Check Out Lupita Nyong’o’s Underwater Workout for the ”Black Panther” Sequel

Lupita Nyong'o at Marvel's
Lupita Nyong'o at Marvel's "Black Panther" Celebrates New York Fashion Week with "Welcome to Wakanda" in 2018. Photo by Stephen Lovekin/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9374759ch)

If you’ve seen the sequel to Black Panther, you know how fierce Lupita Nyong’o is in the film. The Oscar winner reprised her role as Nakia in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with her character spending time in the aquatic world of Talokan. 

To prepare for the movie, Nyong’o did underwater training that involved working out in the pool and performing lots of strength training. The intense regime (which was done while holding her breath!) did not consist just of swimming laps—the 39-year-old actress practiced walking and crawling along the bottom of the pool, as well as walking up steps underwater while holding dumbbells. 

“I felt like a crawfish,” the Us star said in her Instagram video which showed off her underwater skills.

Working with weights underwater is reportedly a strength training technique inspired by ancient Hawaiians who would hold large rocks as they swam. 

“It’s a brilliant technique, because it removes any injury-inducing impact from a workout,” says former professional surfer, Laird Hamilton. “A weight that feels manageable on land takes far more effort to swim with underwater, and it boosts your heart rate faster than a freestyle stroke.”