Shape

    While she may boast a better body than many 20-year-olds, turning 40 still wasn't easy for fitness expert Jillian Michaels.

    "I won't lie, this birthday was hard," the personal trainer admits in the latest issue of Shape magazine, in which she poses fully nude. "I thought 'Oh my God, I'm halfway through my life? But when I think back on my 20s and 30s, I look better now than I ever have. Yes, I'm older, but I'm also wiser, and that's a more intrinsic type of beauty."

    Michaels, who has two daughters with partner Heidi Rhoades, regularly hits the gym (just take one look at her bangin' bod!), not only to maintain her killer figure but also keep her endorphins running high and empower herself on a personal level.

    VIDEO: Jillian Michaels abs will make you jealous

    Jillian Michaels, Shape Shape

    "It's important for women to have overall strength, because when you feel physically powerful, it transcends into every facet of your life," she says, flaunting her impressive biceps before adding, "The best thing about having strong arms is because I love to pick up my kids."

    The Biggest Loser weight loss guru also comments on the importance of keeping up with regular workouts and says it doesn't matter where you draw your inspiration for soaking up a sweat.

    "There are so many good reasons to exercise," she says. "It doesn't matter how profound or superficial your motives are, as long as it's something that matters to you."

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    Jillian Michaels, Shape Shape

    Michaels reveals that her favorite part of her body is her abs (and for good reason!) and shares her secret to toning her enviable tummy: planks! 

    "All kinds—side plank, extended plank, imbalanced plank," she says. "A couple of times a week, I do three sets of each and hold them for a full minute. Having a strong core gives you a solid foundation and helps with injury prevention, which is critical to good health."

    Despite her seemingly perfect bod, Michaels insists she still has her problem areas, just like the rest of us all. "We all store fat somewhere," she explains. "Some of us are proportionately balanced, some are apple-shaped. Me? I carry all my weight in my lower body."

    "No matter how lean I get or how many squats or lunges I do, I always feel like my butt carries extra weight," she continues. "But what I finally realized is that you can't have it all. Do I want a better butt? Sure, but I'm healthy and can wear my skinny jeans, and that's good enough!"

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