Learn the secrets behind Natalie Portman diet and workout routine for her role as a prima ballerina in Black Swan.
One of the most talked-about movie actresses these days is Natalie Portman for her role as Nina Sayers in the movie “Black Swan”. Not only because of Portman’s compelling and outstanding performance as Nina but because of the unbelievable workout and diet that Portman embarked on for more than a year to realistically play the role of a veteran prima ballerina.
An Israeli America actress, Natalie Portman made her film debut in the movie “Leon” in 1994 but it wasn’t until she played the role of Queen Amidala in “Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace” released in 1999 that she gained international acclaim.
Since then she had appeared in a number of critically acclaimed films that won for her several acting awards, the latest of which were for her role as Nina Sayers in the movie “Black Swan” (2011). She won Best Actress for the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards, among others
Natalie Portman Workout and Diet For Black Swan
To prepare for the role of Nina Sayers, Natalie went through an intensive fitness program for more than one year under the tutorship of Mary Helen Bowers who is a former professional ballerina herself of the New York City Ballet company and the person behind the Ballet Beautiful fitness method.
Another thing that Natalie Portman did to embark on the Black Swan diet plan is a vegan diet of no more than 1,200 calories daily. It was not so much food deprivation, according to the beautiful star, but more on reducing intake by eating smaller portions. Natalie is a known vegan.
The objective of the Black Swan workout regimen was not only to lose weight but to be able to pass as a ballerina convincingly. She had to possess a ballerina-like body, trim and taut, with stretched out and supple muscles. To achieve these, the core of Natalie Portman’s training was focused on producing a tough, sinewy and lithe dancer’s body while preserving the womanly shape. It involved traditional ballet steps coupled with toughening exercises.
Ballerinas, however, have to train for years and since Natalie only had a little over a year to achieve what normally takes many years, she had to do double time. She worked out almost eight hours a day six days a week doing a lot of stretching, resistance exercises, and ballet practices coupled with a mile a day of swimming to build stamina.
The personal workout program designed for her by Mary Helen Bowes helped Natalie get a ballerina-like body and at the same time gave her the knack to do around 85% of the dances in “Black Swan.” It was centered on lifting, tightening and making Natalie’s lower arms and legs stronger while maintaining them to be as wiry and trim as much as possible.
Natalie Portman Ballet Workout Exercises
How it is done: Lie on the floor and raise one leg straight up. Pull the ankle smoothly towards the head using the hands. Try to stretch the knee straight eventually. Repeat the process on the other leg.
Workout To Strengthen The Back Of The Legs, Inner Thighs, Butt And Core
How it is done: lie on the floor with stomach drawn in, feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Stretch your right leg out with toes pointing to the ceiling. Keep the tummy drawn in tight and the knees together while lifting the hips off the floor. Lower the hips slightly without it touching the floor then raise them again. Do 30 counts per leg before changing to the other leg.
Workout To Tighten The Butt
How it is done: Crouch down on all fours then slowly raise one knee to the chest then stretch the leg back while maintaining very straight knee. Draw in the stomach and raise the leg high toward the ceiling. Do 30 counts and then change legs.
Workout For The Abs
How it is done: Lie on the floor with arms open wide on the sides and knees bent slightly. Draw the stomach in while raising the upper body and bringing the arms overhead by forming a circle around the head. Concentrate on drawing in the tummy as the body is lowered and raised again. Do this 30 times.
Workout To Tone The Arms
How it is done: sit on the floor with legs extended out and hands at the back of the hips with fingers facing out. Raise the hips off the floor while stretching the elbows and maintaining the neck long and the chest open. Draw in the stomach taut and crook the elbows slightly. Lower and raise the hips by crooking and stretching the elbows, maintaining the tummy taut and strong and hips raised the whole time. Do this exercise 30 times.