Even as actresses are beginning to call the shots on-screen, getting to play more author-backed roles, off-screen too, they seem to be upping their game. Going beyond conventional fitness regimens like yoga, Pilates and dance, they are picking up combat sports like boxing, martial arts, Kalaripayattu, silambam etc., and are setting major fitness goals.
For that adrenaline rush
Rakul Preet Singh has taken her fitness game to another level. While yoga, running and basic workouts are still part of her regimen, she recently tried kickboxing. A video of her flaunting and practicing some badass moves will leave you stunned.
Rakul Preet Singh training in kick boxing
But why did she take to kickboxing? "Fitness to me is a way of life! It’s not just physical but also mental and emotional well being," she says, and adds that the fast-paced moves give her an adrenaline high. "It’s a rare sport where you can improve strength, build muscle and overall conditioning simultaneously; that’s what got me going," she says.
Good for all
Rashmika Mandanna is also noted for her focus on fitness. A kickboxing enthusiast, she too shared an intense and jaw-dropping video from her practice session on her Instagram profile where she’s seen repeatedly kicking the striking pad. "That’s what I do when I am annoyed," she jokes.
"Kickboxing comes with multiple health benefits. It helps me in improving coordination of the body and burning more calories. It also helps in improving posture and reduce anxiety," she reveals.
Punching away stress
MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is a challenging sport physically and mentally, and it is gaining popularity fast. A growing number of celebrities are taking to it.
Mumbai based MMA fighter, celebrity personal trainer and National coach Irfan, who has trained the likes of Zareen Khan, Randeep Hooda, Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut, says that every woman should learn MAA for self-defence and empowerment. He is currently training Shruti Haasan, and shares that the actress was keen to learn martial arts to improve her skills and add to her repertoire.
Shruti Haasan indulged in an intensive kick boxing training session with her trainer Irfan
"Mixed Martial Arts has everything from boxing, kickboxing and karate to wrestling and Muay Thai where the focus is mostly on striking. Her training has been going on for several months. The punches act as a stress buster and calm you down. Unlike in weight training where you feel tired, MMA wakes up your body," he explains, adding that it impacts a range of areas such as hand-eye coordination and reflexes, while helping to burn calories, strengthen muscle, improve agility and build stamina and endurance.
The gorgeous Iswarya Menon, who has been part of all the South film industries, has been training in boxing over the last three months. Apart from prepping for her role in an upcoming film, the actress says she picked up the combat sport to build stamina and enhance flexibility.
Iswarya Menon practising the combat sport
"Although there were several other forms of exercise, I picked boxing to build my strength and stamina. I practise boxing for 45 minutes a day, and I have been doing it for the past three months regularly," says Iswarya.
Keeping in step with the Universe
Lakshmi Manchu’s enthusiasm for everything fitness-related is well-known. The actress, who is making her Malayalam debut with the film Monster, starring Mohanlal, recently picked up Kalaripayattu – the martial art and fighting style that originated from Kerala. And ever since, she has been sharing learning techniques and reports of her progress on social media.
Lakshmi Manchu in Kalarippayattu stance
"The art of Kalarippayattu has stood the test of time. It helps me feel more connected to my body," says Lakshmi, whose guru is Krishnadas Vallabhatta. "The bigger cause of Kalaripayattu is body awareness and connecting oneself to the pulse of the universe," she says.