Natalie Portman's body was banging in the Black Swan
and I was dying to know her secrets to success. The wait is over... because we've got the inside scoop!
The Ballet Beautiful fitness
method is what transformed Portman's already-firm body, and Ballet Beautiful's founder, Helen Bowers, is here to dish the details!
Ballet Beautiful, customized
: A customized Ballet Beautiful fitness routine was created just for Natalie. Combining mat work, cardio, and ballet with exercises to target Portman's inner thighs and abs, Bowers helped Portman look the part and move like a true ballerina. To work on Portman's endurance, Bowers included cross-training exercises like swimming laps. They focused on the crawl and breast stroke, swimming a mile a day.
A long road ahead
: Portman's Ballet Beautiful regimen started an entire year before filming the Black Swan
. And a quick 30 minute workout it was not... the dedicated celeb
would put in five hours a day, six days a week!
How so lean?
It's the million dollar question we all want to know! When asked how ballerinas get such fabulously lean figures, Bowers told Elle.com
, "Ballet targets smaller muscles that you don’t often use. It works the inside and the back of your leg instead of your quad. It also raises your center of gravity—when you’re standing in first position, you’re pulling up through your stomach and opening your shoulders so that you’re working your back and upper body. The inner thighs are engaging and you’re squeezing your butt to make sure you’re perfectly lifted. Everything is basically firing as one—and first position is just a resting point!
Now that we know how Natalie Portman got in shape for the Black Swan
, here are 3 simple exercises
for your pre-wedding workout:
1. Rock Hard Ab Workout
: On a yoga or pilates mat, start on your back with your knees slightly bent and your arms open wide (in second position). Lift your body up and contract abs as you close your arms to first position right above the abdomen. Pull in the stomach, closing and opening arms as you lift up and lower. Repeat this exercise 30 times.
2. Tighten & Tone Your Bottom
: Surprise your groom with a ballet beautiful bottom! Start on your hands and knees and bring one knee into your chest and then extend the leg straight back (while squeezing your butt). Stretch the knee all the way and be sure to pull in through your stomach. Repeat 30 times before changing legs.
3. Wedding-Worthy Arms
: Unless you're wearing a long-sleeved wedding dress
, you'll want firm, toned arms when you walk down the aisle. Sit down on your yoga mat, extend legs out straight and place your hands just behind your hips (with fingers facing the outer edge of the mat). Lift hips off the mat as you stretch the elbows, and make sure to keep your chest open and your neck long. Tighten your stomach and pull in and then bend the elbows slightly. Repeat 30 times.
Are you ready to get Ballerina Beautiful? I know I am!